Structure Matters: Predicting Juvenile Justice System Behavior

Structure Matters: Predicting Juvenile Justice System Behavior

Structure Matters: Predicting Juvenile Justice System Behavior

Structure Matters: Predicting Juvenile Justice System Behavior

Synopsis

Cooke examines the value of ecological structures in predicting juvenile justice system behavior, specifically during risk assessment, prosecution, and sanction determination. Her analysis considers religious establishments, public housing sites, and retail liquor stores as the ecological indicators and views them as stigmatizing and determinant of system behavior Through aggregating ecological, legal, and demographic data by zip code, the examination determined (a) associations between social ecology and juvenile justice decision points and (b) the degree to which juvenile probation officers and judges were more stringent and judgmental toward delinquents from neighborhoods with greater concentrations of the analyzed ecological structures.

Excerpt

This book examines the role of ecological structures in the juvenile justice system. From a sociological standpoint, we know that individuals relate to community structures, and that these structures contribute greatly to shared community sentiments. The research reported here considers these factors in an analysis of juvenile justice system behavior. The research is theoretically based, and represents a macro-level analysis addressing the predictive value of the presence of religious establishments, of public housing units, and of retail liquor stores on juvenile justice system assessments of risk, on prosecutorial decisions, and on residential sanctioning. This examination, in comparison to prior relevant analyses, is unique in that it pertains to the actions of juvenile justice system agents as opposed to involving the agents of delinquent activity. Quantitatively, this research offers substantial new insight into the influence of local ecological factors on juvenile justice system outcomes.

There is a plethora of research on juvenile justice, and much of that research focuses upon particular key decision points present throughout the system. Much of this research focuses on the demographic background of offenders rather than examining structural components of the local environments in which . . .

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