Girls and Juvenile Justice System Noncompliance


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Girls and Juvenile Justice System Noncompliance

Girls' involvement in the juvenile justice system was more likely to be for noncompliance offenses, such as contempt of court and obstructing justice.

Many youth are involved in the justice system as a result of noncompliance with the court or public officials. These individuals do not adhere to stipulations mandated of them through the courts or laws. This section explores youth arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections for noncompliance with the court and public officials.

Noncompliance with Public Officials

Juveniles can be arrested, detained, and incarcerated for not complying with individuals working in an official capacity, such as law enforcement officers. Such noncompliance can include obstruction of justice, interference with a public official, resisting or obstructing a peace officer, and fleeing, escaping, or eluding peace officers or public officials. Obstruction of justice is any action that intends to prevent or interfere with the apprehension, prosecution, or defense of any person. Table 8 depicts arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections for boys and girls for noncompliance with public officials.

Table 8
Arrests, detention admissions, and IDOC commitments for noncompliance with public officials by gender, 2007

Noncompliance offense type Arrest Detention Corrections*
Girls Boys Girl Boys Girl Boys
Obstructing justice 37
(18%)
78
(13%)
14
(37%)
26
(14%)
4
(67%)
7
(32%)
Resist/obstruct/disarm a police officer 161
(78%)
478
(79%)
20
(53%)
135
(71%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
Escape 3
(1%)
8
(1%)
1
(3%)
2
(1%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
Fleeing or eluding a police officer 2
(1%)
43
(7%)
3
(8%)
25
(13%)
2
(33%)
12
(54%)
Other 2
(1%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(0.5%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
Total 205
(100%)
607
(100%)
38
(100%)
189
(100%)
6
(100%)
22
(100%)

* Corrections data for 2007 were unavailable; 2004 was used.
Source: Authority's CHRI Ad Hoc datasets, Juvenile Monitoring Information System, and Illinois Department of Corrections.

Noncompliance with the Court

Courts may have additional requirements, expectations, and mandates of court-involved juveniles. Not complying with these requirements can lead to arrests, detainment, and incarceration for these offenses. Noncompliance with court mandates, for the purpose of this research, included contempt of court, court order violations, and interference with the judicial process.

Contempt of court is an order issued by a judge to enforce court rules and to maintain control of the courtroom by imposing sanctions. A judge may find juveniles in contempt for a number of reasons, including disrespecting the judge or other poor behavior and failure to comply with court orders. Contempt of court is often a civil, not criminal, charge. A civil charge of contempt is one in which the juvenile defies an order of the judge, such as paying restitution, when it is in their ability to comply. A civil sanction for contempt is limited in length of time to as long as disobedience to the court's order continues.

A judge can charge a juvenile with criminal contempt. A criminal sanction for contempt can be imposed unconditionally, so a youth can be detained or incarcerated beyond the cessation of the contempt action after a hearing affording the juvenile all the rights of a criminal defendant.

Court order violations include, but are not limited to, technical violations of probation and parole/MSR, non-payment of child support, violating an order of protection, and failure to register with local and national registries for certain sex, violent, methamphetamine, and arson offenses.

Interference with the judicial process consists of any action that directly impedes or circumvents judicial procedures. These offenses include, but are not limited to, perjury, compounding a crime, harassment of jurors or witnesses, bribery, false impersonation of a judicial or public official, and tampering with evidence. Table 9 depicts arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections for boys and girls for noncompliance with court mandates.

Table 9
Arrests, detention admissions, and IDOC commitments for noncompliance with the court by gender, 2007*

Noncompliance offense type Arrest Detention Corrections*
Girls Boys Girl Boys Girl Boys
Contempt of Court 7
(26%)
9
(7%)
99
(31%)
422
(31%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
Probations/Parole violations 13
(48%)
89
(69%)
206
(65%)
866
(64%)
1
(100%)
0
(0%)
Other Court Order Violations 5
(18%)
19
(15%)
11
(3%)
51
(4%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
Interference with the Judicial Process 2
(7%)
12
(9%)
0
(0%)
3
(0.2%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
Total 27
(100%)
129
(100%)
316
(100%)
1342
(100%)
1
(100%)
0
(100%)

* Corrections data for FY05 through FY07 were unavailable; FY04 was used.
Source: Authority's CHRI Ad Hoc datasets, Juvenile Monitoring Information System, and Illinois Department of Corrections.

Other types of noncompliance

An additional type of noncompliance is recommitments to IDOC for technical violations. These individuals have not necessarily committed a new crime, but have failed to comply with the conditions of their parole. Table 10 depicts arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections for noncompliance. Table 10 also includes technical parole violation recommitments to IDOC.

Table 10
Arrests, detention admissions, and IDOC commitments for noncompliance offenses, 2007*

Noncompliance offense type Arrest Detention Corrections*
Girls Boys Girl Boys Girl Boys
Noncompliance with public officials 205
(88%)
607
(82%)
38
(11%)
189
(12%)
6
(5%)
22
(2%)
Noncompliance with the court 27
(12%)
129
(17%)
316
(89%)
1,343
(88%)
1
(1%)
0
(0%)
Technical parole violations (IDOC) - - - - 102
(94%)
1,275
(98%)
Total Noncompliance 232
(100%)
736
(100%)
354
(100%)
1532
(100%)
109
(100%)
1297
(100%)

* Corrections data for 2005 through 2007 were unavailable; FY04 was used.
Source: Authority's CHRI Ad Hoc Datasets, Juvenile Monitoring Information System, and Illinois Department of Corrections

Arrests for noncompliance

The rate of noncompliance offense arrests for girls and boys were similar. Additionally, girls' and boys' noncompliance arrests were for similar offense classes, with girls' arrests being slightly more likely than boys' to be for felony offenses.

Two percent of all girls' arrests (n=232), and 2 percent of all boys' arrests (n=736) in 2007 were for noncompliance with the court or public officials.

The most common noncompliance arrest was for resisting or obstructing a peace officer [720 ILCS 5/31-1]. Resisting or obstructing a police officer is a misdemeanor when a person knowingly resists or obstructs the performances of a peace officer or correctional employee within his or her official capacity. Resisting or obstructing a peace officer is a felony when the aforementioned action was the proximate cause of an injury to the officer.

In 2007, 71 percent of girls' noncompliance arrests (n=150) and 76 percent of boys' noncompliance arrests (n=515) were for misdemeanors. Additionally, 29 percent of girls' (n=60) and 24 percent of boys' (n=163) arrests for noncompliance were for felonies.

Between 2002 and 2007, the felony proportion of noncompliance arrests decreased 35 percent for girls and 31 percent for boys. However, in both 2002 and 2007, the girls' proportion of felony noncompliance arrests was higher. Statistical analyses, discussed later in this report, did not find significant differences between misdemeanor noncompliance arrests between boys and girls.

Table 11 shows the proportions of offense class groups for noncompliance arrest for girls and boys in 2002 and 2007. Reporting misdemeanor arrests for juveniles to CHRI by law enforcement is voluntary. As a result, arrest offense class disparities are a conservative estimate.

Table 11
Proportion of offense classes for noncompliance arrests by gender, 2002-2007

Offense class Girls Boys
2002 Proportion 2007 Proportion 2002 Proportion 2007 Proportion
?Felony 43.9% 28.6% 35.0% 24.0%
Misdemeanor 56.1% 71.4% 65.0% 76.0%

Source: Authority's CHRI Ad Hoc Datasets

Arrests for noncompliance with public officials

In 2007, 78 percent of arrests of girls for noncompliance with public officials were for resisting, obstructing, or disarming a police officer (n=161), and 18 percent were for obstructing justice (n=37). Boys had similar proportions but their arrests were more likely to be for fleeing or eluding a police officer (n=43 or 7 percent) than girls (n=2 or 1 percent).

Arrests for noncompliance with the court

In 2007, probation and parole violations accounted for the highest proportion of juvenile justice system involvement for court noncompliance among both boys and girls. These violations could include, but are not limited to, failing mandatory drug testing, not completing mandated treatment or services, or failing to pay restitution or court fines. Forty-eight percent of girls' court noncompliance arrests were for probation or parole/MSR violations (n=13), compared to 69 percent for boys (n=89).

Detention admissions for noncompliance

In 2007, girls and boys were admitted to detention for noncompliance with the court and public officials at a similar rate. During the period examined, girls experienced a larger decline in noncompliance admissions than boys.

Thirteen percent of girls' admissions (n=354) and 12 percent of boys' admissions (n=1,529) to detention in 2007 were for noncompliance. Figure 23 depicts the proportions of admissions to detention for noncompliance from 2002 to 2007.

Figure 23
Proportion of detention admissions for noncompliance offenses by gender, 2002-2007

Line Chart: 2 Lines (Boys, Girls) Percent of admissions by gender

Percent of admissions by gender 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Girls ~16% ~16% ~14% ~14% ~15% 13%
Boys ~10% ~11% ~10% ~10% ~12% 12%

Source: Juvenile Monitoring Information System

Detention admissions for noncompliance with public officials

Fifty-three percent of girls' detention admissions for noncompliance with public officials were for resisting, obstructing, or disarming a police officer (n=20), and 37 percent were for obstructing justice (n=14). Boys' admissions to detention were more likely to be for eluding or fleeing a police officer (n=25 or 13 percent) than girls' (n=3 or 8 percent).

Detention admissions for noncompliance with the court

Girls' and boys' admissions to detention for noncompliance with the court were at a similar rate. Twelve percent of girls' (n=316) and 10 percent of boys' (n=1,343) detention admissions were for noncompliance with the court.

Corrections admissions for noncompliance

New sentence commitments to corrections for noncompliance with the court and public officials were minimal. Girls' commitments to corrections were two times more likely to be for noncompliance offenses than boys'. In 2004, seven girls were committed to corrections for noncompliance (4 percent). While 22 boys were committed to corrections for noncompliance that year, these commitments only comprised 1 percent of their overall commitments. However, commitment numbers for girls were too small to draw definitive conclusions.

Commitments to corrections noncompliance with public officials

Girls' commitments to corrections (n=4 or 67 percent) were more likely than boys' (n=7 or 32 percent) to be for obstructing justice. Boys' commitments to corrections were more likely to be for fleeing or eluding a police officer (n=12 or 54 percent) than girls' (n=2 or 33 percent).

Commitments to corrections for noncompliance with the court

Only one girl was committed to corrections for noncompliance with the court. In 2004, the most recent year data are available, no boys were committed to corrections for noncompliance with the court.

Technical Violation Recommitments to Corrections

Technical violation commitments are recommitments to IDOC for violations of the conditions of a youth's parole or mandatory supervised release (MSR). These violations include, but are not limited to, failing mandatory drug testing, not completing mandated treatment or services, and failure to attend school. If IDOC's Prisoner Review Board determines that the youth violated the terms of their parole or MSR, they can be returned to a correctional facility for additional time or to complete the remainder of their initial sentence. These individuals are not considered new offenders, as they have not committed a new offense.

In 2004, 1,377 juveniles were re-committed to corrections for technical violations. Girls accounted for 7 percent of technical violation commitments (n=102) and boys for 93 percent (n=1,275).

In 2004, technical violation recommitments accounted for 44 percent of all juvenile IDOC admissions (for both new sentences and technical violations). For girls, technical violation recommitments (n=102) accounted for 35 percent of their admissions. Boys' technical violation admissions (n=1,275) accounted for 45 percent of their admissions to corrections.

Girls have experienced a greater increase in rates of commitment for technical violations during the period examined, more than doubling between 1999 and 2004. Boys' proportion of technical violation commitments increased 91 percent during that same time period.

Figure 24 shows the proportion of admissions for technical violation recommitments from fiscal year 1999 to 2004.

Figure 24
Technical violation recommitment proportion of all commitments to IDOC by gender, FY99-FY04

Line chart: 2 Lines (Boys, Girls) Proportion of all IDOC commitments

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Boys ~23% ~30% ~38% ~35% ~41% ~45%
Girls ~18% ~25% ~35% ~35% ~39% ~35%

Source: Illinois Department of Corrections


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