Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Brandon K. Applegate


The growing recognition throughout the nineteenth century that juveniles were different than adults culminated in the establishment of the first juvenile court in Cook County, Illinois in 1899. By 1945, every state had developed its own juvenile justice system separate and distinct from the criminal justice system. Since its inception, the juvenile justice system has experienced two waves of adultification in which the lines between the juvenile and criminal justice systems were blurred. While a number of studies have focused on the adultification of juvenile courts, no study has examined the adultification of juvenile corrections. Thus, the present study aims to explore whether one type of juvenile corrections, probation and parole, has been adultified by comparing the professional orientations as well as the behavior of juvenile and adult probation and parole officers. The study finds that juvenile probation and parole officers do differ from adult officers in regards to their professional orientation and behavior. Specifically, it is found that compared to adult probation and parole officers, juvenile officers tend to more strongly adhere to ideas of treatment, welfare, and offender-focused probation/parole. Additionally, it is found that juvenile probation and parole officers are less likely than adult officers to issue written sanctions and to pursue revocation hearings. The evidence from the present study reveals the important practical implications of retaining a separate and distinct juvenile justice system.


© 2014, Riane Miller Bolin