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NCJ Number: 142827 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Author(s): K L Kempf
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 188
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for Juvenile Justice Training and Research
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Pennsylvania Cmssn on Crime and Delinquency
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167
Grant Number: 89-90/J/01/3615
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Ctr for Juvenile Justice Training and Research
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of white, black, and Hispanic youth in Pennsylvania found that juvenile justice outcomes were influenced directly by race at every stage except adjudication.
Abstract: Data were collected on 2,016 juvenile delinquency cases from 14 Pennsylvania counties in 1989, equally distributed as 672 each in urban, suburban, and rural court categories. In addition to information recorded in case files, the study obtained data from juvenile justice staff regarding their perceptions of the system. Surveys were distributed to 901 probation officers, 128 judges, 98 police officers, and 44 treatment providers. The response rate was estimated at 52 percent overall, 49 percent for probation officers, and 33 percent for juvenile court judges. The findings showed that, although juvenile justice outcomes were influenced directly by race at every stage except adjudication, harsher outcomes at early stages retained minorities in the system at a higher rate and affected eventual case outcomes. Cases referred to court were judged as needing formal processing more often when minority youth were involved. Minority youth were also more frequently detained than white youth in similar situations, except for minor offenses when the reverse was true. At the disposition stage, only white youth with the most offensive cases remained for intervention, and these white youth received placement dispositions more often than comparable black or Hispanic youth. White youth placements, however, most often involved group home settings or drug treatment, while minority youth placements typically involved public residential facilities. Considering that serious drug offending was virtually absent among cases involving white youth and that juvenile justice personnel rated the quality and treatment provided by public residential programs less favorably than other placement options, the findings suggest that the interests of minority youth are not being met adequately in Pennsylvania. Recommendations to reform Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system to enhance equity in outcome are offered. Appendixes provide further information on the study's research design, data analysis, and results. 61 references, 43 tables, and 52 figures
Main Term(s): Minority juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Caucasian/White Americans; Hispanic Americans; Pennsylvania; Racial discrimination; State juvenile justice systems
Note: Final Report
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