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NCJ Number: 170129 Find in a Library
Title: Disproportionate Minority Confinement
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:59  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1997)  Pages:14,16
Author(s): C J Lardiero
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 2
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The disproportionate incarceration of minority juveniles is discussed with respect to its extent, its causes, and possible solutions.
Abstract: Congress in 1988 amended the 1974 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to address the disproportionate incarceration of minorities. However, the situation has worsened since then. The number of juvenile delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts increased by 41 percent between 1985 and 1994, while the cases involving black youths rose 78 percent, the cases involving other minorities rose 94 percent, and cases involving white youths rose only 26 percent. Studies sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges have revealed that institutional bias or racism occurs from the initial contact the juvenile makes with police up through the juvenile court system itself. Reducing the number of minority youths in confinement must begin with the acknowledgment that race makes a difference in all stages of the juvenile justice process. Policy recommendations and solutions also must acknowledge this possibility. Perhaps the most important part of the process to address is the point when police officers make initial contact with juveniles. Research by Wordes and Bynum confirms police officers' stereotypes and perceptions related to race. Starting to eliminate disproportionate minority confinement among juveniles will require all levels of community involvement in programs such as community policing. In addition, police officers must develop conflict resolution and anger management skills and use arrest as their last resort rather than their first.
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile sentencing; Minority juvenile offenders; Police juvenile relations; Racial discrimination
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