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NCJ Number: 188406 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs and Disparity: The Racial Impact of Illinois' Practice of Transferring Young Drug Offenders to Adult Court
Author(s): Jason Ziedenberg
Corporate Author: Justice Policy Institute
United States of America
Date Published: April 2001
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore, MD 21202
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Flint, MI 48502
Ctr on Crime, Communities and Culture
New York, NY 10106
Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Chicago, IL 60603
Justice Policy Institute
Washington, DC 20005
Rockefeller Foundation
New York, NY 10036
William T. Grant Foundation
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Justice Policy Institute
1012 14th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study found that Illinois' 16-year experiment with automatic transfer of juveniles to criminal court for drug offenses did not affect suburban or rural white youth in a way even remotely comparable to urban minority youth.
Abstract: Starting in 1985, a series of laws enacted by the Illinois legislature radically altered the way in which youth charged with drug offenses would be handled by the State courts. The Safe School Zone Act of 1985 required that 15- and 16-year-olds charged with delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school would be tried in adult court. In 1987 lawmakers melded the school zone law with the Juvenile Court Act, in effect making the delivery of a controlled substance near a school an "aggravating" factor. In 1989 the legislature voted to apply the "safe zones" to public housing developments as well. Schools and public housing developments are more concentrated in Chicago than in suburban Cook County, making city juveniles more likely to be caught selling drugs within a 1,000-foot radius of those facilities. Nationwide, illicit drug use was higher among white youth than among African-Americans or Latinos; minority youth, however, were more often arrested and charged with drug crimes. It was clear that the enormous impact of prosecution, imprisonment, and collateral consequences for young drug offenders was not borne equitably by youth of different races and ethnicities. Cook County's African-American and Latino youth populations were virtually singled out for arrest, detention, and punishment for drug sales, even though data showed that white youth in the State were just as likely, if not more likely, to sell and use illegal drugs. 4 figures and 22 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug abusers
Index Term(s): Black juvenile delinquents; Drug law offenses; Drug laws; Hispanic Americans; Illinois; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile drug use; Minorities; Sentencing disparity; Urban criminality
Note: Downloaded May 1, 2001
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