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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51574 Find in a Library
Title: YOUNG WOMEN IN THE ARMS OF THE LAW (FROM WOMEN, CRIME, AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 1978, BY LEE H BOWKER SEE NCJ-51572)
Author(s): M CHESNEY-LIND
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FEMALE DELINQUENCY AND THE TREATMENT OF YOUNG WOMEN BY THE JUVENILE COURTS, THE POLICE, AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: A REVIEW OF RESEARCH ON THE TREATMENT OF YOUNG WOMEN BY POLICE SUGGESTS THAT POLICE TRADITIONALLY HAVE IGNORED MUCH OF THE CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT OF YOUNG WOMEN, PARTICULARLY IF THE YOUNG WOMEN BEHAVED IN A STEREOTYPICALLY FEMALE MANNER (E.G., CRYING) WHEN APPREHENDED. POSSIBLE CHANGES IN THE DEMEANOR OF FEMALE SUSPECTS MAY BE ARTIFICIALLY INFLATING THE NUMBER OF ARRESTS OF JUVENILE WOMEN WITHOUT REFLECTING AN ACTUAL BEHAVIOR SHIFT. IT IS ALSO SUGGESTED, ALTHOUGH WITH LESS EMPIRICAL SUPPORT, THAT THE RISING NUMBER OF FEMALE JUVENILE ARRESTS COULD REFLECT ARCHAIC LAWS INSISTING ON JUVENILE DEPENDENCE ON PARENTS. A REVIEW OF JUDICIAL RESPONSES TO FEMALE MISBEHAVIOR SUGGESTS THAT, WHILE POLICE MAY BE ARRESTING MORE YOUNG WOMEN FOR CRIMINAL CONDUCT, THESE WOMEN TEND NOT TO REMAIN IN THE SYSTEM UNLESS THEIR MISBEHAVIOR IS DEFINED BY PARENTS OR COURT OFFICIALS AS PART OF A LARGER PATTERN OF DEFYING PARENTAL AUTHORITY. WOMEN WHO VIOLATE THE ADOLESCENT SEX ROLE REQUIRING OBEDIENCE TO THIS AUTHORITY ARE SEEN BY COURT OFFICIALS AS MORE SERIOUS OFFENDERS THAN THEIR COUNTERPARTS WHO HAVE ACTUALLY COMMITTED CRIMES. CONSEQUENTLY, WHILE SOME YOUNG WOMEN ARE ACCORDED CHIVALROUS TREATMENT IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM, THE EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT IT IS THE YOUNG WOMEN CHARGED WITH CRIMES WHO ARE THE BENEFICIARIES OF THIS POSITIVE SIDE OF PATERNALISM. THE EVIDENCE ALSO SHOWS THAT YOUNG WOMEN WHO PRESENT THE POSSIBILITY OF BECOMING SEXUAL DELINQUENTS RECEIVE HARSHER TREATMENT THAN YOUNG WOMEN SUSPECTED OF CRIMES. YOUNG WOMEN ACCUSED OF VIOLATING PARENTAL AUTHORITY AND SEXUAL NORMS ALSO ARE MORE HARSHLY CENSURED THAN YOUNG MALES CHARGED WITH THESE OFFENSES. DETENTION OF FEMALE STATUS OFFENDERS TENDS TO BE LONGER THAN FOR THOSE CHARGED WITH CRIMES OR FOR YOUNG MALES. TREATMENT INSIDE DETENTION FACILITIES SEEMS TO EMPHASIZE PERCEIVED SEX ROLES WITH SUCH COMMON PROCEDURES AS FORCED INTERNAL EXAMINATIONS OF ALL GIRLS UPON INTAKE. THE COURT'S ROLE IN ENFORCING PARENTAL AUTHORITY AND ADOLESCENT MORALITY RESULTS IN A PROCESS OF DIFFERENTIAL PERCEPTION THAT CONSTITUTES SEX DISCRIMINATION IN TWO WAYS: (1) THE COURT IS CLEARLY APPLYING THE LAW IN AN UNEQUAL MANNER; AND (2) THE COURT IS PUNISHING THE NONCRIMINAL BEHAVIOR OF FEMALES AS HARSHLY AS THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR OF MALES. AS IT STANDS, THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM SYSTEMATICALLY VIOLATES THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF WOMEN. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Female offenders; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system; Police discretion; Police juvenile relations; Role perception; Sex discrimination
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51574

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