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NCJ Number: 99491 Find in a Library
Title: Status Offenders - Roles, Rules, and Reactions (From Juvenile Delinquency - A Justice Perspective, P 17-26, 1985, Ralph a Weisheit and Robert G Culbertson, eds. - See NCJ-99489)
Author(s): J P Murray
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews existing research on the background characteristics and offense patterns of status offenders in order to determine whether they are worthy of the effort of intervention by the court or other agencies.
Abstract: One view of status offenders maintains their rejection of authority as expressed through running away or truancy could lead to delinquency or situations that encourage delinquent behavior. Others argue that status offenders have more in common with the typical rebellious teenager than youths engaging in serious criminal behavior. Studies that have tried to evaluate the scope of the status offender problem for police, courts, and social services have generally found that these agencies spend most of their time with misdemeanants and serious delinquents rather than status offenders. Studies in self-reported involvement in status offenses, however, have discovered that over 90 percent of the youngsters admit to engaging in behavior that would be considered a status offense if known to the police. Available evidence also suggests that status offenders do re-enter the system with recidivism rates ranging from a low of 17 percent to upwards of 50 percent. Thus, those who exhibit noncriminal behavior are a problem for the police and courts because they return so often. Research into whether status offenders escalate into delinquents has produced mixed results, but evidence indicates that status offenders in the short term recidivate as status offenders. Where there is evidence of escalation, it is usually status offenders becoming misdemeanants rather than felons. These data suggest that while status offenders are troubled youth who are worthy of effort, perhaps they require a different response from the juvenile justice system.
Index Term(s): Juvenile crime patterns; Juvenile justice research; Juvenile status offenders; Offender profiles; Recidivism statistics
Note: Reprinted from 1983 Status Offender - A Sourcebook, Boys Town Center.
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