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NCJ Number: 210871 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Youth Under the Young Offenders Act: A Multivariate Analysis
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:47  Issue:3  Dated:July 2005  Pages:481-500
Author(s): Jeff Latimer; Laura Casey Foss
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This paper compared the sentencing of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth under the Young Offenders Act in Canada.
Abstract: The problem of Aboriginal over-representation in the Canadian criminal justice system has been well-established. Yet despite the recognition of the problem, it continues unabated. The current study examined whether there is discrimination against Aboriginal youth during the sentencing process in Canada by comparing sentencing decisions for Aboriginal versus non-Aboriginal youth. Drawing on 1,321 youth court cases involving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal juvenile defendants from 5 major cities between April 1999 and March 2000, the analysis compared 3 main sentencing decisions: (1) custodial versus non-custodial sentence imposition; (2) secure custody versus open custody; and (3) length of the custodial sentence. Results of logistic and multiple regression analyses indicated no evidence of discrimination against Aboriginal youth in terms of custodial sentence imposition or secure custody decisions. However, Aboriginal youth were sentenced to longer terms of custodial detention than were non-Aboriginal youth, even when aggravating factors such as criminal history and offense severity were controlled. Future research should examine discrimination at other points in the criminal justice system in order to lend a better understanding of the problem. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Minority overrepresentation
Index Term(s): Canada; Comparative analysis; Juvenile sentencing; Sentencing disparity
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