This research examined marked borough differences in the processing of juvenile offender cases in supreme courts across the five boroughs of New York City.
Results indicate that re-arrest rates were high citywide; more than three quarters of the juveniles were re-arrested and half were re-arrested for a violent felony offense (VFO) within 4 years at risk. Nearly three quarters were charged with first- or second-degree robbery entering the upper court, and an additional 8 percent entered the upper court charged with murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter. More than 9 of every 10 of these juveniles were convicted and half were sentenced to imprisonment. The data also indicate that juveniles processed in Manhattan were less likely to be re-arrested shortly after their initial release than juveniles processed in other boroughs, although the overall re-arrest rate was not lower for Manhattan juveniles. Manhattan also differed from other boroughs in that among juvenile offenders arrested for a VFO, the re-arrest was less likely to be on a homicide or felony assault charge. Brooklyn juveniles were re-arrested for more serious offenses than were their counterparts in other boroughs. They were more likely to be charged with a felony and less likely to be charged with a narcotics offense at re-arrest. Brooklyn juveniles were also significantly more likely to be re-arrested for a VFO than were juveniles in other boroughs; Queens as well as Brooklyn had a significantly higher rate of VFO re-arrest. These borough variations represent the only difference in the predictors of re-arrest on a VFO charge. Other predictive factors equally affected both measures of re-arrest and were discussed. 13 figures
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CJA Research Brief, No. 15, September 2007