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18 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 1 (1981)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd18 and id is 1 raw text is: 










EDITOR'S COMMENTS                                The beginning of a new
year  is an appropriate time to credit the two Associate Editors of the Jour-
nal  of Research in Crime and Delinquency, who have alternated in super-
vising the development  of the Journal. My life as Editor has been made
inestimably  easier because of the superb work of Michael Gottfredson and
Rita  Warren, from the School of Criminal Justice here in Albany, in pro-
ducing  a quality journal.
      One of the few tasks for which I am responsible is the preparation of
 a brief preface to each edition; a task that requires the employment of a
 skill common to university presidents, namely, a capacity to recognize line-
 arity in retrospect. One often sees demonstration of this skill when univer-
 sity presidents explain how particular programs or efforts that succeeded
 were the result of careful planning, prescient decision making, and superb
 managerial technique. While failure most often is attributed to chance,
 rarely is success. With a journal, such linearity in retrospect is witnessed
 when  an editor explains how a particular set of articles was chosen as a
 result of a coherent and carefully crafted plan. And so it is with this edition.
      The first paper accepted for publication in this edition of the journal
 was submitted by Irving Spergel, Frederic Reamer, and James P. Lynch;
 and because of its significance, it was designated the lead article. This is an
 important effort because it describes the results of a carefully designed and
 well-executed study focused on a major policy concern, namely, the de-
 institutionalization of offenders. The authors demonstrate how a statewide
 effort to employ less drastic alternatives for status offenders had substan-
 tial and unanticipated effects on the organization and operation of the juve-
 nile justice and social service systems in that state. Many youths were sim-
 ply relabeled; there was a much broader use of the justice and service sys-
 tems; and there was a decrease in the diversion of youths from the courts.
 The study also indicates that neither secure detention nor community-
 based programs had much  effect on the subsequent behavior of status or
 delinquent offenders. The authors conclude that we need to expand our
 research perspective to include the likely responses of the organizational
 environment that may enhance or defeat a particular intervention in a vari-
 ety of ways.
     Quite  independently,   and  shortly  after the first article was
accepted, we  decided in collaboration with our publisher, the National
Council on  Crime  and Delinquency,  to introduce a section designated
NCCD   Research Review, which  would be organized by the staffs of one of


JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN CRIME AND DELINQUENCY, JANUARY 1981


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