SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Guevara, L., Herz, D., & Spohn, C. (2006). Gender and juvenile justice decision making: What role does race play? Feminist Criminology, 1(4), 258–282.

Abstract: This study examines the independent and interactive effects of race and gender on juvenile justice decision-making. Using data from a sample of juvenile court referrals from two midwestern juvenile courts, this study looks at males and females separately by race. The results indicate that the effect of race on the pre-adjudication detention and disposition outcomes varies by gender. The severity or leniency of the outcomes is determined by race, gender, and an interaction of the two. This study underscores the need to examine juvenile justice decision-making with a multistage analysis to unravel the intricate effects of race and gender.

Article 2: Guevara, L., Herz, D., & Spohn, C. (2004). Race, legal representation, and juvenile justice: Issues and concerns. Crime and Delinquency, 50, 344–371.

Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the influence of type of counsel across race on juvenile court outcomes. Using data from a sample of juvenile court referrals from two midwestern juvenile courts, this study examined the interaction of race and type of counsel on disposition outcome. The results indicated that youth without an attorney were the most likely to have the charges dismissed, and this effect was more pronounced for non-White youth. In addition, non-White youth represented by a private attorney were significantly more likely than similar White youth to receive a secure confinement disposition.

Article 3: Smith, D. (2005). The effectiveness of the juvenile justice system. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 5(2), 181–195.

Abstract: Systematic assessment of the substantial research evidence on “what works” has shown that flagship programs have a modest effect, on average, in changing the future behavior of young offenders. Yet, actual juvenile justice systems do not typically deliver the modest benefits provided by programs selected for evaluation and probably they never will. Comparative research shows that a passive and lenient juvenile justice system may produce the same level of youth offending as an active and punitive one. Evidence that some programs work should not be used as a platform for expanding the scope and activity of the juvenile justice system. Instead, the influence of juvenile justice on the future behavior of young offenders should be seen as just one element in the evaluation of a system that will always struggle to meet a complex range of partly conflicting objectives.