Psychosocial predictors of clinicians' recommendations and judges' placement orders in a juvenile court

Philip C. O'Donnell, Arthur J. Lurigio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

A large proportion of youthful offenders who enter the juvenile justice system have psychiatric disorders and psychosocial risk factors that perpetuate delinquency, and addressing these issues has been a growing concern of juvenile courts nationwide. This study examines the relationship between the clinical information provided through comprehensive forensic assessments and clinicians' recommendations for placement (community setting vs. secure facility) and judges' sentencing decisions. The sample included 248 youth, ranging from 11 to 17 years old, who were adjudicated in the Cook County (Chicago) Juvenile Court. A reliable and valid approach for coding psychosocial variables is also presented as a prototype for future research. Consistent with previous studies, results show that judges are inclined to adopt clinical recommendations and that the material provided by comprehensive clinical evaluations could diminish the effects of offense and delinquency-based factors on dispositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1448
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Disposition
  • Forensic assessments
  • Juvenile courts
  • Psychosocial factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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