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June 2010 Changing approaches of prosecutors towards juvenile repeated sex-offenders: A Bayesian evaluation
Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, Debajyoti Sinha, Stuart Lipsitz, Elizabeth Letourneau
Ann. Appl. Stat. 4(2): 805-829 (June 2010). DOI: 10.1214/09-AOAS295


Existing state-wide data bases on prosecutors’ decisions about juvenile offenders are important, yet often un-explored resources for understanding changes in patterns of judicial decisions over time. We investigate the extent and nature of change in judicial behavior toward juveniles following the enactment of a new set of mandatory registration policies between 1992 and 1996 via analyzing the data on prosecutors’ decisions of moving forward for youths repeatedly charged with sexual violence in South Carolina. To analyze this longitudinal binary data, we use a random effects logistic regression model via incorporating an unknown change-point year. For convenient physical interpretation, our models allow the proportional odds interpretation of effects of the explanatory variables and the change-point year with and without conditioning on the youth-specific random effects. As a consequence, the effects of the unknown change-point year and other factors can be interpreted as changes in both within youth and population averaged odds of moving forward. Using a Bayesian paradigm, we consider various prior opinions about the unknown year of the change in the pattern of prosecutors’ decision. Based on the available data, we make posteriori conclusions about whether a change-point has occurred between 1992 and 1996 (inclusive), evaluate the degree of confidence about the year of change-point, estimate the magnitude of the effects of the change-point and other factors, and investigate other provocative questions about patterns of prosecutors’ decisions over time.


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Dipankar Bandyopadhyay. Debajyoti Sinha. Stuart Lipsitz. Elizabeth Letourneau. "Changing approaches of prosecutors towards juvenile repeated sex-offenders: A Bayesian evaluation." Ann. Appl. Stat. 4 (2) 805 - 829, June 2010.


Published: June 2010
First available in Project Euclid: 3 August 2010

zbMATH: 1194.62130
MathSciNet: MR2758422
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/09-AOAS295

Keywords: Bridge density , Change-point , Dirichlet prior , Markov chain Monte Carlo

Rights: Copyright © 2010 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.4 • No. 2 • June 2010
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