Discussion


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Discussion

Illinois girls' arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections were more likely than boys' to be for less serious offenses.

During the period studied, girls' rates of arrest increased more than boys and girls' arrests were more likely to be for status offenses, person offenses, and for noncompliance with courts and public officials. Moreover, across almost all offense categories, girls' arrests were more likely to be for misdemeanor and petty offenses than boys'. These data lend additional support to research findings of national trends of female involvement with the juvenile justice system for less serious offenses.(22)

Girls experienced a larger decrease in detention admissions compared to boys. From 2002 to 2007, girls' detention admission rates decreased 22 percent, while boys' rates only dropped 10 percent. However, the proportion of admissions for person offenses increased more for girls (19 percent) than boys (4 percent).

Girls had a smaller decrease in rates of commitments to corrections. While boys' rates decreased 29 percent, girls' rates only decreased 17 percent. Girls' commitments to corrections were more likely to be for person offenses, noncompliance, status offenses, and offenses categorized as other.

Girls' arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections were more often for person offenses than boys'. However, the increase in these person offenses is largely due to misdemeanor battery. Girls' arrests and commitments to corrections were more likely to be for misdemeanor battery than boys'.

The proportion of girls' arrests for property offenses were equal to that of boys'. However, while girls' admissions to detention were less likely to be for property offenses, their commitments to corrections were more likely to be for property offenses. Moreover, girls' arrests, admissions to detention, and commitments to corrections were more likely to be for theft, particularly retail theft. Furthermore, girls' arrests and commitments to corrections were more likely to be for misdemeanor theft than boys'.

Girls' involvement in the Illinois juvenile justice system was more likely than boys' to be for status offenses, particularly running away and for being a minor requiring authoritative intervention. Girls' arrests were almost one and a half times more likely and their admissions to detention were three times more likely to be for running away than boys'. Girls' arrests were twice as likely as boys' to be for being a minor requiring authoritative intervention.

Statistical analyses confirmed that these gender discrepancies are statistically significant. Girls' involvement in the Illinois juvenile justice system was significantly more likely to be for misdemeanor offenses, and less serious offenses, such as status offenses or contempt of court.


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