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NCJ Number: 173337 Find in a Library
Title: Institutional Responses to Misconduct in Juvenile Prisons
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:8  Issue:2-3  Dated:1997  Pages:247-268
Author(s): J M MacDonald
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 22
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the correlates of discretionary decision-making in disciplinary hearings within juvenile institutions.
Abstract: The study subjects were the male members of two randomly selected cohorts of youths released to parole by a western State's juvenile corrections department in the fiscal years 1981- 82 (between July 1, 1981, and June 30, 1982) and 1986-87. There were 1,323 males in the combined sample. For the purposes of this study, the prior criminal history, personal, and social characteristics, as well as institutional behavior and dispositions were examined. Discretion at the disciplinary hearing was assessed to learn if disparities existed. Discretion was measured through analysis of infraction charges, prior institutional misconduct history, prior gang involvement, violent criminal history, race of the offender, the level of institutional security, and the final disposition of isolation time. The dependent variable was examined for those offenders who were charged with misconduct offenses, brought in front of a disciplinary board; and once found guilty, given a sanction. The analysis of discretion used a logistic regression model that examined the difference between those found guilty and sentenced to isolation and those found guilty and given other prescribed sanctions of less severity. The model examined how the extent of prior violent criminal history, institutional misbehavior, race, and current offense charge related to the final disposition of isolation time. The results show, as hypothesized, that disciplinary boards consider violent criminal history when determining whether or not to commit an offender to isolation time. These findings suggest that isolation is, in part, given to those offenders who are viewed as the most dangerous and potentially predatory to staff and inmates. Race did not have a significant effect on whether a juvenile inmate received an isolation sentence. Implications are drawn for future research. 15 notes, 3 tables, and a 63-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Juvenile inmate misconduct
Index Term(s): Discretionary decisions; Inmate discipline; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile inmates
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