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NCJ Number: 123018 Find in a Library
Title: New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force on Minority Concerns: Interim Report
Corporate Author: New Jersey Supreme Court
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: New Jersey Supreme Court
Trenton, NJ 08625
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force on Minority Concerns, Committee on Minorities and Juvenile Justice, researched this report by reviewing the Code of Juvenile Justice and materials prepared by the Courts Administrative Office, analyzing publications on juvenile justice, hearing a presentation on the juvenile justice process, observing juvenile court sessions in two county courts, and attending juvenile justice conferences, paying special attention to determine if commonly held concerns regarding the judiciary's dealings with minority group juveniles are valid.
Abstract: The Committee found an overrepresentation of minorities at all stages of juvenile delinquency cases, an unequal distribution of available services between minority and non-minority youth charged with delinquency, a lack of alternatives to incarceration programs for juvenile minorities, a preponderance of minority youth channeled into correctional facilities rather than private treatment centers, a high incidence of court-ordered counseling for parents of minority juvenile delinquents, a cultural and ethnic insensitivity on the part of judges and court staff, and a lack of information flow between the judiciary and minority communities on procedures of the juvenile justice system. The Committee recommended that each assignment judge read a statement on racial, ethnic, and cultural bias in court on Law Day (May 1) of each year. Family division judges, making dispositional and other family-related decisions in delinquency cases, should determine and consider actual family circumstances. These judges should familiarize themselves with available services for juveniles charged with delinquency and work toward the improvement of services and programs. To combat insensitivity, the Supreme Court should establish an ombudsman position for racial and ethnic minorities in the court system and arrange for a sensitivity course to be taught at the Judicial College. The Administrative Office of the Courts should undertake a public awareness campaign directed toward minority communities to dispel misinformation and lack of information. 1 figures, 12 notes.
Main Term(s): Minority juvenile offenders; Racial discrimination
Index Term(s): Juvenile court trends; New Jersey; State supreme courts
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