You are on page 1of 58

THE POLICING OF JUVENILES IN IDENTIFIED RURAL AREAS OF MISSISSIPPI

:
A REPLICATION STUDY
A Dissertation Prospectus
Presented to

The Faculty and Department of Justice Studies
College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
Prairie View A&M University

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Juvenile Justice

by

ROCHELLE E. COBBS

April 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………….

2

DEDICATION……………………………………………………………………………..
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS …………………………………………………………..……
TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………….......
APPENDICES ……………………………………………………………………………..
CHAPTER I ………………………………………………………………………………..
INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………….……
Purpose of Study……………………………………………………………………………
Current Study……………………………………………………………………………….
Objectives ....……………………………………………………………………............
Understanding What Constitutes Rural Settings/Areas……………………...................
Limitations…………….………………………………………………………………...
Organization …………………………………………………………………………….
CHAPTER II ……………………………………………………………………………….
LITERATURE REVIEW ………………………………………………………………….
CHAPTER III………………………………………………………………………………
METHODS…………………………………………………………………………………
Research Design……………………………………………………………………………
Project Description …………………………………………………………………………
Measures and Data Collection ……………………………………………………………..
Data Analysis……………………………………………………………………………….
Limitations …………………………………………………………………………………
CHAPTER IV………………………………………………………………………………
FINDINGS …………………………………………………………………………………
CHAPTER V ………………………………………………………………………………
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ………………………………………………...........
REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDICES
Appendix

Page

3

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
This research study design is a replication of a previous study design by Myers
(2004) that examined police-juvenile interactions/encounters in the urban areas of
Indianapolis, Minnesota and St. Petersburg, Florida. This study focuses on the policejuvenile encounters in the rural areas of the Mississippi Delta. Like Myers’s (2004)
study, it will focus on police behavior (i.e., police use of authority and police provision of
support and assistance) when encountering juveniles. Specifically, this study seeks to
examine the relationship between the types of behaviors exhibited by the police in their
dealings with the public, such as police use of authority and extension of support, the
attitude and characteristic of individual officers, and the situational factors that influence
officers’ behavior when encountering juveniles on the street in the rural areas identified
above. Moreover, the study seeks to ascertain if the findings from this study of policejuvenile encounters in the rural areas of the Mississippi Delta support or negate that of
Myers given the unique contexts of Mississippi.
The outline of the study is as follows, chapter 1 presents the introduction and the
identification of the research problem, the research purpose, the significance of the study,
the importance of the research and the research hypotheses/expectations. Chapter II
contains the review of the relevant literature on Black’s behavior of law perspective and
police behavior/response to police-juvenile encounters/contacts. Chapter III presents the
research methodology. Chapter IV presents the interpretation of the data of the survey

4

and participant observation; and Chapter V is a discussion of the research findings and
recommendations for future research.
Introduction to the Problem
Despite its decline in recent years, juvenile offending remains a major concern in
the society and the American criminal justice system. According to available statistics,
juveniles are continually getting involved in serious and violent crimes. A major concern
of society and the law enforcement agents is the proper and effective ways of responding
to juvenile offending. Law enforcement agencies arrested approximately 2.18 million
individuals who were under the age of 18 in the United States in 2007 (Puzzanchera,
2009). These data represent only a portion of police-juvenile encounters which resulted
in an arrest. Such data include police-juvenile encounters where the police took formal
actions. However, there exist police-juvenile encounters that police handled informally
(i.e., encounters that did not result in the arrest of juveniles). These encounters include
actions of the police when they provide support to juveniles, such as, advising juveniles
to desist from certain acts, issuing commands and threats to deter deviant behavior,
informing a juvenile to go home because he is out on the street passed their curfew, and
releasing a juvenile to his or her parents or guardians rather than arresting them). This
suggests that police officers have a dual role as both agents of formal and informal social
control.
In America, police officers play a vital role in social control and the criminal
justice system. Police make decisions to either arrest an individual or not. Police
officers’ decisions in the streets determine if an individual or a suspect may be arrested,
prosecuted and/or subsequently housed in a correctional facility. Moreover, police

5

officers exercise a wide array of discretion over citizens in urban and rural areas that may
later involve some type of social control and/or legal intervention. Therefore,
understanding the police function, the principles and attitudes that guide their practices
are important when encountering juveniles on the street.
Rural Crime and Rural Policing
Compared to urban crime and urban policing research, there is scant information
relating to rural crime and rural policing (Muhammad, 2002) particularly pertaining to
police-juvenile encounters. Some of the reasons for this may include that rural
communities are generally close-knit communities that tend to refrain from publicizing
problems/issues to outsiders. Another reason may be that rural communities tend to have
disdain for government and therefore are reluctant to cooperate with authorities. In
addition, rural police organizations tend to hoard crime statistics from state and federal
organizations. Additionally, according to literature, it is difficult to differentiate or define
what is considered rural or rural policing; and, rural police may not have adequate and
current technological resources and infrastructure to effect proper crime reporting.
As noted above, various factors may account for the limited research and
understanding of rural crime, rural policing and police-juvenile encounters in rural areas
when compared to urban studies/research. It is for such reasons that this study is
undertaken. There is therefore need for more research into rural crime, rural policing, and
police-juvenile encounters in rural areas as important in view of the fact that extensive
studies into urban crime and policing are prevalent. Moreover, the majority of the U.S.
population resides in rural settings and there is apparent interaction between urban and
rural settings. In addition, there is some level of influence of urban criminal activities on
rural areas. Therefore, there is need for a comprehensive review of extant data and

6

research in regard to rural crime, rural policing, and police-juvenile encounters in rural
areas. Therefore, this section begins by providing an operational definition of a rural
setting and succinctly presenting an in-depth review of information and research on rural
crime, rural policing, and police-juvenile encounters in rural settings.
An Account of What Constitutes a Rural Setting/Area
A “rural setting” and/or “small town” are terms that have multiple meanings and
dimensions. Rural communities tend to vary from each other in demographics,
economics, culture, geography, and social structure (Bealer, Fern & William, 1965) which
shape crime and justice, particularly policing. It is imperative to grasp an understanding
as to what is meant by the term “rural” for this particular study. Thus, it is important to
develop an operational definition of what constitutes a rural setting—what does it mean
within the context of justice and policing, particularly the behavior/practices of the police
when encountering juveniles on the street in rural areas. Weisheit, Facone, and Wells
delve into a meta-analysis that comprised of more than 90 studies. The researchers noted
that 62 percent of the studies did not give measureable definitions of the rural term. In
addition, they noted that in some studies, cities with the population up to 175,000 were
categorized as rural or small town. Furthermore, they indicated that recent studies
defined rural communities as rural locales of 5,000 to 50,000 citizens. This particularly
definition is the operational definition that will be used to define rural communities for
the current study.
Historical Account of Rural Crime and Rural Policing
During the 1900s, there were about 70 % Americans who resided in rural areas
(Hobbs & Stoops, 2002). Earlier criminologists and sociologists understood rural
communities and towns as the unit of analysis from which urban communities/life could
be examined as a phenomenon (Weisheit, Falcone, & Wells, 2006). As time progressed,

7

contemporary criminologists deviated from the rural origin of unit analyses. By the
1950s, almost all theoretical development and testing were more concerned and directed
toward urban based social phenomena (Weisheit, Falcone, & Wells, 2006) (viz., police
control of juveniles, the identification of situational factors that contribute to the
decisions of officers taking juvenile in custody, etc). Subsequently, there has been
limited attention to crime and policing in rural settings compared to criminal related
contexts of urban areas, even though rural crime and policing, particularly police-juvenile
encounters may be essential to the study of juvenile delinquency, crime, and criminal
justice.
It is important to point out that police practices vary from one geographical area
to the next (Osgood & Chambers, 2003) and studying the varieties of police behavior
may yield great insight into the role of policing in various communities, particularly rural
settings and crime. However, most studies pertaining to the variation of police behavior,
particularly as they relate to police-juvenile encounters, tend to be conducted in urban
areas (e.g., Black & Reiss, 1970; Meyers, 2004; Allen, 2005) neglecting rural crime and
rural policing. Furthermore, there is evidence to support that rural environments are
different from urban environments that affect juvenile delinquency, crime, criminal
justice, juvenile justice and the implementation of policy. Therefore, the following
discussion presents studies/research in relation to rural crime and urban crime viewed
together; studies pertaining to rural crime viewed alone; studies about rural crime
policing generally; and research geared more toward rural police-juvenile encounters.
Rural Crime and Urban Crime
In the United States, compared to urban areas’ crime rates, rural settings’ crime
rates have revealed a lower number. In support of this view, Smith (2002), Bouffard and

8

Muftic (2006), Barnet and Mencken (2002), and Websdale (1998) concluded that
crime/delinquency is less prevalent in rural settings due to more reliance on informal
social control mechanisms The research that concluded that crime occurs less in rural
settings is further supported by the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) (2010) data that are
categorized by types of crime and population group. Based on the data, there is a
relationship between crimes in urban areas with 250,000 or more citizens and rural areas,
which are excluded from the urban communities. However, after examining the UCR
Index offenses for 2010, it was noted that several crime patterns emerged: index crime
rates particularly for property and violent offenses are higher for urban settings compared
to rural areas. For example, the property offense rate for rural areas is 1,645.7 compared
to the property offense rate for urban areas, which is 2,190.2; and the violent rate for rural
areas is 199.3 as against 284.1 for urban areas. Therefore, it is evident that there is a
greater gap between rural and urban crime for violent offenses than property offenses. In
addition, the rank order of offenses for property offenses appears to be similar for both
areas (i.e., rural and urban). For instance, in both areas, motor vehicle theft was the least
reported criminal offense to the police and larceny was the most reported offense. Based
on the above-mentioned crime statistics, there is a need to enhance the general
understanding about rural crime, rural policing, and police-juvenile encounters in rural
settings.
Rural Crime
Some research actually focused only on rural crime. For example, Smith and
Huff (1982) conducted a quantitative methodological approach. They examined the
patterns of victimization experienced by a representative sample of rural residents in a

9

rural county in the mid-western part of the United States and their perception of problems
of crime. They refined and extended the National Crime Panel victimization survey
methods to draw out more reflective victimization experiences, perceptions of the crime
problem, fears of crime, and the actions of participants. Their findings suggested that
albeit, patterns of victimization in rural settings are very much comparable to urban areas,
the rates of victimization in the rural survey indicated, specifically for violent crimes
were greater than the aggregate rates reported by Gibbs (1979). The researchers also
observed that vandalism is prevalent in rural locales. In contrast, historically, vandalism
had been considered an urban, gang related problem (Cohen, 1955). Additionally,
however, the researchers’ findings suggested that participants did not believe that crime
was increasing in their locale when compared to other parts of the United States.
Another study that particularly addressed rural crime is that of Donnermeyer and
Phillips (1982). The researchers used data from an Ohio study (N = 354) that included
juniors from high school and they also collected more data from sophomore high school
students who completed a questionnaire in Indiana. The researchers’ findings suggest
that over half of rural youth in Ohio and Indiana engaged in vandalism. They indicated
that three-fourths of the students reported cases of vandalism that involved either direct
or indirect economic cost (i.e., victims lost time in repairing or cleaning up the damages)
to the victim. They further indicated that most of the respondents engaged in vandalism
acts three or four times in a year. Interestingly, only a few viewed their actions as illegal.
As a matter of fact, most respondents viewed their actions as a joke or a game. The study
further revealed that most of the vandalism acts took place in the county that the youth

10

resided; and most respondents who engaged in vandalism acts were males and mostly
from single-parent households.
Phillips (1975) also focused on crime in rural Ohio, which was due to an increase
in crime rates and the types of offenders committing the offenses (e.g., property,
vandalism) in rural settings. He indicated that there are a host of crimes not been
reported by rural communities. He collected data from multiple Uniform Crime Report
sources (e.g., 889 victimization surveys, 9 Ohio county sheriffs’ offices compilation of
offenses and offenders records, and 842 members of Farm Bureau Councils). Phillips’s
findings suggest that approximately 55 percent of all offenses were not reported to
authorities. Also, his findings suggest that offenders who committed such offenses in
rural areas were mostly White, male, urban residents under the age of 30. Furthermore,
crimes such as vandalism and larceny were the most prevalent offenses committed in
rural areas of Ohio. In addition, the survey data, according to Phillips, revealed that rural
residents of Ohio attributed the increase in crime rate to leniency of the court in dealing
with these types of offenses and offenders, lack of law enforcement efforts in detecting
such offenses/offenders, the breakdown of family values, and growth of population in
rural areas of Ohio.
Swanson (1981) noted that the majority of research about crime has been based
on observation that crime tend to be an urban problem, which has led some individuals to
believe that crime in rural areas may not contribute to the general understanding of crime.
Consequently, rural criminal context (i.e., rural crime in the social environment) has been
neglected from the general understanding of crime. He further indicated that “such a
notion of impoverishes” (p. 19) neglect the criminal context of interaction between urban
and rural settings. Therefore, the purpose of his investigation was to shed light into the

11

serious national problem about rural and agricultural crimes, particularly economic, by
proposing four propositions which are as follow:
(1) “Proposition one: The characteristics and values of the rural
and agricultural environments make them attractive targets of
economic crime;
(2) Proposition two: There is a significant amount of reported
crime in rural and agricultural environments;
(3) Proposition three: Rural and agricultural crime involves
significant losses.
(4) Proposition four: Organized criminals and organized crime
are involved in planning and executing rural and agricultural
crimes” (pp. 19-23).
For example, to elaborate on Proposition 1 of Swanson, he noted that 54 million citizens
lived in rural areas in 1979. Utilizing the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) of 1966 and
1979, Swanson compared crime rates for Part 1 index offenses per 100,000 habitants in
rural and urban settings, his findings revealed that the percentage rose in the total amount
of index crime for rural areas exceeding the total amount of crime reported in urban areas
to about 43 percent. Moreover, according to Swanson, the chief characteristic of rural
crime is that it involves crimes that are economic in nature (e.g., theft of property— farm
equipment) which losses can range from thousands to millions of dollars, vandalism
offenses which losses can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars of property
damages; theft of livestock (e.g., farm animals) which losses valued at nationally in the
United States at $12,784,000 in 1978; theft of lime, mango, and avocado; and other
crimes such as embezzlement and fraud).
A recent study of Deller and Deller (2010) explores United States crime patterns
in rural areas focusing on social capital. They employed a critical criminological
approach by building on three theories of criminology (viz., social disorganization,
anomie/strain, and rational choice) in essence to develop a more formal theory and an
empirical framework for the current subject of interest. They used data from multiple

12

sources, such as survey data of the County Business Pattern (CBP) compiled by the
Census Bureau to develop a set of variables reflecting a range of enterprise of social
capital; and, data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics for the number of
nonprofits organization, and data from religious organizations that were collected from
the Association of Religion Data Achieves. They further explored the role of four
measures of social capital (i.e., measures of income, wealth, and inequality, age, racialethnicity profiles, and economic base) to gain more insight into the patterns of crime in
rural locales. The researchers’ findings suggest that the progression of growth and its
effects on community change associated with the growth are risk factors of rural crime
patterns. Moreover, according to Deller and Deller (2010), both, rural economic growth
and development and rural settings’ crime patterns are very closely related; although, they
seem different. They further indicated that social capital is important theoretically and
empirically. For example, the researchers’ findings suggest that a higher concentration of
organizations (e.g., professionals, business, and labor organizations—chamber of
commerce, labor unions, civic or community based entities—fraternal organizations,
alumni association, religious institutions) that promote networking is associated with
lower rates/levels of crime in rural areas. They also suggested that higher levels of crime
in rural areas are associated with higher concentrations of art organizations (art councils
and performing art groups) (p. 268). Moreover, the researcher’ findings suggest that,
indeed, social capital matters in respect to rural crime. Therefore, rural communities that
are concerned about the growth of their economy will work to stem pressures that impact
the crime rate of those areas.
Rural Policing and Rural Society

13

This section of the review focuses on research pertaining to policing in rural
areas. There are unique challenges to rural policing in America, which include: limited
resources for the hiring of well-trained personnel, large agricultural geographical areas to
patrol with a few law enforcement personnel, and a general neglect of larger state and
federal leaders who are under the understanding that crime occurs less frequently in rural
areas when compared to urban areas (Weisheit, Falcone, & Wells, 2006; Mawby &
Yarwood, 2011). Thus far, policing issues of rural settings are more defined and shaped
by structural and economic factors (Deller & Deller, 2010) rather than by geographical
area and distance. However, some research has examined the activities of law
enforcement in rural settings (Baird-Olson, 2000; Weisheit et al., 1996). For example,
Payne, Berg, and Sun (2005) analyzed activities performed in rural settings by the police.
They conducted a content analysis of police activity in a single community (i.e., a rural
community with a population of 2,500 residents located in the northeastern of
Pennsylvania) over a two year span. They analyzed the community’s media crime report
which included 948 police calls of services. They employed manifest and latent content
analysis on the case descriptions to determine whether certain patterns and themes would
emerge. The findings from the research suggest that the most common case that officers
dealt with involved animals. For instance, about 14% (N = 131) of the calls for services
involved citizen calling for assistance in regard to animals (esp., dogs). The police also
spent a great deal of time dealing with intoxicated individuals. For example, of the call
of services, approximately thirteen percent of the alcohol cases included individuals
driving under the influence of alcohol; and nineteen percent of the calls for service were
in reference to public drunkenness offenses (i.e., intoxicated in public in the presence of 2

14

to 3 more individuals). Furthermore, the researchers’ findings indicated that residents
called for assistance in dealing with various forms of dysfunctional interpersonal
relationships. In addition, according to Payne et al. (2005), on one side of the coin, the
rural police must respond to criminal offenses such as assaults, theft, and vandalism; and,
on the other side of the coin, they have to also respond to social service calls (e.g., dogs
running at large or youth using profanity or obscene language in the public).
Falcone et al. (2002), utilizing survey and interview data from numerous rural
settings throughout the United States, examined various aspects/issues of crime, justice,
and policing. They found that police responses/tasks were not static across geographical
rural areas. For instance, they suggested that police officers’ tasks in rural and urban
areas varied. Rural and small-town departments focus on crime prevention and service
activities when compared to urban police officers who mostly focus on enforcing the law
and crime control by arresting citizens. Furthermore, according to Falcone et al. (2002),
small town officers were expected to carry out a broad range of activities than urban
officers due to social services either being scarce or “too remote to provide timely
services” (p. 33).
Other researchers have examined the impact community-oriented policing tactics
in relation to rural policing (O’Shea, 1999; Zhao & Thurman, 1997). For instance,
O’Shea (1999) indicated that styles of policing in rural areas tend to show that there is a
relationship between the police and citizens that may be more community oriented
(O’Shea, 1999; Zhao & Thurman, 1997) in nature. Generally, as stated above, rural
communities are close knit communities; thus, rural police tend to be more responsive to
the needs of citizens that reside in their locales. It is not uncommon for rural officers to
receive calls for service that are non-compensated in nature and minor from home (Payne

15

et al., 2005). Therefore, rural police frequently prefer to handle problems of the
community informally rather than arresting the perpetrator for minor offenses, such as
shoplifting. This level of empathy of rural police officers tends to be shaped by the social
climate in rural areas (Baird-Olson, 2000; Marenin & Copus, 1991), such as, the informal
social control mechanisms that are in place to deter crime (Boggs, 1971).
Rural Policing and Police-Juvenile Encounters in Rural Areas
Rural policing, particularly as it relates to police juvenile encounters, has been a
neglected topic of discussion in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. Only two
studies were found in regard to the current area of interest. One study was that of
Liederbach (2007). The researcher examined the nature of police encounters with
juveniles aged 13 to 17 in twenty suburban and small-town jurisdictions of southwestern
Ohio in relation to the type of problems nonurban police officers encounter when
interacting with juveniles; the actions taken by officers to resolve the encountered
situation; and the discretionary decision making process of officers who take juveniles
into custody. Data were collected through systematic social observation (Mastrofski et
al., 1998) of police-citizen encounters by the University of Cincinnati, Division of
Criminal Justice. On one hand, the researcher found that police-juvenile encounters in
nonurban areas appear to be similar to those encounters in urban areas, particularly the
type of offenses officers encounter when dealing with juveniles. Offenses such as minor
disturbances, loitering, and misdemeanor thefts were mostly what nonurban officers
encountered when dealing with juveniles in the streets. These offenses were also more

16

prevalent in prior research concerning street-level encounters with juveniles in urban
areas.
In addition, the tendency of police officers to resolve juvenile issues/problems
more informally without taking juveniles into custody were prevalent in nonurban and
urban areas. On the other hand, research findings also show that there were differences
between police response to juvenile offending in both rural and urban settings.
Specifically, Liederbach found that in rural areas most traffic related offenses were most
commonly detected in police-juvenile encounters rather than criminal offenses (order
maintenance or service activities) when compared to those detected by police in urban
areas. He concluded that in rural areas, there is less stress and problems than those found
in urban areas.
Muhammad (2002) presented a somewhat historical review of research in regard
to rural crime and rural policing. The researcher’s findings suggested that the greatest
difference between rural and urban crime is robbery, which occurs almost 54 times more
frequently per 100,000 citizens in urban areas. He further indicated that rural residents
were more vulnerable to robbery when visiting urban areas. He noted that in 21-23
studies, crime increased faster than the population in rural communities with rapid
growth due to the changes in the social structure and impairments of informal social
control. Furthermore, he indicated that rural areas have their share of serious crimes,
such as, rape, homicide, wildlife and agricultural crimes. Pertaining to rural policing, due
to low levels of mobility and low population density, law enforcement officers are likely
to know the majority of offenders and their families. Thus, styles of policing, as stated
above, are more responsive to citizens, are partly reflection of the relationship between
the police and the community. Police officers tend to exercise styles of policing that is

17

more guided by community factors rather than organizational factors. Also, police
officers in rural areas believe that they receive more public support for being tough,
particularly with juveniles. In addition, the actions of police officers in rural areas are
known to most of the citizenry because of the effective informal communication
networks that are present.
This section of the review presents information and research related to rural
crime, rural policing, and police-juvenile encounters in rural areas. The review of the
literature suggests that the information and research relevant to the research subject of
interest tend to be scattered, dated, and segmented not only in location, but also in our
disciplines (i.e., criminology and criminal justice); and urban-centered. However, the
review also suggests that research concerning rural crime, rural policing, and policejuvenile encounters in rural areas is of importance to the general understanding of
criminal and social contexts; and has been neglected (Swanson, 1981). This may be
because researchers believed that crime and styles of policing were common for both
settings; and that most criminal behavior was not as prevalent in rural areas as compared
to urban areas. Therefore, they took the approach that is used in both settings that
produce similar results.
The review of literature also revealed that rural and urban crime is similar in some
respects. For instance, the rank order for property crime seems to be similar for both
settings in regard to motor vehicle and larceny offenses UCR (2010); however, these
crimes tend to be more prevalent in urban settings (Weisdale, 1998). In addition,
property crime is higher for urban communities when compared to rural communities.
This can be attributed to the larger and heterogeneous population of urban settings; and
the lack of rural communities reporting criminal offenses.

18

Furthermore, in regard to rural crime, some studies noted that patterns of
victimization are comparable to urban victimization (Smith & Huff, 1982; Gibbs, 1979)
and violent offenses in rural areas were greater when compared to urban areas, for
instance, adolescents of rural setting self-reported that they engage in a great amount of
violent acts (Phillips, 1979). The reason this is not reflected on the UCRs may be
because about 55 percent of all rural offenses are not reported to the police (Phillips,
1979); and the social climate (i.e., the unique characteristics of rural locales).
In addition, there were studies that found that police response/behavior varies
from one generation to the next (Falcone et al., 2002), including in rural areas. Other
research indicated that rural officers tend to be more responsive to citizens with a focus
on crime prevention as compared to urban police officers who are more interested in
crime control tactics (Falcone et al., 2002). The strategies employed by rural officers
may be the reason for the effectiveness of the informal social control mechanisms in
place in rural communities.
Some research indicated that police of rural areas are expected to carry out
various roles and perform different activities at the same time due to lack of resources,
personnel and geographical area (O’Shea, 1999; Zhao & Thurman, 1997). Other research
suggested that small-town and rural police and citizens are generally familiar with one
another. It is evident from one study (Payne et al., 2005) which identified one pattern
concerning methods/strategies which community members used to communicate with
rural officers (e.g., the receiving of calls for service in regard to personal issues from
home and the pattern of informal social control strategies) and the nature of calls from
residents.

19

As final words, the rural criminal social context should be more reflected in the
advancement of the study of crime and styles of policing or police behavior when
encountering juveniles. Sociologists, criminologists, and other researchers need to be
aware that variability do indeed provide avenues for comparison to give us more in depth
understanding of social phenomena to allow us to make more generalizations across
various geographical areas (urban and rural). Therefore, to enhance the understanding of
rural settings in regard to police behavior when encountering juveniles, the proposed
study seeks to address that concern.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to replicate Myers’s study design that examined
police-juvenile encounters at the street-level in urban areas. Specifically, like Myers, this
study will focus on the relationship between two types of police behavior (police
authority and police provision of support and assistance), the attitude and characteristics
of individual officers and the situational factors when encountering juveniles at the streetlevel in rural areas. The present study will determine whether, and the degree to which,
the understanding and the interpretation of Myers’s (2004) findings support or negate the
potential findings of police-juvenile encounters in the rural areas of the Mississippi Delta.
Moreover, the current study design is a replication of Myers’s study that is a vital
ingredient to scientific inquiry to the advancement of knowledge in studying rural and
small-town policing when encountering juveniles at the street-level.
The next section presents the research hypotheses and questions under the present
investigation.
Research Questions/Hypotheses
Due to the current study design being a replication of Myers’s (2004) study
design, the same three sets of summaries of hypotheses/expectation will also be

20

tested/examined to determine if its’ findings supports or negate that of Myers, which are
delineated below:
Summary of Hypotheses/Expectations for Personal and Background
Characteristics of Officers:
“Use of Authority
H1 - Sex -- It is expected that female officers will utilize less authority and take
fewer authoritative actions than their male counterparts.
H2 - Race – It is expected that minority officers will be less likely to take
authoritative actions (and less likely to make arrests) than their white
counterparts.
H3 - Training – It is expected that officers with more training on specific topics
that might expand their repertoire of responses, like concepts and principles
of community policing, will be less likely to take more authoritative actions
than officers without or with less training.
H4 - Length of Service - It is expected that as officer length of service increases
they will be less likely to take more authoritative actions.
H5 - Education - It is expected that college educated officers will use less
authority and be less likely to take authoritative actions than officers without
college educations.
H6 - Community Policing Assignment - It is expected that officers who are
Community specialists will be less likely to resort to authoritative actions than
patrol officers.
Provision of Support/Assistance

21

H7 - Sex-- It is expected that female officers will be more likely to offer some
form of support and assistance, and that they will be more likely to take
supportive actions than their male counterparts.
H8 - Race – It is expected that minority officers will be more likely than their
white counterparts to provide supportive actions.
H9 - Training – It is expected that officers with more training on selected topics
might be more likely to provide assistance and support to juveniles than those
officers with less training.
H10 - Length of Service - It is expected that as officer length of service increases
they will be more likely to provide support and assistance.
H11 - Education - It is expected that college educated officers will be more likely
to take supportive actions than officers without college educations.
H12 - Community Policing Assignment - It is expected that officers who are
community specialists will be more likely to provide support and assistance
than regular patrol officers” (pp. 44-45).
Summary of Hypotheses/Expectations for Officer Attitudes:
“Use of Authority
H13- Cynicism – It is expected that officers with more negative views of citizens
will use more authority and will be more likely to make arrests than officers
with more positive views of citizens.
H14 - Aggressiveness – It is expected that officers who favor an aggressive style
will use more authority and will be more likely to make arrests than officers
who do not favor such an aggressive style. However, one should allow for the
competing hypothesis that officers who favor an aggressive approach may
initiate more encounters with juveniles that are of a minor legal nature and

22

involve little more than questioning the juvenile, hence it may appear in the
aggregate that these officers use lower levels of authority.
H15 - Selectivity – Officers with more selective attitudes about enforcing the law
are expected to utilize less authority and be less likely to make arrests than
their less selective counterparts.
H16 - Role Orientation - Officers with a more expansive view of their role (i.e.,
they include minor violations and disorders as part of their role) are expected
to utilize less authority and to be less likely to make arrests than officers with
a narrow role conception.
H17 - Selective and Not Aggressive - Officers who attitudinally favor selectivity
and who do not favor an aggressive approach are expected to be less likely to take
authoritative actions than their counterparts (officers who do not fit this
attitudinal mold).
H18 - Assistance – Officers who believe assisting citizens is important are
expected to be less likely to take authoritative actions than those officers who do
not recognize the importance of assisting citizens.
Provision of Support/Assistance
H19 - Cynicism – It is expected that officers with negative views toward citizens
will be less likely to offer juveniles assistance and comfort than officers with
more positive views.
H20 - Role Orientation – Officers with a more expansive view of their role are
expected to be more likely to offer juveniles assistance and comfort than
those officers with a less expansive role definition.

23

H21 - Assistance – Officers who believe assisting citizens is important are
expected to offer more assistance and comfort to juveniles than officers who do
not believe assisting citizens is an important aspect of their work.
H22 - Aggressiveness - It is expected that officers who favor a more aggressive
approach to policing will be less likely to take supportive actions than those
officers who do not favor an aggressive approach.
H23 - Selective and Not Aggressive - Officers who attitudinally favor selectivity
and who do not favor an aggressive approach are expected to be more likely to
offer support and to offer more support than their counterparts (officers who
do not fit this attitudinal mold” (pp. 54-55).
Summary of Hypotheses/Expectations for Legal Factors:
“Use of Authority
H24 - Seriousness – It is expected that police will be more likely to use
authoritative actions when the offense is of a serious legal nature.
H25 - Evidence - It is expected that as the strength of the evidence increases, the
amount of authority utilized will increase as well.
H26 - Use of Alcohol and/or Drugs - It is expected that the police will be more
likely to take authoritative actions when the juvenile appears to be under the
influence of alcohol and/or drugs than when a juvenile shows no such signs.
Victim Preference:
H27 - Requests Arrest - It is expected that when a complainant requests that the
police arrest a juvenile the officer will be more likely to make an arrest and
more likely to utilize other types of authority than when the citizen does not
make this request.

24

H28 - Requests No Arrest - It is expected that when a complainant requests that
The police do not arrest a juvenile suspect the officer will be less likely to make
an arrest and less likely to use authority than if the citizen does not make this
request.
Provision of Support/Assistance
H29 - Seriousness – It is expected that when the offense is a serious one the police
will be less likely to offer support and assistance than when the offense is of
a less serious nature.
H30 - Evidence - It is expected that as the strength of the evidence increases, the
likelihood of police offering support and assistance toward the juvenile will
decrease.
H31 - Use of Alcohol and/or Drugs - It is expected that the police will be less
Likely to offer support and assistance to a juvenile who is showing behavioral
effects of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Victim Preference:
H32 - Requests Arrest - It is expected that when a complainant requests that the
police arrest a juvenile the officer will be less likely to offer support and
assistance”
H33 - Requests No Arrest - However, it is expected that if a complainant requests
that the police not arrest a juvenile the police will be more likely to offer
support and assistance to the juvenile than if the victim had said nothing at all”
(pp. 62-63)
Significance of the Study
As stated above, the purpose of this study is to replicate a previous study design
of Myers which examined police-juvenile encounters in the urban areas of Indianapolis,
Indiana and St. Petersburg, Florida. The current study is important for the following

25

reasons: (1) It has the potential to enhance the understanding of street level policejuvenile encounters because police are the gatekeepers to the juvenile justice system (as
stated by Myers) and they are the ones that make the initial decisions when handling
incidents involving juveniles; (2) It may enhance society and police understanding of
effective and proper methods of street level police-juvenile encounters; (3) It may
contribute to the mitigation of street level police-juvenile conflict; (4) It may contribute
to the recognition and elevation of scholarly research; and (5) It may improve the
understanding and the interpretation of Myers (2004) work due to this study being a
replication of Myers’s (2004) study design which would provide a second opinion on her
hypotheses, methods, and results; (6) It may help to restore and improve the relationship
between police, juveniles, and the community; and (7) If may contribute to a more
comprehensive understanding of the process of how police make their decisions in regard
to juveniles and how police impact future offending and/or delinquency. The next section
will explicate two dimensions of police behavior.
Defining Two Dimensions of Police Behavior
There has been extensive research conducted over the years to explicate
police handling of alleged violators (Black, 1980, Klinger, 1996, Worden, 1989), and
according to Myers (2004), police behavior may be conceptualized in at least two
apparent dimensions (police use of authority and police provision of support and
assistance). On one hand, the police role is more overt when responding to deviant
behavior. They tend to be concern with controlling such behaviors. And, on the other
hand, the role of the police is more “latent.” Meaning, the police is more concerned with
offering variation of support (Cumming, Cumming, and Edell, 1965). Moreover, police
is known to use more coercive authority when dealing with deviant behavior. However,

26

this does not constitute the only approach to responding to or handling acts of
delinquency; and surely do not exclude another type of dimension (i.e., providing
provision of support and assistance) in their line of work. As stated above, police officers
have a dual role both as agents of formal and informal social control. To elaborate more
in depth, police officer who are better equipped in balancing both control and support
roles, very well may be the most effective and “exemplary” when compared to other
officers. to balance such a dual role, including controlling and p, they make decisions
either to arrest or not arrest an individual, in this case, specifically a juvenile as a result of
police-juvenile interaction/encounter.

CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
A perusal of the extant literature on police-juvenile encounters yielded scanty data
according to Black & Reiss (1970). This is unlike studies focusing on adult citizenspolice encounters that have received significant sociological attention and analysis.
Inferences however, have been drawn based on these studies to identify a number of

27

factors that may affect the likelihood of police taking juveniles into custody or informally
addressing the situation. Such informal actions by the police include providing necessary
support or warning to the juvenile instead of taking formal action such as arresting the
juvenile. Before delving into the literature on factors that influence police response to
juveniles they encounter during patrol, a review of the theoretical framework that
underpins this study is imperative. Assumptions that inform this study is that police
behavior is influenced by the social environment or immediate situation in which they are
confronted with and the distribution of different aspect of social life (e.g., the seriousness
of the offense, the demeanor of an individual, bystanders, the amount of evidence present
at the crime scene, extra legal factors, legal factors). In other words, the social structure
of the situation has significant influence on police response/behavior (Myers, 2004). It is
important to reiterate that the focus of this study is the determination of whether Black’s
(1976) study on police behavior sheds light on the understanding of police behavior when
encountering juveniles in rural areas.
To accomplish this objective, this study seeks the replication of Myers’s (2004)
research. Myers study design employed a psychological-social theoretical framework to
explicate the decision making and/or behavior of police when encountering citizens,
particularly juveniles in urban locales. However, the focus of this study is to see if the
same phenomenon could be replicated in the rural areas using Black’s behavioral of law
framework which provides a more in depth understanding of the decision making and/or
behavior of police encountering juveniles at the street level especially in the rural areas.
To get some understanding of Black’s behavioral of law thesis, a brief overview of his
perspective is undertaken below:
Black’s Sociology of Law Perspective

28

Black’s behavior of law perspective encompasses an account of law in action or
in motion (Black & Reiss, 1970; Black, 1976) “without including the consequence of the
deviance to the victim as a dimension of the theory” (Gottfredson & Hindelang, 1979, p.
3). Black defines law as “governmental social control” (Black, 1976, p. 2). He contends
that law is a quantitative dependent variable that tends to vary across characteristics of
individuals, time and space (Gottfredson & Hindelang, 1979). The quantity of law (i.e.,
“the degree of forceful governmental social control” (Avakame, Fyfe, & McCoy, p. 767)
is measured in an ordinal position (i.e., a specified/ordered position) from four points—
penal, compensatory, therapeutic, and conciliatory (Avakame, Fyfe, & McKoy, 1999).
Furthermore, his theory seeks to predict the quantity of law (How much law is applied or
in action?) as it varies across individual characteristic of individuals, time and space in
relation to other aspects of social life (e.g., “stratification, morphology, culture,
organization, and social control” (Black, 1976, p. 1). What this means is that the quality
of law increases or decreases according to the different phases of social life that is
encountered. His theory further predicts that the direction of law (i.e., whether the legal
instrument is employed more or less is a function of the situational factors and the
characteristic of the officer applying the law. Therefore, the situational factors such as
those enumerated above influence the quantity of governmental social control activities
according to (Avakeame, Fyfe, & McKoy, 1999). This is of course as when viewed from
the perspective of criminal justice organizations such as law enforcement agencies as
social control instruments of the government.
According to Black, each of the above-mentioned factors of social life provides a
generalized propositional structure that explains law and its implementation as varying

29

according to situational factors. Black’s first proposition argues that the direction of the
quantity of law vary directly in relation with social stratification. Black defines social
stratification as the vertical distance between individuals in a social environment, which
tends to be measured based upon wealth or social standing in society that also varies with
gender, race, and age (Linton, 1936). In Black’s view, people who are affluent in society
tend to be better protected by the law compared to individuals who are not materially
resourceful. Upper-class individuals tend to enjoy better protection under the law, better
access to law, and are more willing to mobilize or evoke the law when compared to
people in the lower social economic system. For example, when affluent people are
victimized, they tend to have a higher probability to call for governmental intervention,
particularly police, when compared to less affluent individuals.
Black’s second proposition is that law varies with social morphology, which is
the horizontal aspect of social life. For example, this proposition refers to the social
distance between individuals in relation to one another. According to Black, law is
somewhat inactive among intimate persons because these individuals tend to resolve their
conflicts among themselves informally with no assistance from state intervention.
Black’s third proposition is that law varies in relation to culture. He posits that
the quantity of law that occurs within peoples’ lives is predicted based on the variation of
culture (e.g., the level of education, values, and beliefs) within their lives. Black
contends that the quantity of culture varies across society. Some individuals in society
tend to have more culture compared to others. Moreover, according to Black, law is
“unevenly distributed across cultural space” (p. 64). Furthermore, the same concept
applies to the culture of law. This in effect, suggests that law tends to vary directly within
its own culture—the quality of its doctrines and rules.

30

Black’s fourth proposition is that law also varies unswervingly with social
organization. According to Black, “organization is the corporate aspect of social life “(p.
85). Black theorizes that people in groups have “the capacity for collection action” (p.
85) compared to an individual actor. Therefore, individuals in groups are more likely to
mobilize the law more and to succeed or be more successful in attaining their goals.
However, a social organization’s capacity for collective action tends to vary in time and
space. When it is measured, the capacity for collective action tends to predict and
explicate the quantity of law. Black contends that law varies directly with organization
and its collective action within a society. Also, the style of law varies across time and
space. For example, the style of policing in urban areas may differ from the styles of
policing in rural areas.
Black’s fifth proposition describes the effect of social control on the quantity of
law; and that law varies inversely with other social control instruments such as etiquette,
custom, ethics, bureaucracy, and the treatment of mental illness (Black, 1976, p. 105).
Black posits that this proposition is the normative aspect of social life that dictates what
is right and wrong. Social control occurs when and whenever a society of people holds
each other to socially agreed upon standards. Consequently, it tends to divide people into
two groups: those who are acceptable and those who are not. Furthermore, Black argues
that social control is a quantitative variable. One setting (e.g., urban police organization)
may exercise more governmental (formal) social control toward its citizenry when
compared to another setting (e.g., rural police department) which may apply less
governmental social control over its citizenry.
The above-listed propositions collectively are what Black called the behavior of
law. According to Black, these general propositions can be used to explain any social

31

phenomena. Therefore, Black challenges social science to empirically test his theory to
determine if its’ explanations are valid. His theory was a major contribution to the field
of sociology because of his integrative approach to the understanding of different aspects
of social life, including, stratification, morphology, culture, organization, and social
control to explain, as described above, the quantity of law as it varies across individual
characteristics of individuals, time and space.
Black has proposed a number of predictions concerning the behavior of law in
general, and law in action as applied by legal governmental agencies, particularly the
police. For example, Black and Reiss (1970) argue that there are situational factors rather
than law violations that influence officers’ decisions to either arrest or not arrest a
juvenile engaging in delinquent behavior. They define deviance as “behavior in a class
for which there is a probability of sanction subsequent to its detection—a control
approach” (Black & Reiss, 1970, p. 63). They further note that there are variations of
deviance—three fundamental types. One type (i.e., undetected deviance) includes
behaviors that occur in private locations that are incredibly seldom detected by police, but
very well have a very high probability to be sanctioned. The second type is deviance that
is detected but is unsanctioned. This deviance is the opposite of the first type. For
example, the police detect delinquent behaviors but the police do not sanction or arrest
those individuals engaging in such behaviors. According to the criminal law and
procedure, the third type of deviance includes behavior (i.e., sanctioned deviance) that is
detected and sanctioned.
All three types of deviance reflect the mechanisms of the established social
control framework. Furthermore, they noted there are also two other important
distinctions that need to be made in relation to the social control approach between

32

official/formal detection sanctioning and informal detection and sanctioning (Black &
Reiss, 1970). If there is an approach that does not make inquiries into the relationship
between official/formal and informal social control systems, then that approach is
deficient. Thus, an approach to deviance shall have a system or organizational frame of
reference. In addition, it is important to make a distinction between the detection of
deviant behavior and the detection of individuals who commit deviant acts. The wideranging methods for which individuals can be associated with deviant acts are
problematic to engage in investigation. Regardless of the social control systems,
informal or formal, there will be some type of investigation to ascertain evidence to
support one or the other system. Therefore, according to Black and Reiss, there is a need
to examine case by case police-juvenile encounters/responses because there are other
situational factors (“besides rule-violative behavior itself)” (p. 65) that dictates whether
police officers arrest or not arrest citizens, particularly juveniles. Thus, the current study
is examining case by case police juvenile encounters in two Mississippi rural locales to
identify situational factors that may contribute to officers’ behavior arresting or not
arresting juveniles involved in deviant activities.
Black and Reiss (1970) and Black (1976) employed the behavior of law thesis to
appraise the behavior of police officers conceptualizing law as a quantitative variable.
Black and Reiss (1970) examined police-juvenile situational encounters within three
large metropolitan areas (urban), Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C, during the
summer of 1966 (as noted above). They employed mixed methods data collection
techniques (i.e., field systematic observation and survey). A total of 5,713 police-citizen
encounters were observed and documented. However, only 281 of these encounters

33

involved a juvenile. Therefore, Black and Reiss assessed 281 street level police-juvenile
encounters. They found that out of 281 cases, 72% (202) were call for service by citizens
and the police while on patrol initiated 28% (79). Black and Reiss’s findings suggest that
the majority of delinquent acts committed by juvenile are detected by citizens rather than
by police-initiated operations. Also, they proposed a set of hypotheses in relation to law
that suggested that individuals, particularly police, vary in their willingness pertaining to
the application of law, their mental and physical abilities to utilize law, the quantity of
law they will use, and whether or not they will be effective or not in applying the law
(Lawton, 2007). The set of hypotheses provided the beginning of an empirical portrait of
the understanding of policing juveniles (Black & Reiss, 1970; Lundman, Sykes, & Clark,
1978) and supported the general theory of social control as proposed by Black (1976).
The hypotheses are as follow: (1) detection of juvenile deviance; (2) seriousness of
juvenile deviance; (3) arrest rates; (4) legal seriousness and arrest; (5) citizen preference
and arrest; (6) race and arrest; (7) evidence and arrest; and (8) demeanor and arrest
(Lundman, Sykes, & Clark, 1978).
To determine if Black’s (1976) sociology of law can provide a theoretical lens
model can be generalized to police-juvenile encounters in rural areas, particularly the
Mississippi Delta, an assessment is necessary. An empirical assessment of Black’s (1976)
model in relation to rural areas will increase the support of his findings and the
cumulative effect of the behavior of law. Therefore, the central aim of the present study
is to examine the extent to which Myers’ (2004) findings ascertain from urban areas are
applicable to police-juvenile encounters in rural areas, particularly in the Mississippi
Delta, utilizing the theoretical framework of that of Black (1976).
Previous Studies Utilizing Black’s (1976) Sociology of Law Theoretical Framework

34

This section of the review provides an overview of research that employed
Black’s (1976) model to their study of interest. For example, Braithwaite and Biles
(1980) indicated that Black’s (1976) work was a major contribution to sociology because
of the integrative approach it brought together to propositions about stratification,
morphology, culture, organization, and social control to explain variations across time
and space in the quantity of law. They noted that Black (1979) compromised his own
theory. This came about in his effort to defend his book against a non-supported
empirical test by Gottfredson and Hindeling (1979a). Black has also neutralized the
considerable worth of some of his earlier work (Black, 1970; 1971). Black’s theory was
further put to test by Gottredson and Hindelang (1979a) who used victim survey to test
whether, in line with Black’s theory, the wealthy, the employed, the married, are more
likely to report to the police events regarded as crimes than are various other groups. The
test seemed reasonable as Black states clearly “a complaint to a legal official, for
example, is more law than no complaint” (Black, 1976, p. 3). However, they further
indicated that Black rejects Gottfredson and Hindelang’s use of victim survey data
because such surveys require subjects to report only incidents they consider crimes.
Therefore, according to Black, their data show only whether people called the police
when they considered an incident a crime, not whether some incidents were more or less
likely to be interpreted as crimes in the first place. Moreover, Gottfredson and Hindelang
were able to show that Black did in fact intended that his theory to have a level of
generality; and, that he intended for the theory to make predictions about the quantity of
law conditional upon the incident having reached some prior stage of processing: and
that he intended victim survey data to be relevant to testing the theory.

35

Smith (1986) applied Black’s theory to the contextual level of analysis by
examining data from 60 neighborhoods across three cities on contextual level variables
including measures of race heterogeneity and socioeconomic status and an indication of
whether or not officers employed measures of coercive authority when interacting with a
citizen. He analyzed his data by using bivariate and multivariate analysis of five
measures of police behavior and 11 neighborhood characteristics to test the neighborhood
context hypothesis. Smith’s findings found a consistent impact of racial heterogeneity on
the decision of the officers to employ coercive authority during the course of the
interaction. The researcher further indicated, “Police are significantly more likely to use
or threaten force against suspects encountered in primarily black or racially mixed
neighborhoods” (p. 329).
Fyfe, Klinger, and Flavin (1997) analyzed the response of the Chester,
Pennsylvania, police to 392 consecutively reported felony-grade assaults by persons
whose identities were known to the victims and police. They found support for Black’s
theory in the development of the leniency thesis, or the idea that males are less likely to
be arrested for assaulting their spouses than they would be for any other type of assault.
Their tabular analysis demonstrates that arrests occurred in 13% of male-on-female
spousal assaults and 28% of other assaults. Their results further suggest that in these
interactions, with a short relational distance, men are less likely to be arrested for
assaulting spouses than for other crimes.
Avakame, Fyfe, and McCoy (1999) utilized data from the National Crime
Victimization Survey (1992-1994), to test Black’s theory about the behavior of law,
specifically the decision to mobilize social control through legal agencies. They further
delineated operative research questions, which were Black’s (1976) predictions about the

36

behavior of law in general, and the mobilization of legal agencies, such as police in
particular. Therefore, the researchers tested the empirical validity of these propositions
by utilizing multivariate analysis. The authors’ findings suggested that numerous
extralegal factors (e.g., race, gender, wealth, education) affect both crime victims’
decisions to call for police intervention and police decisions to arrest. They
further suggested that factors predicting calls to police maybe different from those
preceding arrest. Therefore, they conclude that the degree of social control (or, in Black’s
terms, the “quantity of law”) mobilized is not explained significantly by many of the
factors that they predict: The poor relied on the police more than did middle-class people
and women used the law more than the men did.
Lawton (2007) examined the determinants of the level of nonlethal force
employed by Philadelphia police using 1 year of archival self-reports (N=747). The
researcher sought to improve earlier research of Black’s theory by utilizing multilevel
models to determine whether levels of force vary across locales. The researcher tested
Black’s theory that officer-citizen racial combinations affect forcefulness. The researcher
also delineated Black’s series of hypotheses/propositions on the nature of law. According
to the researcher, Black’s theory indicated that amount of law applied against citizens in
interaction will vary as a result of characteristics of the officer and citizen in a social
setting. This suggested when examining the impact of race on the quantity of law applied
(i.e., level of force), the racial combination, rather than individual measures of race, is
relevant. The researcher further indicated that Black acknowledges that minorities are
less able than their White counterparts to access both the quantity and quality of law;
therefore, Black would suggest that the least amount of law would be applied when a
non-White officer interact with a White citizen. Subsequently, the researcher formulated

37

his hypothesis based on Black’s theory: Individuals encountered in predominately
minority areas will have higher levels of force used against them by police. Analyzing
police responses to a self-reported survey concerning the use of non-lethal force in
Philadelphia in 2002, the researcher’s findings suggested neither officer nor citizen race
nor the officer-citizen race combination played a significant role. His findings also
suggested that on the individual level, there failed to be support for Black’s theory
concerning the amount of law applied. His findings showed only a marginally significant
support for race at the contextual level. However, the race coefficients did nonsignificantly follow the pattern suggested by Black.
Situational Factors and Police Decisions/Behavior when Encountering Juveniles
Some studies have focused on legal and situational factors that influence police
decisions to take juveniles into custody (Myers, 2004). For example, a study by
Pattavina, Buzawa, Hirschel, and Faggiani (2007) focused on whether the impact of
place, policy, and perpetrator factors in predicting arrest outcomes in intimate partner
violence incidents, including juveniles involved in domestic violence incidents. Their
findings indicate that residing in an urban area was correlated with lower odds of arrest in
assaults of intimate partners but not in the assaults occurring against other family
members. In addition, a study suggested that offenders who are over the age of 21 were
more likely to be arrested in intimate partner assaults but less likely than younger
offenders to be arrested in incidents involving other family members (Hirshel, Buzawa,
Pattavina, & Faggiani, 2008). Strom, Warner, Tichavsky, and Zahn (2010), through
multivariate logistic regression analyses, determine whether domestic violence arrest
policies, along with incident, offender, and victim characteristics, influence the decision
making process of officers in domestic violence offenses committed by juveniles against

38

their parents. They found that domestic violence arrest policies had positive effects on
arrest outcomes both for juvenile females and for males who were accused of the offense
of domestic violence involving their parents. Specifically, they also found that girls
increasingly were more likely to be arrested for assaults against parents over the five-year
period when compared to boys.
Allen (2005) also aimed to identify situational factors that influence police
officers decisions to take juveniles into custody. He identified five strong correlates
regarding the decision making process of officers taking juveniles into custody, which
include: (1) adolescents who are disrespectful toward police officers; (2) adolescents
who are out late at night in the streets; (3) the appearance of adolescents looking
suspicious of committing a delinquent act; if so, they should be stopped and questioned
accordingly; (4) adolescent males tend to have a more suspicious demeanor than female
adolescents; and, (5) the age of the officer. Furthermore, he employed the odd ratio
statistic to indicate the likelihood that officers would take juveniles into custody. His
findings further suggested that adolescents who are disrespectful to police officers are
four times more likely to be taken into custody. Juveniles who are out late in the streets
are three times more likely to also be taken into custody by police officers. Juveniles
who appear to have suspicious demeanors are two times more likely to be taken into
custody. In addition, his findings indicated that officers who mostly take juveniles into
custody may be younger than 34 years of age.
Myers (2004) also examined situational factors that officers are confronted with
when encountering juvenile suspects. They further examined the relationship between
behaviors of authority and support and the attitudes and characteristics of officers. She
found that police use their authority infrequently to formally take juveniles into custody.

39

Also, police officers are more likely to arrest juveniles when the situation or the offense
is more serious and when they (the police) have enough supporting evidence in the
direction of the accused. In addition, adolescents are more than likely to be taken into
custody when they are verbally or behaviorally being disrespectful towards the officers.
She also indicated that police officers are more likely to arrest juveniles when weapons
are involved and when the officers are knowledgeable of prior offenses committed by the
juveniles. In addition, police officers are more than likely to make an arrest when a
police supervisor is present. She further suggested that police arrest decisions were not
patterned by characteristics and attitudes of officers.
Brown, Novak, and Frank (2009) explored the basis of officer decision making
during encounters with juvenile offenders, and compared these encounters to those of
adults. They examined, specifically, two types of officer behavior which include the
decision to arrest and the exercise of authority. Their findings suggested that the factors
shaping officer behavior varies across age of suspect, namely, the community context and
the officer’s race offered significantly different influences on the arrest of juveniles than
adults. Their findings further suggested that the juvenile with a disrespectful demeanor
also influenced the officer decision to take a juvenile into custody. Furthermore, their
findings found that police officer’s behavior during encounters with juveniles is different
from encounters with adults.
Attitudinal Factors and Police Decisions/Behavior when Encountering Juveniles
Other studies have focused on police-juvenile encounters with citizens, including
juveniles, to estimate the influences disrespect of the police have in taking juveniles into
custody. For example, Lundman, Sykes, and Clark (1978) postulated that black and
white juveniles who were more antagonistic are more than likely to be arrested than

40

juveniles who were not adversarial with the police. Mastrofski, Reisig, and McCluskey
(2002) research also carried out through systematic observations and multivariate
analysis, estimated three influences of police disrespect: how suspects behave, their
personal characteristics, and the location of the encounter. They found that the most
influential predictor of police disrespect was in response to the suspects’ behavior.
Suspects who resisted arrest, had strong evidence against them, and were not in conflict
with others with whom they were close were not at significant greater risk of police
disrespect. In addition, the suspect’s sex, age, income, and degree of neighborhood
disadvantage were also significant. They further found that White juveniles were more
disrespected by police officers than non-whites were. In addition, some research shows
that the decision to arrest is frequently based on factors, such as “dress, attitude, speech,
and level of hostility toward the police” (p. 295).
Race as a Factor Influencing Arrest Decisions
Other research has focused on race as being a contributing factor in police
decisions to arrest juveniles. For example, Pope and Synder (2003), through systematic
observation of police officers, found no evidence to support her research hypothesis that
police are more likely to arrest nonwhite juvenile offenders than white juvenile offenders.
However, her findings suggested that there is some evidence that support the conclusion
that once a violent offense is reported or witnessed by an officer, the likelihood of arrest
is greater for white juvenile offenders when compared to nonwhite offenders.
Nevertheless, the data collected in her study did in fact indicate an “indirect bias” effect
in the arrest of nonwhite juveniles in that they are more likely to be arrested when the
victims are white than when they are nonwhite victims.

41

Furthermore, a study indicated that race is one of the most powerful
factors/variables when explaining public attitudes toward police. The researchers
specifically explored whether the police views of African Americans and Latinos differ
from the comparison group—such as black and white offenders/suspects. They found
that a higher percentage of African American students (60%) and Latino students (55%)
reported that they had been stopped by the police. In their study, they indicated that
approximately 62% of African Americans and 60% of Latinos reported that the police
had disrespected them during police-juvenile encounters. The study further indicated that
when both minority groups were stopped and disrespected by the police, these encounters
negatively affected their perception of whether police officers care about their
neighborhoods. She did identify several similarities found between Latino and African
American students based on her dependent measures (i.e., police authority and support
and assistance). Both minority groups, who had been stopped and disrespected by
officers, were less likely willing to assist these officers (Lurigio, Greenleaf, & Flexon,
2009). In addition, Black and Reiss (1970) suggested that when police officers are
responding to a complainant, they consider the complainant’s preference when making
decision concerning juveniles. For example, when complainants request officers to arrest
a juvenile, officers were more likely to arrest the juvenile.
Previous Research and Findings on Police-Juvenile Encounters in Non-Urban Areas
There have been limited studies that have addressed the police-juvenile
encounters in nonurban areas, especially in small towns and rural areas (Flangan, 1985;
Liederbach & Frank, 2003). Only a few studies examined police-juvenile encounters in
suburban and small-town jurisdictions. For example, Liederbach (2007) examined the
nature of police encounters with juveniles aged 13 to 17 in 20 suburban and small-town

42

jurisdiction in relation to the type of problems nonurban police officers encounter when
interacting with juveniles; the actions taken by officers to resolve the encountered
situation; and the discretionary decision making process of officers who take juveniles
into custody. On one hand, he found that police-juvenile encounters in nonurban areas
appear to be similar to those encounters in urban areas, particularly the type of offenses
officers encounter when dealing with juveniles. Offenses such as minor disturbances,
loitering, and misdemeanor thefts were mostly what nonurban officers encountered when
dealing with juveniles in the streets. These offenses were also more prevalent in prior
research concerning street-level encounters with juveniles in urban areas. In addition, the
tendency of police officers to resolve juvenile issues/problems more informally without
taking juveniles into custody were prevalent in nonurban and urban areas. On the other
hand, research findings also show that there were differences between police response to
juvenile offending in both rural and urban settings. Specifically, he found that in
nonurban areas most traffic related offenses were most commonly detected in policejuvenile encounters rather than criminal offenses (order maintenance or service activities)
that are been detected by police in urban areas. He concluded that in nonurban areas,
there is less stress and problems than those in urban areas. However, Muhammad (2002)
noted that nonurban areas have their share of serious crimes, such as, rape, homicide,
wildlife and agricultural crimes.
The current study cannot state with certainty which situational factors are more
influential in the arrest of juveniles in the rural areas of Mississippi. Therefore, this study
will seek to replicate Myers’ (2004) study design to examine the interactions between
police officers and juveniles in nonurban communities utilizing Black’s sociology of law

43

as a theoretical lens the understanding of the decision making/behavior of police when
encountering juvenile in the street. As this measurement instrument has been used and
tested by Myers, it is fair to assume that the validity and reliability of the instrument can
be counted upon for the present research. Therefore, the central aim of the present study
is to examine the extent to which Myers’ findings are applicable to the rural areas of
Mississippi with regard to police-juvenile situational encounters.
The following section presents how Black’s (1976) model is adequate for the
current study due to the abovementioned supported research (e.g., Black & Reiss, 1970;
Lundman, et al., 1978) and policy implications. Based on Black and Reiss (1970) study
which proposed an empirical portrait of the policing of juveniles police juveniles and
which established a foundational outline of a general theory of crime (the behavior of
law) (as indicated above), provided an cadre on the official detection and sanctioning by
police (i.e., an arrest) of juvenile delinquency, which was informative in relation to
theory. Black’s model inquires into the properties that generated a control response,
which assumes that the likelihood of sanctioning a juvenile for a delinquent act is
conditional upon other social factors rather than simple non-conforming behavior (i.e.,
rule violative behavior). For example, Black (1976) and Black and Reiss (1970) models
presented the behavior of law and deviance; and, as a result, provided a silhouette to
discover the social organization of deviance and control (Black & Reiss, 1970). In
addition, Black and Reiss study employed the sociology of law into the understanding of
police legal behavior. At the same time, they conceptualized law as a quantitative
variable. Their study illustrates how social control is assertive in criminal and juvenile
justice systems—particularly by police officers.

However, note as to date, a small

44

portion of studies has adequately provided support of all Black and Reiss’s eight
propositions (see Lundman et al., 1978). Nevertheless, some research has provided
empirical support for one or more of their propositions (Smith, 1986; Lundman et al.,
1978; Myers, 2004; Pattavina et al., 2007).
Therefore, it is important to examine police behavior when encountering juveniles
at the street level in rural areas. This will allow the criminal justice arena to have a more
comprehensive understanding of police practices. In addition, this will allow criminal
justice practitioners improve upon their understanding of the difference and similarities
between rural and urban police practices, specifically when encountering juveniles at the
street level. Based on Black’s (1976) perspective—behavioral of law, rural police
practices vary across individual characteristics of individuals, time, and communities.

CHAPTER III
METHOD
Data for this study is based partly on findings from a research project earlier
undertaken by Rochelle Cobbs, the Principal Investigator, and Oko Elechi, the co-

45

Principal Investigator. This study was funded by Mississippi Valley State University in
2011. This Faculty Summer Research Development Grant was sponsored by the U.S.
Department of Education, Title III, Plan B Program to undertake a study entitled, “The
Policing of Juveniles in the State of Mississippi: A Replication Study. The focus of this
dissertation is the replication of Myers’s (2004) study that examined police-juvenile
encounters from a street-level situational perspective. However, this focuses on policejuvenile encounters in the rural areas rather than from urban settings. To accomplish this
objective, this study seeks to expand on the earlier study described above that was
supported by a grant by the Mississippi Valley State University in 2011.
Findings from the expanded research efforts will be used to complement the data
from the 2011 study described above. It is reiterated here, the primary focus of this study
is the examination of police-juvenile encounters from a street-level situational
perspective in the identified rural areas of the state of Mississippi, particularly the
Mississippi Delta. To accomplish this task, the researcher, Rochelle Cobbs, seeks to
augment the data from the research project carried out in 2011. Both data sets will be
analyzed to determine if the research projects’ findings support or negate that of Myers
given the unique context of Mississippi. There is no claim being made here that the
findings from this study are generalizable beyond the areas where the studies were
undertaken. The motivation for this study is that this study is significant in the
understanding of police-juvenile encounters and so the study is worth the efforts for its
own sake and will not be generalizable to other police departments which serve other
rural areas in the United States. The analyses of the proposed data collections will be

46

undertaken following approval from the Prairie View A&M University Institutional
Review Board.
The next section explicates Myers’s study design which was the study framework
the earlier study was modeled after.
Patrol Officers Surveys
A 125 item survey will be administered to officers in a private setting during their
assigned shift (see Appendix B, office survey). The officers participating in the survey
will be informed that their opinions they express are confidential. The survey instrument
will be applied to elicit information relating to police interactions with juveniles
encountered while they are on street patrol, on officers’ personal attributes, backgrounds
and attitudes towards their roles as officers. To reiterate, the current study seeks to
replicate a previous study design undertaken by Myers (2004), which examined police
response to juvenile offending in the urban areas of Indianapolis, Minnesota and St.
Petersburg, Florida. This study seeks to ascertain if its’ findings support that of Myers
given the unique contexts of Mississippi.
Observation of Police Officer
To complement the data obtained through survey, a systematic observation along
Myers’ study method will also be undertaken. How the police respond to deviant
behavior such as loitering, creating a disturbance, engaging in disorderly conduct,
violating traffic laws and other encounters with juveniles will be observed and noted by
the researcher. The researcher will document/note how the police and citizens are
communicating with each other. In addition, she will describe the type of environment in
which the interaction occurs. The observer will ride with patrol officers during their
assigned shifts. The observer will make notations of everything that officers do during
their entire shift, including the activities that the officer performs and information in

47

regard to the nature of their interactions with juveniles and other citizens. The instrument
that will be used to record the data is called the “Ride Form” (see Appendix C). Also,
each day after the researcher returns from a field trip, she will write a narrative which
gives accounts of the officer’s activities during a work day and also code information
about the officer’s encounters with citizens with whom the officer interacted, and other
activities the officers performed. The police officers survey data will be linked with the
observation data by an officer identifier code assigned to officers for this research by the
researcher. This identifier code will be indicated on the officer survey and the ride form
of the observation data.
The Proposed Analytical Plan
Patterning Myers’ study design, the present study will concentrate on policejuvenile encounters, involving youths ranging from ages 6 to 17. The study will conduct
comparative analyses of tested formulated hypotheses pertaining to how police “use of
authority” and “provision of support” correlate with police officers’ attitudes,
backgrounds, and the situations with which they encounter. The narrative and the coded
data relating to the situational encounters with juveniles that will be recorded during the
observation process will also be used to measure two constructs: “police use of
authority” and “provision of support,” which measure two dimension of police behavior.
Like Myers, both factors will be use as explanatory/dependent variables. To measure
such constructs, Appendix A is an illustration of the various types of police actions (e.g.,
as according to Myers, inquiring into the nature of the problem, listening to one or more
sides of the problem, taking a report, commanding or threatening the juvenile to leave an
area, issuing a citation) that will be described, utilized, and measured. These actions will
also be assigned numbers from 1 (the least amount of coerciveness) to 5 (being the most

48

amount of coerciveness) to reflect the level of authority, ranking each action from the
least to the most as it relates to the level of coerciveness. Lastly, the survey data will
delve into the information relating to the personal attributes of officers, such as, gender,
sex, training (community policing), their attitudes concerning their police role and the
citizens who they provide service. In the analysis, these factors will also be used as
explanatory factors (see Appendix B).
Dependent Variables
Use of Authority
This study will conduct comparative analyses of the findings of Cobbs and Elechi
for the research project of 2011 and the proposed current research project. Due to the
projects being replications of Myers’s study design, the projects will also employ the use
of a dichotomy variable (i.e., “the decision to arrest or not”) to capture police use of
authority construct. In order to measure the arrest of juveniles, like Myers, the
researcher will also use codes such as one to indicate that the police arrested a juvenile;
and, a zero to indicate that the police did not arrest a juvenile.
Provision of Support
As demonstrated by Myers, the provision of support by police to citizens will be
measured in the same way as the authority construct and compared to the findings in rural
areas. Numbers will also be used to indicate the level of “support and assistance” of
actions of the police. The actions of the police officers used for this measurement consist
of the following: “partially complying, fully complying with, and being sympathetic to
the situation” (p. 88). The construct will be measured by utilizing a dichotomous
variable. If officers provide any type of support, the observer will record a 1. If officers

49

did not provide any support, the observer will note a 0 (see Appendix A, police use of
authority and police provision of support/assistance).
Independent Variables
Utilizing Myers framework, the independent variables for the present study
include: officer characteristics, officer attitudes, characteristic of the situation, and
characteristics of the suspects.
Officer Characteristics
The officer’s characteristics will be identified through the officers completing the
officer survey (see Appendix B). These characteristics will include the officer’s sex, race,
level of education, length of service, types of training (i.e., community policing). The
officer’s sex and race will be considered as dummy variables. The officer education will
be a categorical variable which differentiates between those officers who have some level
of college education and those that do not have college education. Officer length of
service will be categorized as a continuous variable. In regard to training in community
policing, the researchers will consider this variable as an ordinal variable which
distinguishes between officers amount of training. This amount of training may range
from one day to three months of training.
Officer Attitudes
To examine officers’ attitudes toward citizens, role orientation, selectivity, and
aggressiveness, six measures will be constructed. As indicated by Myers, attitudinal
measures consist of cynicism, assistance, aggressiveness, selectivity, and role orientation
which will be regressed on the dependent variables. According to her representation,
cynicism will represent officers’ views of the proportion of citizens who would be willing
to help and cooperate with the police (p. 93). According to Myers, three survey items
were added to the survey to capture this measure (“all items are coded as 1 = most, 2 =

50

some, 3 = few, 4 = none” (p. 94). As illustrated by Myers, the codes represented are as
follow:
(1) How many citizens in your beat would call the police if they saw
something suspicious;
(2) How many citizens in your beat would provide information about a crime
if they knew something and were asked about it by police?;
(3) How many of the citizens in your beat are willing to work with police to
try to solve neighborhood problems (p. 94).
Assistance
The assistance construct will measure how the police officer’s attitude is toward
providing assistance to citizens. This construct will be captured by utilizing a single
survey measure that asks officers to indicate their level of agreement with a statement
(i.e., according to Myers, “Assisting citizens is as important as enforcing the law”) (p.
95), which is coded as 1 = disagree strongly, 2 = disagree somewhat, 3 = agree
somewhat, 4 = agree strongly).
Aggressiveness
Due to the present study being a replication of Myers, the researcher will utilize
the same measure of that of Myers to capture the aggressiveness of officers toward
citizens, particularly juveniles. This variable will be measured with a single survey item
which will be based on the agreement with the following statement: “A good patrol
officer is one who patrols aggressively by stopping cars, checking out people, running
license checks, etc. The responses for this statement will be coded (e.g., disagree
strongly =1, disagree somewhat = 2, agree somewhat = 3, agree strongly = 4).
Selectivity

51

In addition, this study will also model Myers’ study by utilizing the same single
survey items to capture officers’ attitudes toward selective enforcement via comparative
analysis of both previous research projects to that of Myers. The item of the survey will
ask: “How frequently would you say there are good reasons for not arresting someone
who has committed a minor criminal offense” (p. 96). The response will consist of and
coded as never = 1, rarely = 2, sometimes = 3, often = 4.
Roles Orientation
The roles orientation construct will be captured in two different measures and
compared with findings of the present study and that of Myers. One measure of the
officers’ orientation will encompass the officers’ personal feelings in regard to law
enforcement which is measured by only one item on the survey. This item asked the
officers to either agree or disagree with the following statement: “Enforcing the law is by
far a patrol officer’s most important responsibility” (p. 96). The second measure will
give a picture of the officers’ role orientation as to how officers define their roles. Six
items of the survey will be tallied as one concept from responses of officers which
inquired of officers as to how frequently they are to be expected to handle various
problems (e.g., “public nuisances, neighbor disputes, family disputes, litter and trash,
parents who don’t control their kids, nuisance businesses” (p. 97). The responses will be
coded (i.e., 1 = never, 2 = sometimes, 3 = much of the time, and 4 = always).
Juvenile Encounters: Characteristics of the Situation
The police-juvenile encounters situational characteristics construct is measured in
terms of legal and extralegal factors, which is the same as Myers and the present study.
The legal factors will consist of “the seriousness of the problem and victim arrest
preference” (p. 98). Two indicators will be used to identify the seriousness of the
problem by examining the nature of the problem and employing a seriousness scale. The

52

nature of the problem indicator will consist of one to twelve aggregated categories which
the responses of officers will be ranked. For example, the modal category will consist of
problems such as disorder, curfew violations, public nuisance, disorder, dealing with litter
trash, disorder, etc. In addition, the second indicator, which is also the same as Myers, the
seriousness of the situation, which will be considered an ordinal variable that will classify
problems based on the potential harm and level of seriousness to the victim. These
problems will be placed into five categories that derive from Sellin and Wolfgang’s
(1964) (see Appendix D, encounter form). The extralegal factors of encounters’
characteristics will be included and delineated as such: (1) who initiated the encounter;
(2) the location of the encounter; (3) whether or not the complainant was a minority; and,
(4) whether or not a supervisor was present (Myers, 2004, p. 100). A Multi-variant
analysis will be employed measuring officers’ proactivity dichotomously, which will
differentiate encounters that are initiated by the observer officers (coded 1) and
encounters initiated by someone else other than the observed officer (coded 0).
Characteristics of the Suspects
This section will also follow Myers’ blueprint which captures the characteristics
of the suspect. Like Myers, the characteristics of the suspect construct will be classified
into one or two groups—namely, legal or extralegal factors, for the present study. The
present findings will be compared to that of Myers. The legal factors will consist of “the
amount of evidence available to police that linked the juvenile to some wrongdoing,
evidence of alcohol or drug use, and weapon possession” (p. 103). The extralegal factors
will include the suspects’ sex, demeanor, race, level of wealth, whether or not the police
had some knowledge of the suspect prior to the encounter (p. 103). A point scale will be
employed to measure the points assigned to the subsequent conditions. For example, if a

53

citizen at the scene has observed the juvenile in an illegal act first hand, there will be an
indication of one point on the scale. If a juvenile provides a full confession of an
offense, there will be a recording of two points on the scale (see Appendix E, citizen
form).
The alcohol and drug use measure will describe “whether or not there were any
indications of use and if there were any observable behavioral effects”. This variable will
be categorical and it will make a distinction between those juveniles who showed no
signs of alcohol or drug use and no behavioral problems, those juveniles who showed
some indications of use but did not show any signs of behavioral problems, and those
juveniles who did not show any behavioral defects at all.
The measures which captured the juveniles’ personal characteristics, such as, race,
sex, level of wealth, will be considered as dummy variables distinguishing between
various subgroups (e.g., according to Myers, minorities and whites, males and females,
and juveniles from lower levels of wealth and juveniles from higher levels of wealth (p.
104).
In addition, the measure of the demeanor of the juvenile will be a dummy variable
too. It will differentiate between those juveniles who are disrespectful and those
juveniles who are respectful.
The measure of police having prior knowledge of juveniles who they encounter
will be considered as a dummy variable. This construct will be categorized either by
juveniles who are known by the police or by juveniles who are not known by the police.
In conclusion, the purpose of this study is the examination of the police-juvenile
encounters/interactions from a street-level situational perspective. This study seeks to
replicate an earlier study by Myers (2004) and Cobbs/Elechi (2011) in the process). The

54

Cobbs and Elechi (2011) study was a replication of Myers (2004) research. This study,
similar to Cobbs and Elechi (2011) and Myers (2004), examine the relationship between
the types of behavior of police (namely—authority and support), the attitude and
characteristics of individual officers, and the situational factors that officers encounter
when handling citizens, particularly juveniles, at the street-level. A major thrust of this
study is the determination of whether findings from this study support or negate the
findings of Myers notwithstanding the unique contexts of the rural areas of Mississippi,
particularly the Mississippi Delta.

References
Allen, T. T. (2005). Taking a juvenile into custody: Situational factors that influence
police officers’ decisions. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 32(2), 121129.

55

Avakame, E.F., Fyfe, J.J., & McCoy, C. (1999). Did you call the police? What did they
do?: An empirical assessment of Black’s theory of mobilization of law. Justice
Quarterly, 16(4), 765-792.
Baird-Olson, K. (2000). Doing what we have always done: A case study of rural
policing. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Barnett, C., & Mencken, F.C. (2002). Social disorganization theory and the contextual
nature of crime in nonmetropolitan counties. Rural Sociology, 67: 372–393.
Black, D., & Reiss, A.J. (1970). Police control of juveniles. American Sociological
Review, 35, 63.
Black, Donald (1976). The behavior of law. Academic Press, Inc: California.
Black, D. (1980). The manners and customs of the police. New York: Academic Press.
Boggs, S.L. (1971). Formal and informal crime control: An exploratory study of urban,
Suburban, and rural orientations. The Sociological Quarterly, 12, 319-327.
Bouffard, L.A., & Muftic, L.R. (2006). The “rural mystique”: Social disorganization
and violence beyond urban communities. Western Criminology Review, 7(3), 5666.
Braithwaite, J., & Biles, D. (1980). Empirical verification and Black’s the behavior of
law. American Sociological Review, 45(2), 334-338.
Brown, R.A., Novak, K.J., & Frank, J. (2009). Identifying variation in police officer
between juveniles and adults. Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(2), 200-208.
doi: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2009.02.004
Cohen, A. (1955). Delinquency boys. New York: Free Press.
Cumming, E., Cumming, I., & Edell, L. (1965). Policeman as philosopher: Guide and
Social Problems, 12(3), 276-286.
Deller, S. C., & Deller, M. A. (2010). Rural crime and social capital. Growth and
Change, 41, 221-275.
Donnermeyer, J. F., & Phillips, G.H. (1982). Nature of vandalism among rural youth.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Washington, DC: U.S.
Government Printing Office. Retrieved from
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=88262.
Falcone, D., Wells, E., & Weisheit, R. (2002). The small-town police department.
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 25,
371-384.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2010). Crime in the United States, 2010: Uniform
Crime Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Flanagan, T.J. (1985). Consumer perspectives on police operational strategy. Journal of
Police Science and Administration, 13(1), 10-21.
Fyfe, J.J., Klinger, D.A., & Flavin, J.M. (1997). Differential police treatment of maleon-female spousal violence. Criminology, 35(3), 455-473.

56

Gibbs, J. J. (1979). Crime against persons in urban, suburban, and rural areas: A
comparative analysis of victimization rates. Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office.
Gottfredson, M.R., & Hindelang, M.J. (1979). A study of the behavior of law.
American Sociological Review, 44 (February), 3-18.
Hirschel, D., Buzawa, E., Pattavina, A., & Faggiani, D. (2008). Domestic violence and
mandatory arrest laws: To what extent do they influence arrest decisions?
Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 98, 255-298.
Hobbs, F., & Stoops, N. (2002). Demographic trends in the 20th century. U.S. Census
Bureau, Census 2000 Special Reports, Series CENSR-4, Washington, D.C:
U.S. Government Printing Office.
Hohenstein, W. (1969). Factors influencing the police dispositions of juvenile offenders.
In T. Selling & M. Wolfgang (Ed.), Delinquency: Selected studies. Hoboken,
NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Klinger, D. A. (1996). Quantifying law in police-citizen encounters. Journal of
Quantitative Criminology, 12(4), 391−415.
Lawton, B. (2007). Levels of nonlethal force: an examination of individual, situational
and contextual factors. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 44(2),
163-184.
Liederbach, J. (2007). Controlling suburban and small-town hoods: An examination of
police encounters with juveniles. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 5(2), 107124. doi: 10.177/1541204006295151
Liederbach, J., & Frank, J. (2003). Policing Mayberry: The work routines of smalltown and rural officers. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 28(1), 53-72.
Linton, R. (1936). The study of man: An introduction. New York: Appleton-CenturyCrofts.
Lundman, R.J. (1996). Extralegal variables and arrest. Journal of Research in Crime
and Delinquency, 33(3), 389-353.
Lundman, R.J., Sykes, R.E., & Clark, J.P. (1978). Police control of juveniles: A
Replication. Journal of Research of Crime and Delinquency, 15, 74-91.
Lurigio, A.J., Greenlief, R.G., & Flexon, J.L. (2009). The effects of race on
relationships with the police: A survey of African American and Latino youths in
Chicago. Western Criminology Review, 10(1), 29-41.
Marenin, O., & Copus, G. (1991). Policing rural Alaska. American Journal of Police,
10, 1-26.
Mastrofski, S.D., Reisig, M.D., & McCluskey, J.D. (2002). Police disrespect toward the
public encounter-based analysis. Criminology, 40(3), 519-551.
Mawby, R. I., & Yarwood, R. (Eds.) (2011). Perspective on rural policy and planning:
Rural policing and policing the rural: A constable countryside? Burlington, VT:
Ashgate Publishing Company.
Myers, S. M. (2004). Police encounters with juvenile suspects: Explaining the use of
authority and provision of support, final report. Retrieved from
www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij /grants/205125.pdf.
Muhammad, B.R. (2002). Rural crime and rural policing practices: Multi cultural law

57

enforcement. Retrieved from http://www.emich.edu/cerns/downloads/papers
/PoliceStaff/Patrol,%20Operations,%20Tactics/RURAL%20POLICING.pdf.
Osgood, D.W., & Chambers, J.M. (2003). Community correlates of rural youth
violence. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. Retrieved from
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/193591.pdf.
O’Shea, T. (1999). The crime analysis unit survey (COPS Grant # 1999-CKWXK002).
Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Pattavina, A., Buzawa, E., Hirschel, D., & Faggiani, D. (2007). Policy, place, and
perpetrators: Using NIBRS to explain arrest practices in intimate partner
violence. Justice Research and Policy, 9, 31-51. doi: 10.3818/JRP.9.2.2007.31
Payne, B.K., Berg, B.L., & Sun, I.Y. (2005). Policing in small town America: Dogs,
drunks, disorder, and dysfunction. Journal of Criminal Justice, 33(1), 31-41.
Phillips, G. H. (1975). Crime in rural Ohio: Final report. National Criminal Justice
Reference Service. U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC: U.S.
Government Printing Office. Retrieved from
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=28074
Pope, C.E., & Snyder, H.N. (2003). Race as a factor in juvenile arrests. Juvenile Justice
Bulletin. Office of Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Retrieved from
www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp /189180.pdf.
Puzzanchera, C. (2009). Juvenile Arrests 2008 (Research Report NCJ 228479). Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved from http://ojp.usdog.gov.

Skolnick, J., & Fyfe, J. (1993). Above the law: Police and the use of force. New York:
Free Press.
Smith, B.L. (1982). Criminal victimization in rural areas. In Barbara Raffael Price
& Phyllis Jo Baunach (Eds.), Criminal justice research: New models and
findings. Beverly Hills: Sage.
Smith, B.L., & Huff, R.C. (1982). Crime in the country: The vulnerability and
victimization of rural citizens. Journal of Criminal Justice, 103(3), 271-282.
Smith, D.A. (1986). The neighborhood context of police behavior. Crime and Justice, 8,
313-342.
Strom, K.J., Warner, T.D., Tichavsky, L., & Zahn, M.A. (2010). Policing juveniles:
Domestic violence arrest policies, gender, and police response to child-parent
violence. Crime &Delinquency, 22(10), 1-24. doi: 10.1177/0011128710376293
Swanson, C. R. (1981). Rural and agricultural crime. Journal of Criminal Justice, 9,
19-27. doi: 0047.2352/81/010019.09
Terry, R. (1967). The screening of juvenile offenders. Journal of Criminal Law,
Criminology, and Police Science, 58(2), 173.
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention. (2009). Juvenile Arrests 2007 (NCJ Publication No.
225344. Retrieved from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/225344.pdf.
Websdale, N. (1998). Rural woman battering and the justice system: An ethnography.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

58

Weisheit, R.A., Falcone, D.N., & Wells, L.E. (2006). Crime and policing in rural and
small-town America. (3rd ed.). Illinois: Waveland Press.
Weisheit, R.A., & Wells, L.E. (1996). Rural crime and justice: Implications for theory
and research. Crime & Delinquency, 42(3), 379-397.
Worden, R. E. (1989). Situational and attitudinal explanations of police behavior: A
theoretical reappraisal and empirical assessment. Law and Society Review, 23,
667−711.
Wordes, M.T., Bynum, T.S., & Corley, C.J. (1994). Locking up youth: The impact of
race on detention decisions. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 31,
149-165.
Zhao, J., & Thurman, Q. C. (1997). Community policing: Where are we now? Crime and
Delinquency, 43, 345-357.