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NCJ Number: 220187 Find in a Library
Title: Family Affair: The Juvenile Court and Family Violence Cases
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:22  Issue:7  Dated:October 2007  Pages:501-509
Author(s): Erika Gebo
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on an analysis of detained adolescents in a small northeastern State, this study examined differences in the characteristics and court dispositions of adolescents who assaulted a family member and adolescents who assaulted a nonfamily victim.
Abstract: The study found that adolescent girls were significantly more likely to be in detention for assaulting a family member compared with adolescents detained for violence against a nonfamily victim. Offenders against a family member were significantly more likely to have no prior contact with the juvenile justice system compared with nonfamily offenders. Also, the injuries caused to victims were less severe for family victims compared with nonfamily victims. Mothers were the most likely victims of adolescent assaults on family members. Analysis of data on dispositions shows that adolescents who attacked a family member were more likely to be released to a community sentence at disposition compared with adolescents who assaulted a nonfamily member; however, the number of prior offenses was the strongest predictor of dispositions, regardless of the victim's relationship to the offender. There were no differences in court-ordered family counseling between family and nonfamily offenders. Future research should focus on the distinctive trajectories of adolescents who engage in family violence compared with those whose delinquent acts are outside the family, in order to determine whether distinctive family interventions are appropriate when family violence is involved. The study investigated the court records for all juvenile detainees over a 1-year period (August 2000-August 2001) in four counties of the State. Detainees were juveniles placed in secure custody at any point during their court proceedings. Only youth who were charged with personal assault and/or battery were included in the analysis. The study focused on 132 youth, with 72 (55 percent) detained for family violence offenses. 5 tables and 44 references
Main Term(s): Violent juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Assault and battery; Comparative analysis; Family offenses; Juvenile case disposition; Offender profiles; Offense characteristics; Parent-Child Relations; Victim-offender relationships
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