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NCJ Number: 62784 Find in a Library
Title: ESCALATION OF EVIL - A STUDY IN THE BEHAVIOR OF JUVENILE
Journal: OSGOODE HALL LAW JOURNAL  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1978)  Pages:649-661
Author(s): J HAGAN; A A COLLINS
Corporate Author: York University
Osgoode Hall Law School
Canada
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: York University
Downsview, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THIS CANADIAN ARTICLE DISCUSSES THEORIES OF HOW JUDGES MAKE DECISIONS AND STUDIES JUDGES' DECISIONS IN JUVENILE CASES IN VIEW OF THESE THEORIES.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH JUVENILES IN CANADA ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TREATED AND REHABILITATED RATHER THAN PUNISHED, LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT THE COURTS' ATTITUDES AND DECISIONS ABOUT JUVENILE OFFENDERS. RESEARCHERS SUGGEST THREE THEORIES OF JUDICIAL DECISIONMAKING: LEGAL-CONSENSUS, JUDGES MAKE DECISIONS ACCORDING TO RULES AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS ONLY; CONFLICT-REALIST, EXTRALEGAL MATTERS SUCH AS A DEFENDANT'S RACE OR ECONOMIC STATUS DETERMINE DECISIONS; AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL, JUDGES MAKE DECISIONS ACCORDING TO HOW THEY VIEW THE FACTS AND BASED ON THEIR OWN PREJUDICES. STUDIES SUPPORT ALL THREE THEORIES, WITH THIS SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION RECONCILED BY CONSIDERING COURTS AS SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS WITH GOALS, SUCH AS KEEPING THE STREETS SAFE FROM CRIME. WHILE JUDGES' DECISIONS MAY BE HIGHLY INDIVIDUAL, ESPECIALLY WHERE DISCRETION IS GREAT, CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS (SUCH AS RACE, FAMILY INTEGRITY, OR ECONOMIC ACTIVITY THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE OFFENDER'S PROBABILITY OF COMMITTING FUTURE CRIME) WILL AFFECT OR IMPEL JUDGES DECISIONS. ONE STUDY COMPARES FINAL DISPOSITIONS IN 301 JUVENILE CASES FROM 1968-1976 IN TORONTO WITH VARIABLES SUCH AS THE OFFENDER'S RACE, PRIOR CONVICTIONS, SERIOUSNESS OF OFFENSE, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, AND FAMILY INTEGRITY. RESULTS INDICATE THAT JUDGES DISPOSE ACCORDING TO EXTRALEGAL AS WELL AS LEGAL REASONS, IN KEEPING WITH THE GOALS OF THE COURTS. SENTENCING FOR REASONS OTHER THAN PAST RECORD AND PRESENT OFFENSE IS UNFAIR AND STIGMATIZES CHILDREN. FOOTNOTES AND TABULAR INFORMATION ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Canada; Cultural influences; Decisionmaking; Judicial decisions; Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile codes; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62784

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