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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134679 Find in a Library
Title: Police and Court Dispositions (From Delinquency Careers in Two Birth Cohorts, P 245-272, 1990, by Paul E Tracy, Marvin E. Wolfgang, et al., -- See NCJ-134672)
Author(s): P E Tracy; M E Wolfgang; R M Figlio
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from official records regarding 9,945 males born in Philadelphia in 1945 and 13,160 males born in Philadelphia in 1958 provided information about the police and juvenile court dispositions applied to the offenses committed.
Abstract: Philadelphia police officers have wide discretion in choosing dispositions, which range from warnings (remedial processing) that are recorded to official arrests. The decisions are governed by five official, written criteria and three informal criteria. These include previous police contacts, the type of offense, the family situation, and victim and offender attitudes. The data revealed that index offenses were more likely to result in arrest, adjustment, or court penalty than were nonindex offenses. In addition, nonwhite youths were more frequently arrested or further disposed beyond a remedial disposition than were white youths, even for the same offense category. However, socioeconomic status did not greatly affect these results. Further analysis indicated that the judicial process has been able to screen out chronic juvenile offenders fairly well. However, the judicial process and the treatment approaches do not seem to function effectively to restrain, discourage, prevent, or cure juvenile delinquency. Tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile processing; Police discretion
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Male juvenile delinquents; Pennsylvania
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