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NCJ Number: 51916 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: ALLEGHENY COUNTY (PA) - STATUS OFFENDER RESEARCH PROJECT
Author(s): P C KELLEY
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 83
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: DS-75-C-8C-9-651
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DATA ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF STATUS OFFENDERS IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA., AND ON THE SERVICES PROVIDED TO THEM THOUGH JUVENILE COURT (PROBATION) AND CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES ARE ANALYZED.
Abstract: THE STUDY ENCOMPASSES 117 YOUTHS WHO WERE ADJUDICATED STATUS OFFENDERS IN 1976. DATA ON THEIR CHARACTERISTICS PRIOR TO AND AFTER ADJUDICATION ARE PRESENTED AND ANALYZED, TOGETHER WITH DATA ON THE TYPES OF TREATMENT PROVIDED AND ON THE STATUS OF THE YOUTHS AS OF APRIL 1978. ALSO INCLUDED ARE THE RESULTS OF INTERVIEWS WITH SERVICE PROVIDERS--PROBATION OFFICERS, STAFF MEMBERS IN VARIOUS JUVENILE AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS, CHILD WELFARE WORKERS--AND WITH SOME OF THE STATUS OFFENDERS THEMSELVES. A MAJOR FINDING IS THE MAGNITUDE OF FAMILY DYSFUNCTION WITHIN THE STATUS OFFENDER POPULATION. MOST STATUS OFFENDERS (95.7 PERCENT) HAD EXPERIENCED AT SOME TIME ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: PARENTAL ABUSE (EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL, AND/OR SEXUAL); SEVERE PARENTAL ALCOHOLISM OR DRUG ADDICTION; LACK OF PARENTAL SUPERVISION, CONTROL, AND GUIDANCE; AND GENERAL FAMILY DYSFUNCTION, CHARACTERIZED BY POOR COMMUNICATION AMONG FAMILY MEMBERS. EIGHTY-ONE (69.2 PERCENT) HAD EXPERIENCED SERIOUS SCHOOL PROBLEMS (IRREGULAR ATTENDANCE, SERIOUS DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR, POOR GRADES). THE STUDY ALSO FOUND THAT RECIDIVISM RATES WERE HIGHER FOR STATUS OFFENDERS THAN FOR DELINQUENTS IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY. OF THE 117 STATUS OFFENSE CASES ADJUDICATED IN 1976, 35 (30 PERCENT) REAPPEARED IN COURT FOR ADJUDICATION OF ANOTHER STATUS OFFENSE WITHIN 1.5 YEARS. IN ADDITION, SIX REAPPEARED IN COURT FOR ADJUDICATION OF DELINQUENCY. AN ANALYSIS OF TREATMENT SERVICES PROVIDED TO STATUS OFFENDERS SHOWS THAT MORE FEMALES THAN MALES AND MORE BLACKS THAN WHITES REMAIN ACTIVE IN JUVENILE COURT AND CHILD WELFARE SERVICE PROGRAMS. THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH PROBATION OFFICERS AND CHILD WELFARE CASEWORKERS CONTACTED THEIR CLIENTS (ONCE EVERY 1 TO 5 MONTHS FOR THE FORMER, ONCE EVERY 1 TO 1.5 YEARS FOR THE LATTER). THIS DIFFERENCE REFLECTS IN PART DIFFERENCES IN CASELOADS. OVERALL, THE DATA INDICATE THAT STATUS OFFENDERS COME FROM FAMILIES WITH SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND THAT SOME FORM OF FAMILY THERAPY AND OUTREACH/COUNSELING SERVICES IS DESPERATELY NEEDED. ONLY TWO OF THE STATUS OFFENDERS AND THEIR FAMILIES WERE INVOLVED IN SUCH PROGRAMS. OF 21 STATUS OFFENDERS INTERVIEWED, OVER HALF WANTED TO RETURN TO OR REMAIN WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND WERE WILLING TO HELP RESOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS WITH THEIR FAMILIES. HOWEVER, FEW OF THE STATUS OFFENDERS WERE RECEIVING THE SPECIALIZED THERAPEUTIC, EDUCATIONAL, VOCATIONAL, AND OTHER SUPPORTIVE SERVICES THEY NEEDED. THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES FOR STATUS OFFENDERS IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY IS URGED. SUPPORTING DATA AND STUDY INSTRUMENTS ARE INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Child welfare; Juvenile status offenders; Pennsylvania; Probation or parole services; Studies
Note: UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURG - MASTERS DISSERTATION
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