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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 154497 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Court Structure on Juvenile Court Decisionmaking
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:(1995)  Pages:63-82
Author(s): J B Johnson; P E Secret
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 20
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used data from courts in Nebraska for the period between 1982 and 1987 to examine differences in adjudication (delinquent or dismissed) and final disposition (transfer of custody or no transfer of custody) in specialized juvenile courts compared to courts of general jurisdiction hearing cases involving juvenile defendants.
Abstract: In addition to the dependent variables of disposition and adjudication, and the independent variable of court type, extralegal variables included race, sex, and age, while legal variables included seriousness of the instant offense and prior juvenile activity. The results show that court type does affect this stage of the juvenile justice process, where delinquency or nondelinquency is decided. Juveniles tried in courts of mixed jurisdiction were more likely to be convicted than those whose cases were heard in specialized juvenile courts. With respect to adjudication, county courts were harsher than juvenile courts. Differences at the adjudication stage, however, do not necessarily mean that the principle of parens patriae is weakened at this decision point. Parens patriae in fact, may be well served by the attention of county courts to a wider group of youths in need of rehabilitation and social services. 5 tables, 14 notes, and 58 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Court structure; Courts; General Jurisdiction Courts; Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile case disposition; Juvenile courts; Nebraska; Parens patriae
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