Understanding Cases of Failure to Comply with A Disposition

Section II: Longitudinal Youth Court Data

Part 2B: Description of Cases

Criminal History : Previous Convictions

There are a number of ways in which the criminal history of these cases can be described. One could talk about past number of charges, or the past number of individual convictions or the past number of cases. The criminal history of these youths will be described in term of “cases”. Within any one case, however, there can be multiple convictions for a various offences. In the event of multiple convictions within a case, the single most serious conviction will be chosen to describe the case [16].

The first very general description shows the total number of previous cases that were disposed of in youth court before the current FTC conviction. Table 15 shows that 34.5% of the sample had one convicted case previously. Roughly 22.7% had two previous cases in youth court and 42.8% had three or more convicted cases before the current FTC conviction. Girls were significantly more likely than boys to have fewer previous convicted cases.

Table 15: Total Number of Convicted Cases Before FTC Case by Gender
  Male Female Total
One convicted case 33.2%
(2376)
39.2%
(804)
34.5%
(3180)
Two convicted cases 23.0%
(1644)
21.8%
(447)
22.7%
(2091)
Three or more convicted cases 43.9%
(3142)
38.9%
(798)
42.8%
(3940)
Total 100.0%
(7162)
100.0%
(2049)
100.0%
(9211)

Chi-Square= 26.91, df=2, p<.001

Table 16 shows the most serious conviction ever in these youths' history. Roughly 48.4% had, as the most serious offence ever, a violence conviction. The violence was generally split between more serious offences (20.1%) and minor assaults (19%). Another 39.7% had a property conviction as the most serious offence. Relatively few had administration of justice offences (3.2%), drug offences (2.7%), YOA offences (1.8%) and “other” offences (4.1%) as the most serious conviction ever.

Girls were significantly more likely than boys to have a violent conviction as the most serious conviction ever (53.5% of girls had a violent conviction compared to 46.9% of boys). However, the majority of violence for girls was minor assaults (25.8%). Girls were also significantly more likely than boys to have a theft under conviction as the most serious conviction (12.0% for girls; 6.0% for boys) while boys were significantly more likely to have a break and enter conviction as the most serious conviction ever (19.0% for boys; 7.3% for girls).

Table 16: Most Serious Conviction ever in Youths' History by Gender
  Male Female Total
Attempt murder, robbery, sexual assault, assault 2/3 20.7%
(1484)
18.0%
(368)
20.1%
(1852)
Minor assault 17.0%
(1221)
25.8%
(529)
19.0%
(1750)
Other violence (threats mainly) 9.2%
(658)
9.7%
(198)
9.3%
(856)
Break and enter 19.0%
(1359)
7.3%
(149)
16.4%
(1508)
Theft over/other thefts/other property 7.3%
(526)
8.2%
(167)
7.5%
(693)
Theft under 6.0%
(431)
12.0%
(246)
7.3%
(677)
Mischief/possession of stolen property 8.9%
(640)
7.0%
(143)
8.5%
(783)
Administration of justice 2.6%
(189)
5.3%
(109)
3.2%
(298)
Drugs 2.9%
(205)
2.1%
(44)
2.7%
(249)
YOA offences 1.5%
(111)
2.8%
(57)
1.8%
(168)
Other 4.7%
(338)
1.9%
(39)
4.1%
(377)
Total 100.0%
(7162)
100.0%
(2049)
100.0%
(9211)

Chi-square= 373.00, df=10, p<.001

Yet another way of describing the criminal history of these cases is to examine the most serious and most recent conviction before the FTC conviction. Only roughly 24.5% of the cases prior to the FTC conviction had, as the most serious conviction, a violent offence (Table 17). Once again, however the violence was split between the more serious offences (9.0%) and minor assaults (10.9%). The majority (38.3%) involved a property offence as the most serious conviction before the FTC conviction. Another 20.3% had a YOA offence (predominately failing to comply with a disposition) as the most serious conviction.

Once again, girls were significantly more likely than boys to have a violent conviction as the most serious conviction before the FTC conviction. Predominately, however, the violence that girls were convicted of was minor assaults. Similar to the findings when looking at the most serious conviction ever, boys were more likely than girls to be convicted of a break enter while girls were more likely than boys to be convicted of a theft under. Girls were also more likely than boys to have, as the most serious conviction before the FTC conviction, a YOA offence.

Table 17: Most Serious and Most Recent Conviction Before FTC Case by Gender
  Male Female Total
Attempt murder, robbery, sexual assault, assault 2/3 9.2%
(661)
8.3%
(170)
9.0%
(831)
Minor assault 9.4%
(671)
16.1%
(330)
10.9%
(1001)
Other violence (threats mainly) 4.7%
(334)
4.2%
(87)
4.6%
(421)
Break and enter 12.2%
(877)
4.2%
(87)
10.5%
(964)
Theft over/other thefts/other property 8.3%
(598)
6.8%
(139)
8.0%
(737)
Theft under 8.8%
(633)
12.6%
(258)
9.7%
(891)
Mischief/possession of stolen property 10.9%
(784)
7.0%
(144)
10.1%
(928)
Administration of justice 8.2%
(589)
11.2%
(229)
8.9%
(818)
Drugs 3.9%
(282)
1.7%
(35)
3.4%
(317)
YOA offences 18.8%
(1346)
25.7%
(526)
20.3%
(1872)
Other 5.4%
(387)
2.1%
(44)
4.7%
(431)
Total 100.0%
(7162)
100.0%
(2049)
100.0%
(9211)

Chi-square= 330.27, df=10, p<.001

Overall then, roughly one third of the sample had only one previous case before the current FTC conviction (Table 15). Roughly 42% had three or more previous cases. It appears that a larger proportion of youth were convicted (in their lifetime) of violence (48.4%) as opposed to property offence (39.7% – Table 16). Most recently, however, the majority (38.3%) were convicted of a property offence (Table 17). The girls in the sample tended to have more violence (in their lifetime and most recently) than boys – however, the majority of violence was minor assaults. Girls were also more likely than boys to be convicted of theft under while boys were more likely to be convicted of break and enter. That trend held for both the most serious conviction ever and the most serious, most recent, conviction. Most recently, there was a sizable proportion (20.3%) that had, as the most serious conviction in the case, a YOA offence. Girls were more likely than boys to have a YOA offence as the most serious and most recent conviction before the current FTC conviction.

Criminal History: Previous Sentences

Table 18 shows the most recent, most serious, previous sentence. Overall, 34.1% received a custodial sentence. The custodial sentences were split relatively evenly between open (16.8%) and secure (17.3%) custody. Roughly 53.1% received a term of probation as the most serious sentence and another 12.7% received a fine, CSO or “other” type of sentence. Boys were more likely than girls to receive a custodial sentence. Girls were more likely than boys to receive a term of probation.

Table 18: Most Serious and Most Recent Sentence before FTC Case by Gender
  Male Female Total
Secure custody 17.9%
(1284)
15.3%
(313)
17.3%
(1597)
Open custody 17.4%
(1243)
15.1%
(309)
16.8%
(1552)
Probation 52.2%
(3741)
56.3%
(1154)
53.1%
(4895)
Fine/CSO/other 12.5%
(894)
13.3%
(273)
12.7%
(1167)
Total 100.0%
(7162)
100.0%
(2049)
100.0%
(9211)

Chi-square= 17.25, df=3, p<.001


[16] See Footnote 12 for a description of how offence “seriousness” is determined.

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