The Impact of Gender on the Processing of Probation Violations and Contempt: A Study of One Juvenile Court

M. Dyan McGuire, Noelle Fearn, Kathryn Kuhn, Kenneth Mayo


There is substantial evidence to suggest that in at least some contexts juvenile court judges are circumventing the proscription contained in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (“JJDPA”), which prohibits the secure confinement of status offenders, by securely detaining status offenders for contempt.  Some evidence also indicates that gender may influence whether a juvenile is detained as a result of violating a valid court order.  This study seeks to expand existing research by examining what happens to court order violators beyond detention and by explicitly comparing the treatment of court order violators with the treatment of probation violators in terms of detention, adjudication and confinement to shed light on how gender influences these decision points.  While high rates of detention and commitment were uncovered, these results do not suggest that females were more likely to experience these consequences than males. 


juvenile, gender, court order violators, probation violators

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