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01-12-2006 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2006

Journal of Child and Family Studies 6/2006

Predictors of Offense Severity, Prosecution, Incarceration and Repeat Violations for Adolescent Male and Female Offenders

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 6/2006
Auteurs:
David E. Barrett, Antonis Katsiyannis, Dalun Zhang

Abstract

We examined factors predicting severity of first offense, adjudication, incarceration, and repeat offenses for first time juvenile offenders. The sample consisted of 12,468 juveniles, all born in 1985. Each of the juveniles had been assigned to the South Carolina Juvenile Justice System (SCDJJ) on at least one occasion (“referral”). Analysis on referral severity showed significant age, gender, and race differences, with older youth, blacks and males referred for more serious offenses. On first referrals, older youth and whites were more likely to be adjudicated with white females showing the greatest likelihood of prosecution; this was true with severity level controlled. Status offenses were more likely to be prosecuted than non- status offenses. Analyses on prosecution versus diversion showed that blacks and males were more likely to be diverted than prosecuted. Youth referred for violent crimes were most likely to be incarcerated. There were no gender or race effects on incarceration. Youth who were prosecuted for the first offense were more likely to be referred a second time than those who were not prosecuted. Gender and race did not significantly affect second referral rates. Findings for third referrals followed similar patterns. The relationship of our findings to previous research findings, and implications for juvenile justice procedures are discussed.

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