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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73419 Find in a Library
Title: Young Female Offenders - Analysis of Differential Handling Based on Sex - Special Report
Author(s): D D Smith
Corporate Author: National Ctr for Juvenile Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for Juvenile Justice
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2363
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Delinquency estimates for 1977 developed by the National Uniform Juvenile Justice Reporting System were analyzed to identify differences in handling male and female offenders by the juvenile courts.
Abstract: Historically, research into differential court processing based on sex has been limited by small samples and a restricted number of participating jurisdictions. This study also examined a subsample of all 1977 data received, consisting of over 500,000 cases from 856 courts. Females were involved in one-fourth of all cases processed by the Nation's courts and 170 percent more likely than male offenders to be referred to the court for status offenses. The major status offenses committed by females were running away, ungovernable behavior, and truancy. Females were also much more likely to be referred by parents, schools, and other nonlaw enforcement entities, although the degree to which this occurred varied by offense category. Referral by law enforcement agencies was more common in drug, property, and violent offenses than status offenses. In 1977, 45 percent of the male cases had prior court records, compared to 34 percent of the female cases. Females, however, were slightly more likely to be detained, particularly for status offenses. An analysis of dispositions showed that female cases generally were 14 percent more likely to be dismissed than males and that female offenders were 52 percent less likely to be sent to an institution. In all cases, female status offenders received more restrictive dispositions than males. Fewer females than males were represented by legal counsel, possibly because they were more likely to be processed without a petition. Proportionately more white females were processed by courts than were females of a racial minority. When considering living arrangements of the youth, females were only slightly less likely than males to be processed by courts if they were currently living with their natural parents. Statistical data are presented in percentages in 19 tables, accompanied by a conversion factor chart. Footnotes are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime Statistics; Female juvenile delinquents; Female status offenders; Juvenile processing; Sex discrimination
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