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“Which Substance and What Community? Differences in Juvenile Disposition Severity”

Terry-McElrath, Yvonne M.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) CRIME & DELINQUENCY. 51(4): 548-572.

There is a need in the literature for research describing disposition severity differences
between specific drug and alcohol law violations within the context of community characteristics.
We conducted an exploratory study of prosecutor-reported juvenile disposition
severity by both specific drug charge and community context using a national sample
of prosecutors from communities surrounding schools participating in the nationally
representative Monitoring the Future survey. Results indicated (a) strong within- and
between-substance disposition severity variance as well as (b) evidence for differential
effects of both prosecutor case load and community characteristics, including
community income, ethnicity, and region.


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