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NCJ Number: 236323 Find in a Library
Title: Violent Girls or Relabeled Status Offenders?: An Alternative Interpretation of the Data
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:55  Issue:2  Dated:April 2009  Pages:241-265
Author(s): Barry C. Feld
Date Published: April 2009
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2004-JF-FX-K001
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the rise in arrests of girls for simple and aggravated assault.
Abstract: Policymakers and juvenile justice officials express alarm over the rise in arrests of girls for simple and aggravated assault. Others see this perceived increase as an artifact of decreased public tolerance for violence, changes in parental attitudes or law enforcement policies, or heightened surveillance of domestic violence, which disproportionately affects girls. The author contends that the social construction of girls' violence may reflect policy changes in the juvenile justice system itself, especially the deinstitutionalization of status offenders. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act deinstitutionalization mandates encouraged “bootstrapping” or “relabeling” female status offenders as delinquents to retain access to facilities in which to confine “incorrigible” girls. The author analyzes data on changes in arrest patterns and confinement for boys and girls charged with simple and aggravated assault, arguing that differences in rates, victims, and confinement for “violent” boys and girls support a relabeling interpretation of the supposed rise in girls' violence consistent with the social construction thesis. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Aggravated assault; Female status offenders; Juvenile arrest trends; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Labeling theory; Violent females
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