Formal System Processing of Juveniles: Effects on Delinquency

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/64674
http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-dspace-646746
http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-6096
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Date: 2010-01
Source: Campbell Systematic Reviews, 1, 2010
Language: English
Faculty: Kriminologisches Repository
Kriminologisches Repository
Department: Kriminologie
DDC Classifikation: 360 - Social problems and services; associations
Keywords: Jugendkriminalität , Strafzumessung , Jugendgericht
Other Keywords:
Juvenile delinquency
Review
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Abstract:

Justice practitioners have tremendous discretion on how to handle juvenile offenders. Police officers, district attorneys, juvenile court intake officers, juvenile and family court judges, and other officials can decide whether the juvenile should be “officially processed” by the juvenile justice system, diverted from the system to a program, counseling or some other services, or to do nothing at all (release the juvenile altogether). An important policy question is which strategy leads to the best outcomes for juveniles. This is an important question in the United States, but many other nations are concerned with the decision to formally process or divert juvenile offenders. There have been a number of randomized experiments in the juvenile courts that have examined the impact of juvenile system processing that should be gathered together in a systematic fashion to provide rigorous evidence about the impact of this decision on subsequent offending by juveniles. Our objective is to answer the question: Does juvenile system processing reduce subsequent delinquency? Based on the evidence presented in this report, juvenile system processing appears to not have a crime control effect, and across all measures appears to increase delinquency. This was true across measures of prevalence, incidence, severity, and self-report. Given the additional financial costs associated with system processing (especially when compared to doing nothing) and the lack of evidence for any public safety benefit, jurisdictions should review their policies regarding the handling of juveniles.

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