Teen Court System

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Method Participants Participants in this study were selected via volunteers from the Longview Teen Court System (LTCS) and the Gregg County Texas Juvenile Detention Center (GCJDC), the parent, legal guardian, or otherwise of each participant yet to reach his 18th birthday, and volunteers from the Billy Moore Correctional Center (BMCC). The LTCS and GCJDC are located in Gregg County, Longview, Texas; a major hub city for East Texas with an estimated population of 80,000 as of 2015. The LTCS is a non-profit organization which advocates for adolescents charged with Class C Misdemeanor offenses or less the opportunity to circumvent the Longview Municipal Court judicial system. Although it is presided over by a real Judge, if adolescents successfully …show more content…

Participants from the GCJDC (n = 44) ranged in age from 10–16 (M = 14.2, SD = 1.16). The identified ethnicities were: Caucasian (14%), African American (66%), Hispanic (16%), and “Other” (3%). Prior to incarceration, none reported living with two parents, 30% reported living with one parent, 45% reported living with an extended family member, 21% reported living with a non-relative, and 4% reported being homeless. Age, ethnicity, religiosity, political affiliation, and socioeconomic status (SES) data is located in Table I. Per the Gregg County Court, participants were compensated $5 deposited into his commissary account for volunteering contingent upon completing the study. Inclusionary measures included the clinical diagnosis of ODD, CD, ADHD, or any combination thereof, and a minimum of one sexually related conviction on one’s record. However, this sexually related conviction did not have to be the reason for one’s current …show more content…

Participants were asked to complete the Attitudes Toward Sexual Offenders scale (ATS); a 36-item self-report measure designed by Hogue (1993) which he adapted from the Attitudes to Prisoners scale (ATP; Melvin, Gramling, & Gardner, 1985). The phrase ‘sex offenders’ replaces the word ‘prisoners’ in modified form. A sex offender is defined broadly as any person convicted of a sexual offense varying from lewd and lascivious acts (e.g., exhibitionism and voyeurism) to molestation and rape. On a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’, each item measures the range of positive from to negative perceptions and attitudes held by an individual. Sample stems include: “Sex offenders are immoral”; “Most sex offenders can be rehabilitated”; and “Sex offenders never change”. Scores range from 0 – 144; wherein higher scores are associated with positive attitudes toward sex offenders. That is, higher scores correlate to more liberal attitudes in regards to tolerance and acceptance of sex offenders. Scores were obtained using

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