Status Offense


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Status Offense

A type of crime that is not based upon prohibited action or inaction but rests on the fact that the offender has a certain personal condition or is of a specified character.

Vagrancy—the act of traveling from place to place with no visible means of support—is an example of a status offense.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Of course, racial and heteronormative biases compound the problem: A 2013 study found that the likelihood of black girls being found guilty for a status offense is almost three times greater than the likelihood for white girls, and a 2015 study showed that 41 percent of LGBTQ girls in detention were there for status offenses, compared with about 35 percent of straight girls.
The report, titled Juvenile Court Statistics 2009, also found that "between 1985 and 2009, delinquency caseloads involving person, drug and public order offenses more than doubled; in contrast, the property offense caseload decreased 19 percent." The report profiles more than 1.5 million delinquency cases and more than 140,000 status offense cases that courts with juvenile jurisdiction processed in 2009.
The bill states that minors who create and send sexually explicit images of themselves can be charged with a "status offense." They may also be referred to a family court.
(37) The rationale for punishing this behavior as a status offense is that truancy is often seen as a "gateway" to further criminal behavior as truants often skip school to participate in crime of some sort.
Joseph Tulman, professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia, has had great success in at keeping children facing delinquency and status offense (truancy, ungovernable) charges in the home through ensuring their special educational needs are met.
Five youths in the treatment group were charged with a felony or misdemeanor other than shoplifting, 5 with a status offense (e.g., truancy, incorrigibility), and 3 with another shoplifting offense.
Regardless of the specific criminal or status offense, delinquent adolescent females often exhibit other troubling behaviors that do not subside with adjudication, referral, or other sanctions.
For the most part, juvenile courts have jurisdiction over three main categories of cases: delinquency; abuse and neglect; and status offense cases (for example, truancy and underage drinking).
The research reported here is intended to add to the growing body of literature addressing that question.(4) However, this research differs in significant respects from past research because it focuses on differences between the processing of delinquency and status offense (dependency) cases, rather than simply the juvenile justice system in general.
* A status offense is an offense that only a child can commit, i.e., truant or unruly
The concept of status offense is a controversial one, since the youth has not done anything criminal, and many question controlling youngsters with the powers of the state and the threat of imprisonment.