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Exploring the Impact of Institutional Placement on the Recidivism of Delinquent Youth

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $20,000)

Research Goals and Objectives

Statement of Purpose: This dissertation examines the relationship between institutional placement (incarceration) and recidivism among a sample of New York City juvenile delinquents. In addition to assessing the aggregate impact of placement on recidivism, the research seeks to discern factors that may condition this relationship, thus differentiating profiles of youth who are most impacted by placement, and those who are not. Theoretical frameworks adopted from criminological scholarship have been used to generate testable hypotheses about characteristics of youth that may affect the relationship between placement and recidivism. This research tests the hypothesis that the overall effect of placement will vary by degree of conventional social bonding and neighborhood of residence. Such an effort can intelligently inform juvenile justice decision-makers in their attempts to classify and sentence delinquent youth.

Research Subjects: Subjects of this research are 736 juvenile delinquents who received a disposition in New York City family courts between April and June of 2000. Study subjects were selected by examining family court calendars and identifying all juvenile delinquents who received a disposition during this period. Thus, this dataset should be representative of the population of youth who are currently adjudicated in the New York City family court.

Proposed Research Design and Methodology

Methods: Detailed information pertaining to subjects' legal and social histories has been coded from New York City Department of Probation case files, producing a rich baseline dataset. In order to conduct analyses, baseline data have been linked to recidivism data using personal and numeric identifiers, which will later be separated from the main dataset to ensure the anonymity of study subjects.

Data Analysis and Products: Bivariate and multivariate analyses including logistic regression and survival analysis, will examine the relationship between placement and recidivism. Recidivism measures will be indicated by rearrests, rearrests for violent offenses, rearrests for felonies, and rearrests for violent felonies. The follow-up period for measuring recidivism will be eighteen months. Statistical models will control for relevant predictors of criminal behavior in order to assess the effect of placement on recidivistic outcomes. To test hypotheses about factors that may condition this relationship, multivariate models will include variables that indicate theoretically relevant social, legal and community characteristics in.

Date Created: May 2, 2005