Significant Gender Differences in Factors Related to the Detention of Youthful Offenders

  • Mallett C
  • Quinn L
  • Stoddard-Dare P
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An important priority of the U.S. juvenile justice system is to reduce the number of youthful offenders who are placed into secure detention placement. Though significant research examining these predictors exists, there is limited analysis of gender-specific predictors. Using existing juvenile court and mental health assessment case records of 433 youthful offenders from two Midwestern U.S. counties, this study sought to identify separately for males and females the legal (including number of delinquency adjudications, age at first delinquency adjudication, number of court offenses, and type of offense) and extralegal (including demographic, maltreatment, mental health, and school-related disabilities) factors that impact recidivism to detention placement. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that the predictors of recidivism leading to repeat secure detention placement were indeed different for males and females, although there were some shared predictors. For both genders, the number of court offenses and having a previous suicide attempt were significant predictors. In addition, for females, having a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and a misdemeanor offense were protective against recidivism. For males, three other variables significantly predicted recidivism: age, race, and a conduct disorder diagnosis. Adapted from the source document.

Author-supplied keywords

  • detention
  • extralegal factors
  • gender
  • legal factors
  • recidivism
  • youth

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