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NCJ Number: 191101 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Court Dispositions: Peceptions of Canadian Juvenile Offenders
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:45  Issue:5  Dated:October 2001  Pages:593-605
Author(s): Michele Peterson-Badali; Martin D. Ruck; Christopher J. Koegl
Date Published: October 2001
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the perceptions of young Canadian offenders regarding youth court dispositions.
Abstract: There is a great deal of concern regarding the effectiveness of youth court dispositions in Canada and the United States. Juvenile court sentences are perceived by the public as too lenient and a contributing factor to youth crime. In contrast to the public outcry, available research suggested that harsher sentences and transfers to adult court do not serve as deterrents for young people. An examination of how juvenile offenders perceive their sentences can add to the understanding of the functions that these dispositions serve in their lives and the extent to which they fulfill the goal of crime control through deterrence. Fifty-three young male offenders from Canada ranging in age from 13 to 17 participated in the study. They were interviewed about their perceptions of youth court dispositions and what offender, offense, and disposition characteristics predicted their beliefs about the specific and general deterrent value of their sentences. Juveniles varied in their perceptions about their sentences as deterrents, but the characteristics examined did not adequately account for this variation. Their perceptions reflected multiple approaches to achieving deterrence, including not only the get-tough focus on dispositions as punishments but also the role that sentences played in helping young offenders achieve personal change. The results of this study cast doubt on the validity of increasing the punitiveness of sentences to achieve deterrence. 2 tables, 22 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile arrest trends; Juvenile court trends; Juvenile offender attitudes
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Attitudes; Juvenile attitudes toward authority; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile sentencing; Sentencing/Sanctions
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