How can we reduce racial disparity in the juvenile justice system?

To help reduce disparities at the stage of arrest, as well as to reduce the total number of arrests, many communities conduct training programs for law enforcement that help police develop skills that allow for more positive interactions with young people, especially with youth of color. In part for these reasons, the issue of the disproportionate participation of minorities has been an explicit priority of federal policy. Congress first paid attention to racial disparities in 1988, when it amended the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974 (P, L. In 1992, the JJDPA was amended.

The disproportionate confinement of minorities became a fundamental requirement, and 25 percent of states in favor. The disproportionate confinement of minorities became a fundamental requirement, and 25 percent of a state is in favor: There has been a lot of movement but little movement in the past two decades. This culture inherited from the lowest common denominator in reducing disparities has given rise to a class of decision makers who could have a significant impact on racial and ethnic disparities, but are not motivated to do so. Instead, they constitute a multi-billion dollar artisanal industry whose main activity is to reaffirm the problem of disparities, in essence, endlessly worshiping the question of what to do with the DMC, but they never arrive at an answer.

PARTICIPATION OF MINORITY YOUTH IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM Statistics on arrests, surveys on criminal victimization among the population, and self-report surveys and questionnaires administered to young people. Every potential source of data has limitations. Disproportionate arrests continue to be the pattern among black youth in most property crimes, although the degree of overrepresentation relative to their participation in the total youth population is lower. Thus, black youth constituted 37 percent of robbery arrests and 43 percent of motor vehicle thefts, although only 16 percent of all young people.

These percentages represent half of the overrepresentation observed in some of the data on violent crime. Two other points are worth mentioning. The only category in which black youth are underrepresented relative to their proportion among all young people is that of alcohol-related offenses (6 percent of arrests). This is also the only type of crime in which white youth tend to be overrepresented.

In addition, the degree of overrepresentation of blacks is the lowest in the category of drug abuse offenses, in which blacks account for approximately 26 percent of youth arrests. Accused, declared delinquent, and expelled from home (Bishop, 200. An additional problem with RRI calculations is that they don't come with any type of measure of statistical significance; therefore, there is no way to measure whether an RRI of 1.0 is statistically significant. Research on self-report and victimization data on factors that could affect the DMC at the level of police contact and judicial referral has also used official and self-reporting data with a common set of crime measures in all sources of data on violence, property, weapons and drug-related crime).

Huizinga and colleagues (200) used data from the three crime studies conducted in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), Rochester (New York) and Seattle (Washington) to examine the DMC and the factors that could affect it at the level of contact with the police and referral to court. Similarly, Bersani (201) used self-report data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Youth Survey (NLSY9) and official crime reports to: In nearly all juvenile justice systems, young people of color also stay in the system longer than white youth. From 2002 to 2004, while black youth represented approximately 17 percent of the youth population, discussion about other explanations that don't fit either perspective perfectly or may have relevance to both of these perspectives. DMC stories generally fall into one of two broad fields:.

Some scholars emphasize differential crime as the main source of the disproportionate participation of minorities in the juvenile justice system and of the system's differential response. This approach points, in effect, to real and underlying differences between white and minority youth in terms of the actual degree of participation (or the seriousness of) behaviors that break the law. Other researchers point out that differential selection by the judicial system (by the police in execution and, later, by prosecutors, admissions officers, judges, and other officials of the judicial system) is the main source of racial disparities. As indicated below, the conclusions of differential selection have sometimes been interpreted as demonstrating a systematic and often institutional bias, but differences in the execution and processing of the judicial system are not necessarily or always attributable to prejudice or discrimination.

Conflicting relationships with the police compared to white youths (Brunson and Weitzer, 200 years old). Differential processing by the judicial system: A voluminous bibliography examines decisions at each stage of the juvenile justice system in order to examine how white and minority youth are treated and to what extent they receive similar or different outcomes (Bishop, 200). Here, some studies are highlighted to show how this research has been carried out. Graham and Lowery (200) conducted two experiments in Los Angeles with police officers and juvenile probation officers to examine the unconscious racial stereotypes of decision makers in the juvenile justice system.

Specifically, the sample was subliminally exposed to words related to the black category, such as ghetto, house boy and dreadlocks, or to other explanations of differential participation. The Feeders of the Juvenile Justice System. Although negative stereotypes seem to have diminished over the past two decades, negative images are still quite common (Bobo, 2011). Negative stereotypes and media images about minority youth can influence the differential treatment they receive from the police and other actors in the juvenile justice system.

For example, Bishop and Leiber (201) suggest that, while there is little evidence that the police are overtly biased, they often do not have adequate information on which to base the decision to hire or arrest a young person and may be influenced by more subtle forms of bias that arise from their perception of places and people. A macrosociological explanation of disparities analyzes racial inequality and the concentrations of “lower class poverty” that influence crime levels, enforcement practices, and formal judicial processes. Based on previous research that examined structural variations in judicial administration (variations at the community level, budget, staff, availability of facilities, referral rates) and their impact on judicial processes (Feld, 199), research by Sampson and Laub (199) examined attributes of the community such as lower class poverty, racial inequality, wealth, judicial referral rates, mobility, urban planning, youth density, and criminal justice resources in prosecutions Judicial. Several intervention efforts and policy reform initiatives and strategies have been developed to reduce DMC in the juvenile justice system.

Little has been systematically documented about these strategies and their effectiveness, and even less has been published in traditional academic literature. In general, evaluations of these strategies have been carried out by agencies involved in the implementation of reform strategies, and not by independent researchers. Research on differential juvenile delinquency, differential processing, and the broader structural context affecting both suggests possible strategies that deserve to be explored. Given the evidence that race is strongly associated (both directly and indirectly) with the decisions that are made at the front end of the system (Engen et al.

Working with school and child welfare systems The differential treatment of minority students in the event of disciplinary violations is subject to close scrutiny by the United States,. Department of Education and Department of Justice. Publicly available data representing 85 percent of the country's students are used to determine the different disciplinary rates in the event of suspensions and expulsions, as well as for arrests and referral to law enforcement. 16 A recent publication of the Department of Education's expanded civil rights database and the Texas study show the high degree of discretion that school administrators exercise in suspension and expulsion decisions (Fabelo et al.

Among the objectives of the initiative are to promote collaborative research and data initiatives, including policy evaluations and alternative disciplinary interventions, and to promote positive disciplinary options and knowledge of promising, evidence-based policies and practices among judicial and education leaders in each state (U, S). Soler and Garry (200) have highlighted some characteristic features of promising strategies to address disparities. First, these efforts must be supported by the community, originate at the community level and include community stakeholders. Second, strategies must be based on data from various sources to obtain a complete picture of the nature and scope of the problem.

Third, strategies must be transparent about successes and setbacks. Fourth, all stakeholders must commit to investing in the long term to reduce DMC, based on evidence-based practices and to moving forward with sustainable initiatives. It should also be added that a set of realistic expectations must be established to manage what stakeholders expect to happen and what is actually likely to happen in the short and long term. In addition, programs related to the DMC must have solid evaluations of the processes before performing evaluations of the results of the program, since poorly implemented programs are likely to yield ineffective results and conclusions (Piquero, 1999).

The committee supports these strategic suggestions and believes that they should be implemented. Each one reflects the complexity of the overrepresentation of minorities and the lack of easy solutions. Based on the current knowledge base and the context in which the DMC is being developed, the committee identifies four reform strategies to advance the DMC agenda. We believe that, given the importance and persistence of the problem, the existing data are sufficient to justify serious consideration of these strategies.

Second, a comprehensive reform strategy must include reviewing school disciplinary practices and eliminating those that are punitive and discretionary and that may result in a referral to the juvenile justice system. As stated above, schools are the source of many minority youth who are involved in the discretionary disciplinary practices of schools and are often referred to law enforcement for non-serious crimes. More research is needed to understand the processing process and the role played by various actors (school resource officers, school administration) in these referrals. Similarly, policies and practices involving young people who have links to mental health and child welfare systems must be carefully evaluated to ensure that the reasons for their treatment are legitimate and that their subsequent prosecution by the juvenile justice system is appropriate and non-discriminatory.

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Share a link to this book's page on your favorite social network or by email. The search for racial justice requires imagining and implementing equity and equity in the transformation of the juvenile justice system. The commitment to equity and equity includes viable initiatives and sustainable solutions to understand awareness, facts and action. Arguably, the idealistic principle that justice should be administered blindly in criminal matters has no better place than in the juvenile justice system, where focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment could positively alter the course of a minor's life.

The important outstanding question is why minorities are overrepresented in criminal and juvenile justice systems. Several theories have been proposed to better understand the existence of racial disparities within the criminal justice system. Racial Disparities Racial and Juvenile Justice Resources Additional Resources on Race and the Criminal Legal System. It was in this context that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) requested the National Research Council to convene a committee to carry out a study on juvenile justice reform.

Returning to official data after the arrest, blacks have higher rates than whites in the subsequent stages of juvenile and criminal justice decision-making, such as being referred to court, detained,. Therefore, official records do not include a large number of criminal conduct that goes unnoticed and that does not reach the attention of the formal judicial system. Publicly available data representing 85 percent of the country's students are used to determine disparate disciplinary rates related to suspensions and expulsions, as well as for arrests and referral to law enforcement. Decades of research have focused on understanding and addressing the racial disparities that occur at every stage of prosecution in the juvenile justice system.

A decade ago, the report of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine on juvenile crime, juvenile justice noted that there were “large disparities in the degree of participation of minority youth, in particular black youth, compared to white youth in the juvenile justice system” (2001, p. The consequences of these practices, and of these disparities, are serious: young people in the adult criminal legal system are more likely to commit suicide, have psychiatric symptoms, and reoffend than young people in juvenile centers. .

Luis Mersinger
Luis Mersinger

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