U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Effects of Occupation and Education on Punitive Orientations Among Juveniles Justice Personnel

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 30 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2002 Pages: 303-316
Michael J. Leiber; Kimberly Schwarze; Kristin Y. Mack; Margaret Farnworth
Kent B. Joscelyn
Date Published
July 2002
14 pages
This article discusses research which examined the extent to which functional, occupational roles in the juvenile justice system predominated to determine the orientation of juvenile justice personnel toward the administration of juvenile justice.
There is increasing interest in understanding decision-making by juvenile justice personnel as it affects criminal and juvenile justice correctional orientations. It was found in this research study of 253 juvenile justice personnel in Iowa, during 1992 and 1994, that probation officers were less likely than correctional officers and teachers who worked in correctional facilities to indicate support for punitive responses to delinquent behavior. Increases in education were found to reduce adherence to punishment orientations, however, educational background did not affect the support for punitiveness in these occupations. Multivariate and bivariate analyses and findings are included. Tables include description of variables; zero-order intercorrelations; total, direct, and indirect effects of functional role on punitive orientations; modifying effects of education on functional role effects on punitive attitudes; and rank-ordered interactive effects of functional role, education, and social science specialization on punitive attitudes. An appendix includes individual questions comprising scales. It is suggested that further research be done which includes larger samples from each functional role group and employs multiple measures representing rehabilitative and punitive orientations. It was concluded that rather than alter education, aligning the nature and conditions of the work with the desired correctional orientation and response to delinquent behavior be accomplished to improve the decision-making of juvenile justice personnel as related to how to handle delinquent youth. Notes, references