Selecting Delinquents for Adjudication: An Analysis of Intake Screening Decisions in Two Metropolitan Juvenile Courts

Lawrence E. Cohen, James R. Kluegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of discriminatory factors and legal criteria on intake officers' decisions to treat a case formally versus informally in two juvenile courts which differ in their legal philosophy (therapeutic v. due process). Because earlier research on intake decision making has been characterized by inadequate analytic techniques, this study analyzes multivariate relationships among qualitative variables using Goodman's method of log-linear analysis to identify the factors related to intake decisions in the Denver and Memphis juvenile courts. No support is found for the contention that race and class bias affect this decision in either court. Rather, our data indicate that sex, court philosophy, and type of offense have the most influence on the intake unit's case treatment decision. Prior record and being idle versus employed/in school were also found to influence this decision. The inconsistent findings of previous research are attributed to methodological inadequacies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-163
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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