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Circuit Court Involved Youth in Virginia: A Descriptive, Cross-Sectional, Quantitative Research Study

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By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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Abstract

My dissertation study, completed in 2005, grew from curiosity about juveniles in the adult justice system. I completed a descriptive, quantitative analysis depicting juveniles aged 14–17 years who were prosecuted in Virginia circuit courts as though they were adults. Recently revised, the study spans the years 1993 to 2013. Using many combinations of keywords including ‘teen and murder’, ‘prosecuted’ ‘as an adult’, ‘tried’ ‘as adults’ and ‘waived to circuit court’, the juveniles were identified through Richmond Times Dispatch, The Roanoke Times, and The Virginian-Pilot newspaper articles. Criminal records were obtained from the Virginia Court Case Information system and the Inmate Status Information System. Data were analyzed using the IBM software package SPSS Statistics; the cohort consists of 182 male defendants (91%). Ethnic composition includes 22% White, 72% Black, and 4% Hispanic. The mean age is 16.08 years, the number of defendants increased with age, and charges ranged from capital murder to petit larceny. At every level, youth of color received harsher sanctions during sentencing, years of probation assigned, and the like. Twenty percent of Black youth were condemned to 50 years or more in prison, compared to 13% of White teens.

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Statistical inference

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