Getting tough on juvenile crime: an analysis of costs and benefits

Recent decades have seen juvenile justice broaden its focus from the child and treatment to include offenses and accountability. This expansion, manifest in juvenile codes that support punishment and doctrines that include transfers to adult criminal court, has had significant caseload and fiscal im...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Main Author: Fass, Simon M.
Contributors: Pi, Chung-ron (Author)
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2002
In:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Year: 2002, Volume: 39, Issue: 4, Pages: 363-399
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 31
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USA
Description
Summary:Recent decades have seen juvenile justice broaden its focus from the child and treatment to include offenses and accountability. This expansion, manifest in juvenile codes that support punishment and doctrines that include transfers to adult criminal court, has had significant caseload and fiscal impacts. However, a scarcity of pertinent research and of cost-benefit analyses leaves unclear whether this newer, get tough focus achieves greater delinquency reduction than previously attained. Combined with a quasi-experimental empirical simulation of the effects of punitive sanctions, a cost-benefit analysis of alternative dispositions in Dallas County, Texas, suggests that harsher sentencing can indeed prevent some offenses. The value of this gain, however, is much less than its cost to produce. As a result, by consuming public resources that might otherwise be invested in more productive purposes within or outside the justice system, the policy of toughness visits substantial opportunity costs on communities that embrace it
ISSN:0022-4278
DOI:10.1177/002242702237285