Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders: a Study of Intervention Practices for Youth in Seven Cities in the United States, 1987-1991 (ICPSR 6039)

Published: Nov 4, 2005

Principal Investigator(s):
Malcolm Klein; Cheryl Maxson

Version V1

This data collection focuses on status offenders--those juveniles who commit acts (such as running away, habitual truancy, and possession of alcohol) that are forbidden to minors but not to adults. The purpose of this study was to connect legislative intent, service delivery systems, and youth responses in order to provide guidelines for future status offender legislation and practice. In the selection of sampling sites, three categories of intervention philosophy were represented: (1) deterrence, which recommends sanctions and control through the juvenile justice system, (2) treatment, which recommends emotional adjustment strategies through the community mental health system, and (3) normalization, which recommends little or no professional response. Respondents from youth service agencies in seven cities in the United States were asked about service delivery system characteristics (such as types of referral sources, how often they were used, and length of client service period), organizational characteristics (such as public versus private auspices, sources of funding, and educational level of staff), and youth characteristics (such as family situation, school status, and educational attainment of principal adults in the home). Demographic variables for status offenders included gender, race, age, and type of residence. Interviews with youths were also conducted and included a self-concept scale, by which youths could categorize themselves as delinquent, disturbed, and/or conforming. The units of analysis for this study are the individual and the youth service agency.

Klein, Malcolm, and Maxson, Cheryl. Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders: a Study of Intervention Practices for Youth in Seven Cities in the United States, 1987-1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-11-04.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (87-JN-CX-0001)

1987 -- 1991

1989 -- 1991

For reasons of confidentiality, certain identifying variables (such as birthday, intake date, and agency identifier number) have been masked.

An analysis of the status offender legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia yielded seven states as the purest possible deterrence states, treatment states, and normalization states. A census of youth service agencies was then conducted in large cities of the seven states: Anchorage, Alaska, Wilmington, Delaware, Boise, Idaho, Portland, Maine, Baltimore, Maryland, Flint, Michigan, and Manchester, New Hampshire. That census yielded 1,527 agencies, and exclusion criteria combined with nonresponses reduced the final number to 571 appropriate agencies, of which 245 reported providing services during 1987 to at least some youths engaged in status conduct. Youth interviews were limited to the cities of Boise, Manchester, and Portland.

Status offenders aged 12 to 17 in the United States.

self-enumerated questionnaires and personal interviews

survey data



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.

1994-05-20 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:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.