Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Sheriffs -- Oregon -- Multnomah County, Juvenile delinquency -- Oregon -- Multnomah County



Physical Description

1 online resource (110 p.)


This is an exploratory study which focuses on the types of information that deputies assigned to the Department of Public Safety, Multnomah County, Oregon, consider important when making a decision regarding the disposition of a juvenile offender.

This empirical study developed as a result of participant observation. The authors spent one year working with deputies as part of police-social worker teams. During the course of the year it became apparent that police use a considerable amount of discretion when determining the disposition of a juvenile offender.

The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate systematically:

  1. the types of information that deputies believed play the most significant role in the decision-making process in general,
  2. the types of information that deputies used when determining which disposition to apply toward a juvenile charged with a particular offense,
  3. the personal and occupational characteristics of the individual deputy that might have had a bearing on the dispositions he applied toward a juvenile,
  4. if there was agreement between the types of information deputies generally believed were important to disposition of cases and the types of information deputies actually utilized when making a decision in particular cases,
  5. if there was agreement among officers with respect to the disposition of a juvenile in particular cases, and
  6. the relationship among types of information deputies believed were important in particular cases, the dispositions they applied toward juveniles in that case and the nature of the case presented.


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A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University.

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