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NCJ Number: 68811 Find in a Library
Title: PUNISHMENT AND CRIME - THE EFFECT OF LEGAL DISPOSITIONS ON SUBSEQUENT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
Author(s): T P THORNBERRY
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 194
Sponsoring Agency: Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY EXAMINES THE EFFECT OF VARIOUS LEGAL DISPOSITIONS ON THE SUBSEQUENT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS, USING THE LABELING PERSPECTIVE AS A THEORETICAL MODEL IN ANALYZING THE DATA.
Abstract: THE STUDY COHORT IS COMPOSED OF 9,945 SUBJECTS WHO WERE RESIDENTS OF PHILADELPHIA. OF THESE, 6,470 WERE NONDELINQUENTS AND 3,475 WERE DELINQUENTS (I.E., INVOLVED IN AT LEAST ONE OFFICIAL CONTACT WITH POLICE BEFORE AGE 18). OF THE 2,902 NONWHITE SUBJECTS, 50.2 PERCENT WERE DELINQUENTS, WHILE ONLY 28.6 PERCENT OF THE WHITE SUBJECTS WERE DELINQUENT. SIMILAR TO RACE, THE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES) OF THE SUBJECT ALSO AFFECTS THE LIKELIHOOD OF BECOMING A DELINQUENT ACCORDING TO STUDY ANALYSIS. OF THE 4,584 LOWER SES BOYS, 44.8 PERCENT WERE DELINQUENTS, BUT ONLY 26.5 PERCENT OF THE 5,361 HIGHER SES BOYS FALL IN THAT SAME CATEGORY. EVALUATION OF LONGITUDINAL DATA WAS THE PRIMARY METHODOLOGY EMPLOYED. COHORT CHARACTERISTICS, THE BASIS FOR DISPOSITION DECISIONS, DISPOSITIONS AND SUBSEQUENT CRIME, SERIOUSNESS OF THE SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE, DELINQUENT CAREERS, AND CHRONIC OFFENDER BEHAVIOR WERE EXPLORED IN THE STUDY. DATA REVEAL THAT BLACKS AND LOWER SES SUBJECTS WERE MORE LIKELY THAN WHITES AND HIGHER SES SUBJECTS TO RECEIVE MORE SEVERE DISPOSITIONS, EVEN WHEN THE APPROPRIATE LEGAL VARIABLES WERE HELD CONSTANT. SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE AND THE NUMBER OF PREVIOUS OFFENSES WERE ALSO RELATED TO THE SEVERITY OF DISPOSITIONS. FURTHERMORE, RACE, SES, AND SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE WERE ALSO RELATED TO RECIDIVISM. THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN DISPOSITIONS AND SUBSEQUENT CRIMINALITY WAS FOUND TO BE COMPLEX. IT VARIED WITH THE MEASURE OF SUBSEQUENT CRIMINALITY AND WITH THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND OF THE INDIVIDUAL. THE MOST CONSISTENT FINDING CONCERNED THE DISPOSITION OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION. THE MOST SEVERE DISPOSITION WAS FOLLOWED BY THE MOST SUBSEQUENT CRIMINALITY, WITH ONE IMPORTANT EXCEPTION OCCURRING WHEN THE MEAN SERIOUSNESS SCORE OF ALL SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES WAS ANALYZED. ONLY WHEN DEALING WITH THE VOLUME OF SUBSEQUENT CRIMINALITY -- THE PROPORTION OF COMMITTING A SERIOUS OFFENSE, THE LENGTH OF DELINQUENT CAREERS, AND THE PROPORTION OF BECOMING CHRONIC OFFENDERS -- WERE POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS FOUND. THE GENERAL CONCLUSION FROM ALL STUDY FINDINGS IS THAT A STRONG RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SEVERITY OF DISPOSITIONS AND SUBSEQUENT CRIMINALITY COULD NOT BE FOUND. FOOTNOTES, TABULAR DATA; 18 REFERENCES; AND APPENDIXES COMMENTING ON SIGNIFICANCE TEST, CELL SIZES, AND CONTROL VARIABLES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Impact prediction; Juvenile case disposition; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Juvenile Delinquent-nondelinquent comparisons; Labeling theory; Penalty severity rating; Racial discrimination; Social classes; Studies
Note: UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68811

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