Juvenile homicide offender recidivism

Published date02 May 2017
Date02 May 2017
AuthorChad Trulson,Jon Caudill
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Criminal psychology,Sociology,Sociology of crime & law,Deviant behaviour,Public policy & environmental management,Policing,Criminal justice
Juvenile homicide offender recidivism
Chad Trulson and Jon Caudill
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine and explain the recidivism outcomes of a large cohort of
juvenile homicide offenders three years following their release from institutional confinement.
Design/methodology/approach Retrospective data were utilized to examine demographic, background,
and institutional behavior variables on post-release recidivism of 247 juvenile homicide offenders. Analyses
distinguish between capital and non-capital juvenile homicide offenders.
Findings Descriptive analyses de monstrated a 50 percent re cidivism rate among the sam ple of
juvenile homicide offenders. Bivariate analyses revealed few significant differences between capital and
non-capital homicide offending juveniles. Logistic regression analyses revealed that youth who
were neglected prior to state institutionalization were significantly more likely to recidivate.
Logistic regression also revealed that longer lengths of incarceration were associated with decreased
odds of recidivism, while participating in assaultive behaviors against peers while confined aggravated
the odds of recidivism.
Research limitations/implications Implications related to the role that previous neglect, incarceration
time, and institutional behavior can inform policymakers and practitioners on issues related to the treatment of
juvenile homicide offenders while confined, and the impact that incarceration time and institutional behavior
mean for post-release recidivism risk.
Originality/value Little research has assessed the recidivism outcomes of juvenile homicide offenders,
especially with a larger sample size. None have examined the differences between capital and non-capital
homicide offending juveniles. As juvenile jurisdictions continue to retain more homicide offending juveniles
(as opposed to their removal to adult systems), there is value to the research to inform policy and practice
with such an enriched and problematic groups of offenders.
Keywords Recidivism, Juvenile offenders, Blended sentencing, Capital offenders, Serious and violent,
Serious and violent delinquents
Paper type Technical paper
1. Introduction
Perhaps the most salient consideration in the handling of serious and violent juvenile offenders
relates to their recidivism outcomes once released from juvenile correctional facilities. Such a
focus is particularly relevant concerning juvenile homicide offenders. Among all delinquent
offenders, juvenile homicide offenders arguably represent those on the most extreme end of the
pathological offending continuum.
On a practical andpolicy level, juvenile homicide offenders present numerous problems to juvenile
justice systems. These problems manifest in concerns about the most appropriate treatment of
such deep-end offenders, the potential danger that juvenile homicide offenders pose to the
institutionalenvironment, and finally, thepublic safety consequences oncethese types of enriched
offenders exit institutional environments. Yet despite these and other important issues, juvenile
justice systems have typically had little exposure to such extreme offenders (Delisi et al.,2016).
This lack of exposure has been due to the limited frequency of homicide offending among
juveniles relative to other types of serious and violent delinquents (Delisi et al.,2016).Suchlow
populations of homicide offending delinquents served by juvenile justice systems in the USA
also relate to policies which have in past decades excluded or otherwise removed such
offenders from juvenile justice system jurisdiction altogether (e.g. adult court judicial waiver)
(Caudill and Trulson, 2016).
Received 2 November 2016
Revised 23 November 2016
Accepted 27 November 2016
Chad Trulson is a Professor
and an Associate Chair at the
Department of Criminal Justice,
University of North Texas,
Denton, Texas, USA.
Jon Caudill is an Associate
Professor and the Graduate
Director at the School of Public
Affairs, University of Colorado
at Colorado Springs, Colorado
Springs, Colorado, USA.
DOI 10.1108/JCP-11-2016-0038 VOL. 7 NO. 2 2017, pp. 93-104, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2009-3829
PAG E 93

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