Research Article Open Access

Juvenile Court Dispositions in the Deep South: Examining the Concept of Justice by Geography

Bret Blackmon1, Daphne S. Cain2 and Michelle Livermore3
  • 1 The University of Southern Mississippi, United States
  • 2 University of Mississippi, United States
  • 3 Louisiana State University, United States

Abstract

The concept of justice by geography suggests that sentencing decisions in the juvenile justice system are influenced by the geographical context of the courts. This study sought to examine this phenomenon by examining rates of harsh juvenile sentencing (dispositions) in 64 parishes (i.e., counties) in the Deep South using parish-level characteristics such as geographic location (urban/suburban vs. rural), race and poverty. A multivariate regression analysis revealed that places with high poverty rates experienced significantly higher harsh disposition rates than those with less poverty. Other measured parish characteristics were unrelated and thus, the justice by geography concept was not supported. Implications for juvenile justice policy and future research are discussed.

Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 11 No. 2, 2015, 82-90

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2015.82.90

Submitted On: 15 January 2015 Published On: 30 June 2015

How to Cite: Blackmon, B., Cain, D. S. & Livermore, M. (2015). Juvenile Court Dispositions in the Deep South: Examining the Concept of Justice by Geography. Journal of Social Sciences, 11(2), 82-90. https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2015.82.90

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Keywords

  • Juvenile Court
  • Delinquency
  • Dispositions
  • Poverty
  • Deep South