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NCJ Number: 92186 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Community Context and the Deterrent Effect of Sanctions (From Evaluating Performance of Criminal Justice Agencies, P 165-181, 1983, Gordon P Whitaker and Charles D Philips, ed. - See NCJ-92180)
Author(s): R J Bursik
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 82-IJ-CX-001419
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings from a study of juvenile cases indicate that those studying the impact of juvenile court sanctions must consider how that impact can vary across difference environments and the possible interactions between general and specific deterrence in those environments.
Abstract: The basic data for this research were supplied from the sanctions given to youths first referred to the Cook County juvenile court (Illinois) during 1978, along with the results of subsequent court appearances. Due to the nature of the general project from which this chapter derives, the sample includes only first offenders referred to court on petitions pertaining to burglary, robbery, and aggravated assault. Of the 15,852 referrals to the Cook County juvenile court during 1978, 938 youths qualified for inclusion in the analysis. The study focused on two general community characteristics: (1) the overall delinquency rate of the neighborhood, as measured by the rate per 1,000 juveniles of contact with the police and referral to juvenile court on delinquency matters; and (2) the likelihood that a sanction will be imposed for an officially recorded delinquent act (the probability that police contact will result in an arrest and that a referral to juvenile court will result in the filing of a delinquency petition). Information was also obtained on ethnicity, gender, living situation, and age at first offense. Although the analysis indicates that individual juvenile court sanctions are fairly ineffective in deterring serious juvenile offenders, this conclusion must be tempered by three important considerations. First, the analysis could not generally differentiate, on the basis of initial court sanctions, between those who desist and those who recidivate. The primary deterrent for subsequent illegal behavior seems to be the community-specific probability that a police or court contact might result in a sanction being imposed. Further, the sample consists of a fairly select group, and the study focused on sanctions imposed for the first appearance in court. Tabular data and 33 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Court research; Deterrence effectiveness; Illinois; Juvenile courts
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