The following dissertation examines the role of ecological structures in juvenile justice systems, specifically during risk assessment, prosecution, and sanctioning. This analysis of system behavior considers religious establishments, public housing, and liquor stores as the ecological indicators and views them as stigmatizing. Quantitatively, the following examination sought to (a) determine associations between social ecology and risk assessments, prosecutions, and residential sanctioning, and to (b) determine if juvenile probation officers and judges are more stringent and judgmental toward delinquents from neighborhoods that have greater concentrations of religious establishments, public housing, and liquor stores. All adjudicated juvenile delinquents whose cases have been decided by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice in calendar years 2006, 2007 and 2008 were included in the analysis. Secondary data from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licenses, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, American Church List and the United States Census were used to address the research questions.
The databases were used to support the researcher's overall tenet that certain areas are perceived as disorganized, which leads to stricter expressions of risk assessment, prosecutions, and residential sanctions. It is hypothesized that, (1) risk assessment levels are higher in areas with more religious establishments, public housing, and liquor stores; (2) zip codes with more prosecutions will consequently be those with more of the stigmatized ecological structures; and (3) an increase in religious establishments, public housing, and liquor stores will generate an increase in residential sanctions.
It was expected that the relationship between the independent and dependent variables would be significant, over and beyond demographic and legal factors. In the analysis, area demographics of population density; and juvenile demographics of age, race, ethnicity, and gender, along with current and prior legal history, were controlled for to determine the predictive value of the independent variables of religious establishments, public housing, and liquor stores on the dependent variables of risk assessment, prosecutions, and residential sanctions. Prior to statistical analysis, the data was merged and aggregated by zip code to reflect area composition, resulting in a dataset of 298 zip codes and 21 variables. To examine these relationships, analyses were done on a bi-variate and multi-variate level. Multi-variate analysis was performed using hierarchical regression. Three models were designed, considering demographics, and then adding legal variables, followed by ecological structures, to make the complete model.
|Commitee:||Freilich, Joshua, Shane, Jon|
|School:||City University of New York|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law, Criminology, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Ecology, Juvenile justice, Liquor stores, Public housing, Religious establishment, Urban area|
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