Makale özeti ve diğer detaylar.
Female offenders are the fastest growing population in the criminal justice system. The purpose of this study is to determine the month or months that most female juvenile offenses occur in Harris County (the largest county in the State of Texas), identify the average age of the offender, investigate the possibility of a relationship between ethnicity and referrals for offense of females identified in this population, evaluate the rate of increase/decrease of female juvenile referrals to the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department annually and over an 11-year period. The researchers obtained system information (offense date, age, date of birth and race) for 18,790 female juvenile offenders that were referred to the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD) from 1993-2004. The results indicated that during the 11-year time frame, the profile of juvenile offender became older (average age being 10 in 1993 and 14.5 by 2004) and more likely to be a minority (Latina or African American). Also, the month in which female juvenile offenders were most frequently referred to HCJD was December, followed by March and April. An evaluation of female juveniles referred between 1993 – 2004 to HCJPD compared to the Harris County female juvenile population showed a disproportionate representation of African American females entering the juvenile justice system for the first time. Finally, there was a significant increase in referrals seen from 1999 (878 referrals) to 2000 (3,408 referrals). Factors that may have contributed to these findings included: sexual, emotional, and physical abuse; mental illness, societal trends′, and juvenile laws and regulations.