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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 219335 Find in a Library
Title: Ecological Analysis of Crime Rates and Police Discretion With Young Persons: A Replication
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:49  Issue:2  Dated:April 2007  Pages:261-277
Author(s): Jennifer L. Schulenberg; Joanna C. Jacob; Peter J. Carrington
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study replicates and extends previous research published in this journal (Schulenberg, 2003), which used 1991 data to analyze the factors that influenced police use of formal social control with apprehended youth in Canada.
Abstract: Using 2001 data on municipal crime rates and police discretionary decisionmaking with apprehended youth, the findings of the current study are consistent with those of the previous study, with one significant exception. Schulenberg (2003) found that urbanization and social disorganization in a community increased police use of formal social control with apprehended youth, but that criminal opportunity and police workload had no such impact on police discretion in managing youth. The current research produced similar findings. The only substantial inconsistency between the results of the current research and the earlier research was in the assessment of the overload hypothesis, which proposes that police make less use of formal social control in communities where their resources are stretched by high crime rates and/or low police strength. Whereas Schulenberg found no support for this hypothesis, the current research found that per capita police strength had the hypothesized positive association, and police workload had the hypothesized negative link with the charging of apprehended youth. The difference in the results for police strength, but not police workload, can be explained by the use of the log transformation in the current research, and the use of additional control variables may also have uncovered suppressor effects that remained buried in the model estimated in the earlier research. The two dependent variables were the municipal crime rate and police use of formal social control. Data for the independent variables came from the Census (Statistics Canada 2002) for community characteristics and the Police Administration Survey for indicators of police workload. 2 tables, 6 notes, and 10 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile processing
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Foreign police; Opportunity theory; Police discretion; Police juvenile diversion; Police juvenile relations; Social conditions; Urbanization
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