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NCJ Number: 140484 Find in a Library
Title: Predictors of Legal Intervention in Child Maltreatment Cases
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:16  Issue:6  Dated:(November-December 1992)  Pages:807-821
Author(s): P G Tjaden; N Thoennes
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 15
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A sample of 833 cases of substantiated child maltreatment reported to child protection services agencies in Denver, Los Angeles, and Newcastle (Delaware) between 1985 and 1986 was used to examine the incidence and case characteristics of various types of agency and legal interventions including treatment plan development, out-of-home placements, dependency filings, and criminal prosecutions.
Abstract: Using chi-square and determinant analyses, the researchers found that legal intervention is relatively rare. Dependency filings and prosecutions occurred in just 21 percent and 4 percent of the sample, respectively. In contrast, 50 percent of the cases resulted in out-of-home placement of the child and 75 percent of the cases were managed through treatment plans. Of those cases that were prosecuted, 80 percent proceeded to plea bargain or trial, resulting in a 92-percent conviction rate; 75 percent of convicted offenders received probation or deferred sentences. The best predictors of dependency filings included abandonment, sexual abuse, frequent maltreatment, and severe maltreatment. Cases involving sexual abuse, severe maltreatment, a nonparent perpetrator, an ethnic minority perpetrator, a female victim, and a victim between the ages of 7 and 12 were most likely to be prosecuted. 10 tables and 44 references
Main Term(s): Child abuse and neglect hearings; Prosecution
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Juvenile case management; Juvenile dependency and neglect
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