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The Liberation Hypothesis Perspective and Juvenile Court Outcomes: Implications for an Understanding of the Interplay Between Offender and Offense Characteristics

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Dated: 2019
Date Published

This study used a sample of delinquent referrals from a Northeast state for 10 years to examine the impact of race/ethnicity, gender, crime severity, and prior record, individually and in combination, on juvenile court outcomes.


Extensive empirical support demonstrates the importance of legal (e.g., crime severity, prior record) and extralegal factors (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender) in predicting juvenile court outcomes. An understudied area is inquiry into how certain extralegal factors interact with legal determinants to impact the social control of juveniles. Although the liberation hypothesis predicts that extralegal factors have a diminishing effect on case outcomes as the severity of the case increases, the current study found no support for this expectation. 78 references (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019