Pitt-Bradford Professor Studies Offender
Characteristics in McKean County Court
Page examined the court records and judicial files of 258 defendants processed by the McKean County Court of Common Pleas during 2012. While preserving anonymity of each defendant, Page recorded characteristics associated with each, such as age, sex, prior offenses, drug and alcohol use, and/or treatment, etc.
Page was particularly interested in the characteristics of a rural population since previous research has neglected to explore rural court systems. By examining court records, he was able to include defendants who were not incarcerated in addition to those who were incarcerated, thereby giving a more complete picture of the rural defendants.
Page plans to expand the data set to include 10 years of data from McKean County criminal court in order to examine trends or patterns in this rural population.
However, he did find some statistically significant correlations. For example, those who committed violent offenses tended not to use a weapon or use illegal substances during the offense. Those who committed a general criminal offense did not tend to have a previous domestic violence allegation or charge. Men were more likely than women to commit theft-related offenses, violent offenses and general criminal offenses.
Page said he will be sharing his initial and subsequent findings with McKean County President Judge John Pavlock.