Contemporary Issues in Juvenile Justice


When making placement decisions for juvenile offenders, court officers often consider the types of charges listed against them. We examined the pattern of offenses charged to residents of 7 types of placements in 1 county in Pennsylvania over a period of 2 years. Consistent, predictable patterns were found across placements, with more restrictive placements assigned to juveniles with more severe offenses, although there remained a considerable degree of variation in offenses represented in each placement type. The pattern of placements was different between genders as well, with female offenders being placed in less restrictive care even more often than their lower felony and misdemeanor rates would predict.