Effects of Individual and Contextual Characteristics on Preadjudication Detention of Juvenile Delinquents

Gaylene S. Armstrong, Arizona State University - West
Nancy Rodriguez, Arizona State University - West

This study examined individual and contextual factors affecting preadjudication detention of juvenile delinquents in 65 counties of a Northeastern State. Results demonstrated that while individual characteristics of the juvenile delinquents were important predictors, a significant amount of variation in preadjudication detention decisions was further explained when contextual factors of the counties were included a two level hierarchial linear model. Specifically, in addition to the statistically significant legal and extralegal juvenile characteristics, our study found ethnically heterogeneous counties were more likely to detain juvenile delinquents prior to adjudication. These findings demonstrate the importance of considering both individual and contextual factors of jurisdictions when examining the adjudication process.

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Updated 05/20/2006