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The impact of gang involvement, tattoo presence, and a new diversion program on juvenile recidivism outcomes

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Title
The impact of gang involvement, tattoo presence, and a new diversion program on juvenile recidivism outcomes
Name (type = personal)
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Kubik
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Joanna
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1984-
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Joanna Kubik
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author
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Boxer
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Paul
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Paul Boxer
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chair
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Griffiths
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Elizabeth
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Elizabeth Griffiths
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Ostermann
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Mike
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Mike Ostermann
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Simmel
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Cassandra
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Cassandra Simmel
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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Graduate School - Newark
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school
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Text
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
Approximately one million juveniles under the age of 18 are arrested by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. every year, according to recent Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates (Hockenberry & Puzzanchera, 2017). Youth who have been arrested at least once are more likely to be arrested again (Caudill, 2010); yet, relative to the adult literature on recidivism, much less is known about juvenile recidivism. Although there is a large literature on risk for juvenile arrest, some key factors associated with juvenile delinquency are not often studied in the context of recidivism. For example, tattoos have been used as indicators of gang involvement and risk behavior among adolescents (Roberts & Ryan, 2002; McGloin, 2005), but little is known about whether tattoos are relevant to juvenile recidivism. And although there are currently over one million juvenile gang members in the United States (Pyrooz & Sweeten, 2015), and gang involvement is associated with juvenile recidivism (Benda, Corwyn, & Toombs, 2001; Spooner, Pyrooz, Webb, & Fox, 2017), there are no national estimates of arrest or recidivism rates for gang-involved juveniles. This dissertation investigates the linkages between tattoo presence, gang involvement, and recidivism in a medium-sized northeastern city. It further examines the role of gang involvement on the effects of a voluntary pretrial diversion program aimed at reducing recidivism among youth offenders.
I first examined the extent to which gang involvement and tattoos influence recidivism using data obtained from juvenile arrest records from 2014-2017 (N=1,008; ages 10‐17; 82% male; 86% nonwhite). Of those juveniles who were arrested for the first time, approximately 13% were gang involved (N=128). Tattoo possession significantly differed by gang involvement, such that tattoos were more common among gang youth (81%) than among youth with no gang involvement (35%). While controlling for gang involvement, tattoo presence significantly predicted re-arrest. Youth with tattoos had 162% greater risk of general re-arrest within 12 months compared to youth without tattoos. Youth in gangs had a 67% greater risk of general re-arrest within 12 months compared to non-gang youth. Tattoos that are more likely to be associated with gang involvement (located on the head, neck, face, and hands) did not have any effects on recidivism, relative to other tattoos. Understanding the influence of gang involvement and tattoo presence on youth offending has many important implications for how serious problem behavior among youth is addressed by the justice system.
In the second part of the dissertation, I examined the impact of referral to and engagement in a voluntary diversion program on recidivism outcomes. Although about 10% of youth who met referral criteria were gang-involved, only 14% of youth fully engaged in services, none of whom were gang-involved. The results show that youth who were referred to services, but did not actively participate in services, were less likely to be re-arrested within three months compared to youth who were not referred to services. However, referral to services did not have an impact on recidivism outcomes for the small number of gang-involved youth. This dissertation further highlights barriers to engaging justice-involved youth and their families to services, particularly youth involved in gangs. Interventions aimed at helping high risk youth offenders must carefully consider individual risk factors which affect youth and address the challenges to engagement that may prevent the initiation of necessary services.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Criminal Justice
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Juvenile recidivists
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Gangs
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Tattooing
RelatedItem (type = host)
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_10112
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1 online resource (viii, 140 pages) : illustrations
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Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
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Graduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10002600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-nepr-vs37
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Kubik
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Joanna
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Permission or license
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2019-07-08 11:44:54
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Joanna Kubik
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Rutgers University. Graduate School - Newark
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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Copyright protected
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Open
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Permission or license
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