Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Sociology (Criminology Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Sociology

Committee Chair

Dusten R. Hollist

Commitee Members

James W. Burfeind, Bart J. Klika


juvenile, delinquency, recidivism, detention, risk, first-time offenders


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Criminology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Sociology


The purpose of this study is to identify the effect detention has on recidivism risk as well as to identify the degree to which the effect of detention on recidivism is influenced by other variables. The data for this analysis were collected by probation officers across Montana, using the Back on Track risk assessment instrument (N=840). Although detention was the topic of interest, this analysis also tested aspects of three popular criminological theories: social bond theory, self-control theory, and life-course persistent theory. Using logistic regression, the effects of detention and a variety of other risk factors are identified. Hypothesis one was not supported, detention alone did not significantly influence recidivism. Hypothesis two was supported, detention became significant and strongly influenced recidivism when examined in combination with other factors. Variables from self-control theory and those representing life-course persistence were supported although social bond theory was not. Findings from this study have the potential to inform policy makers and practitioners. Suggestions are made for future research.



© Copyright 2015 Daniel N. Acton