The Detention Decision: A Study of the Impact of Social Characteristics and Legal Factors in Two Metropolitan Juvenile Courts

Lawrence E. Cohen, James R. Kluegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we examine the use of social characteristics and legal factors as criteria in making decisions about the detention of juveniles prior to adjudication. This research is based on data from two metropolitan courts (Denver and Memphis) that differ in their orientation to juvenile justice as well as regional location. Exploiting Goodman's method of log linear analysis to uncover relationships among categorical variables we find: (1) the major determinants of juvenile detention or release (prior to adjudication) are present activity (whether a juvenile is conventionally active or idle), prior record, and the orientation to juvenile justice held by the court; (2) there is no evidence of direct race or social class bias in the detention decision; but (3) there is some evidence for what may be viewed as a sex bias in the treatment of female youths referred for decorum offenses and males referred for property and violent offenses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-161
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Forces
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Detention Decision: A Study of the Impact of Social Characteristics and Legal Factors in Two Metropolitan Juvenile Courts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this