skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 134935 Find in a Library
Title: Images of Delinquency: Police and Court Statistics (From Delinquency and Youth Crime, Second Edition, P 75-120, 1992, Gary F Jensen and Dean G Rojek - See NCJ-134932)
Author(s): G F Jensen; D G Rojek
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Despite certain complexities associated with quantifying juvenile delinquency through statistics, the image of juvenile delinquency suggested by police and court data is generally consistent with public stereotyping but subject to numerous qualifications.
Abstract: Proclamations about the problem of juvenile delinquency typically cite a body of facts about youth crime or facts about juvenile delinquency. Statistics on juvenile delinquency are influenced by a wide range of factors other than the behavior of juveniles. Whether an event is recorded as a crime is a product of both public and police action and the interaction between the two. In addition, whether suspects become statistics as criminals or juvenile delinquents depends on such contingencies as offense committed, offense history, complainant preference, the way suspects and complainants interact with police, and organization and operational practices of police departments. Police and court statistics indicate that crime and juvenile delinquency increased rapidly from the 1960s through the mid-1970s but rates may have been much higher before the collection of statistics nationwide. For several decades, juveniles accounted for a growing proportion of arrests in national crime data but their contribution appeared to stabilize or decline for some offense categories beginning in the mid-1970s. Rates of crime and juvenile delinquency appear to be high in areas experiencing population changes and transitions and in cities as compared to rural settings, but differences between rural and urban settings seem to be declining. Males are more likely than females to appear in arrest and court statistics, young people between 10 and 17 years of age are disproportionately represented in arrest statistics, blacks have the highest overall arrest rates, and lower class young people disproportionately contribute to police and court statistics. Official statistics indicate relatively stable rates of arrest and referral for drug offenses, and studies of the processing of lower class young people suggest legal criteria (offense seriousness and prior record) explain disproportionate representations in police and court statistics. Moreover, females may receive either preferential or harsher treatment than males, depending on the offense and the stage of processing. The value of using statistics to study juvenile delinquency is discussed. 59 references and 10 figures
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency
Index Term(s): Black juvenile delinquents; Black/African Americans; Juvenile arrest statistics; Juvenile arrest trends; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquents; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile offense statistics; Male female juvenile offender comparisons; Minority juvenile offenders; Minority overrepresentation; Race-crime relationships; Rural crime; Rural urban comparisons; Urban criminality
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.