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NCJ Number: 76385 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Gender Bias in Juvenile Justice
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:47-80
Author(s): K S Teilmann; P H Landry
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Grant Number: 76-JN-99-0014; 77-JN-99-0018; 76-JN-99-1004; 74-NI-99-0045
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a study of juvenile arrest records, no evidence was found of discrimination against females in the juvenile justice system, overrepresentation of female status offenders in the system being a result only of parental intervention.
Abstract: A multiple correlational analysis and a more detailed tabular analysis were employed to determine if the case dispositions of juveniles made by police officers, probation officers, and judges were biased by the gender of the offenders or were accounted for by offense types and the prior records of juveniles. Two data sets were analyzed. The first consisted of complete arrest histories collected on a random sample of juveniles arrested in 1975, which were taken from the files of 33 police departments in one southern California county. The second data set was collected from a northern California county, an Arizona county, two Illinois counties, one county in Delaware, and two in Washington. The subjects were the 1976 preprogram comparison groups for these sites. Since no juveniles were to be admitted to the program or to the preprogram sample unless they had been referred because of a status offense, status offenders were overrepresented in this sample. The findings showed little gender-based bias once the youngsters were in the system. However, where bias existed it was more often directed against boys who were at particular risk for delinquent offenses. The findings also indicated that at the police, detention, and court decision points status offenders, especially incorrigibles, were the most likely to receive severe dispositions. Female status offenders were disproportionately represented in police, probations, court, and institutional populations, but this was a result of parental action. However, this study did not address such issues as quality of treatment, attitudes of officials toward girls versus boys, length of incarceration, and quality of correctional programs. A review of the relevant literature, statistical data, footnotes, and about 40 references are included.
Index Term(s): Dispositions; Female status offenders; Judicial discretion; Police decisionmaking; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Sex discrimination
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