Prosecuting Adolescents in Juvenile and Criminal Jurisdictions in Selected Counties in New Jersey and New York, 1992-1993 (ICPSR 3976)
Principal Investigator(s): Kupchik, Aaron, New York University, Department of Sociology
A different model of justice is assumed to be reflected in the prosecution of adolescents in juvenile jurisdictions compared to criminal jurisdictions, with a juvenile justice model in the juvenile jurisdiction and a criminal justice model in the criminal jurisdiction. These two models of justice are believed to be very different from one another across three dimensions: formality of case processing, evaluation of defendants, and punishment. This research project compared the prosecution and punishment of adolescent felony offenders in the New Jersey juvenile jurisdiction and the New York criminal jurisdiction to determine whether these two models of justice varied across the two jurisdiction types. Data from this collection were used by the researcher only to examine the dimension of punishment severity across jurisdiction types and across courts within each jurisdiction type. Data were collected on comparable cases of adolescent felony offenders from counties in New Jersey and New York. Due to the very different boundaries between juvenile and criminal jurisdictions in these adjacent states, the data include cases (matched by offense and offender age) in New Jersey's juvenile jurisdiction and New York's criminal jurisdiction. Cases of 15- and 16-year-old defendants who had been charged with aggravated assault, robbery, or burglary in three counties of New Jersey and three counties of New York City in 1992 and 1993 were sampled. Variables include offender characteristics, such as age at offense, sex, race, and ethnicity, offense characteristics, court action and sentencing information, state, and county.
These data are freely available.
Kupchik, Aaron. PROSECUTING ADOLESCENTS IN JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL JURISDICTIONS IN SELECTED COUNTIES IN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK, 1992-1993. ICPSR version. New York, NY: New York University, Department of Sociology [producer], 2003. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03976.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03976.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2001-IJ-CX-0005)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: adolescents, case processing, criminal courts, criminal justice system, jurisdiction, juvenile courts, juvenile offenders, prosecution, punishment
Smallest Geographic Unit: county
Geographic Coverage: New Jersey, New York, United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: Individuals
Universe: Adolescent felony offenders in three counties in New Jersey and three counties in New York in 1992 and 1993.
Data Types: event/transaction data
Data Collection Notes:
(1) The qualitative data collected as part of this grant and extensively described in the project's final report and the quantitative data described in Appendix A of the final report are not available from ICPSR. (2) The user guide and codebook are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.
Study Purpose: An important shift in the prosecution and punishment of adolescents is the increasingly frequent transfer of youth from the juvenile jurisdiction to the criminal jurisdiction previously reserved primarily for adults. A different model of justice is assumed to be reflected in the prosecution of adolescents in each of these two legal forums, with a juvenile justice model in the juvenile jurisdiction and a criminal justice model in the criminal jurisdiction. These two models of justice are believed to be very different from one another across three dimensions: formality of case processing, evaluation of defendants, and punishment. This research project compared the prosecution and punishment of adolescent felony offenders in the New Jersey juvenile jurisdiction and the New York criminal jurisdiction to determine whether these two models of justice varied across the two jurisdiction types. The researcher examined whether both jurisdiction types actually practiced juvenile justice, both practiced criminal justice, or one practiced juvenile justice and the other criminal justice. Additionally, the researcher examined whether the two models of justice varied along only one or two of the dimensions, while maintaining similarity along other dimensions. The project also investigated court-level variation within jurisdiction. Data from this collection were used by the researcher only to examine the dimension of punishment severity across jurisdiction types and across courts within each jurisdiction type for three punishment outcomes -- pretrial detention, final case disposition, and length of custodial sentence. The central questions in regard to these data were: (1) Does jurisdiction type affect punishment severity when controlling for other relevant factors? and (2) Does court context affect punishment severity when controlling for jurisdiction type?
Study Design: In order to compare case processing across juvenile and criminal jurisdictions, data were collected on comparable cases of adolescent felony offenders from counties in New Jersey and New York. Due to the very different boundaries between juvenile and criminal jurisdictions in these adjacent states, the data include cases (matched by offense and offender age) in New Jersey's juvenile jurisdiction and New York's criminal jurisdiction. Cases of 15- and 16-year-old defendants were sampled who had been charged with aggravated assault, robbery, or burglary in three counties of New Jersey and three counties of New York City in 1992 and 1993. These three offense types were chosen because they are all serious felony charges and are among the most common offenses from the list of juvenile offender (JO) eligible offenses and thus provided a large sample. The age range includes both adolescents excluded from the juvenile jurisdiction by the JO Law in New York (15-year-olds) and individuals who are above New York's general age of criminal majority (16-year-olds). Thus the New York data are able to show how adolescents fare in the criminal jurisdiction regardless of the legal method by which they arrived there (both exclusion from the juvenile jurisdiction and surpassing the general age of majority).
Sample: In order to reduce the likelihood of disparate environmental and organizational influences, the sample included two states within a single social and criminal justice milieu. Within Northeastern New Jersey, juvenile jurisdictions in three counties that border the Hudson River were studied. These counties (Essex, Hudson, and Passaic) are among the most populous in the state and each includes large urban areas. Within New York criminal jurisdictions were examined in three boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx), each of which is an independent county of New York City. These six counties border one another, separated only by the Hudson River. They were matched along a variety of dimensions. They have similar rates of unemployment, poverty, female-headed households, and residential mobility. And, they are each leaders in their respective states regarding homicides and rates of imprisonment. Cases of 15- and 16-year-old defendants who were charged with aggravated assault (1st and 2nd), robbery (1st and 2nd), or burglary (1st) in the above six counties of New Jersey and New York in 1992 or 1993 were sampled. Precautions were taken to help ensure that the cases in both states involved offenses of equal severity: (1) Sampling was done after an initial screening process in each system. In New Jersey cases were sampled at court filing and after having passed an initial screening by a prosecutor. In New York cases were sampled at arraignment and after screening by prosecutors for legal sufficiency and appropriate charging. (2) The sample includes only the most serious sub-charges within each offense type. This sampling method includes the most serious 15- and 16-year-old offenders in each state other than adolescents arrested for homicide or sexual assault.
The New Jersey Administrative Office of Courts provided data for one of the three New Jersey juvenile jurisdiction courts in automated format. For the other two New Jersey courts, data were collected manually at the county courthouses from case files of sampled individuals. The New York City Criminal Justice Agency provided the New York criminal jurisdiction data, which were supplemented by data from the New York Department of Criminal Justice Services. These data were provided as part of a separate project funded by OJJDP (97-FN-FX-01, PI: Jeffrey Fagan).
Description of Variables: Variables include offender characteristics such as age at offense, sex, race, and ethnicity. Offense characteristics include offense type at case filing (robbery, aggravated assault, burglary), whether offense was committed with a weapon, imposition of pretrial detention, number of prior arrests, number of arrests during case processing, whether the defendant had been previously incarcerated, and whether an arrest warrant for the defendant was ordered during case processing. Court action and sentencing variables include total number of charges at arraignment, number of days from arrest to final disposition, whether incarcerated, type of adjudication, final disposition/sentence, and number of months served (in New Jersey) or sentenced (in New York) in prison. Variables also include state and county.
Response Rates: Not applicable.
Presence of Common Scales: None
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2004-07-26
- 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
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