This a review analysis concerned with describing the spatial characteristics of homes as private domains that
may promote youth offending. The goal of this paper is to explicate such characteristics and relate them to the
development of a young criminal personality. The main point is that the manner in which homes are structured and family
processes are conducted could give children many opportunities to learn criminal behaviour without interruption. The
geographical themes of space, time and culture are used to explicate the characteristics of the home as a private space.
Research results from reviewed articles have given this paper three structured sections. The first session briefly defines
and describes the home as a private space. Section 2 critically discusses the hidden dimensions of the home as a
private space. The family is identified as a site of authentic experience, ownership and secrecy, commitment and an
obligation to shared values, as well as voluntary compassion. The home is shown to be a territory of respect and
recognition, but it is also argued that, under particular circumstances, these characteristics of the home could influence
or allow children to learn criminal behaviour. The last section of the paper focuses on factors in the home that influence
children to replicate negative parental behaviour, although it is acknowledged that most parents do not consciously wish
their children to learn non-conforming behaviour in their homes, and that not all children exposed to concealed negative
home characteristics will commit a crime. It is suggested that crime prevention efforts should start with the interrogation
and mediation of home and family characteristics that could influence children to learn criminal behaviour.