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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135935 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Analysis of Apparent Disparities in the Handling of Black Youth Within Missouri's Juvenile Justice Systems
Author(s): K L Kempf; S H Decker; R L Bing
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 206
Sponsoring Agency: Missouri Dept of Public Safety
Jefferson City, MO 65102
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 88-JFC7-0021; 88-CX-0029
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

Missouri Dept of Public Safety
Truman State Office Building, Room 870
P.O. Box 749
Jefferson City, MO 65102
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The objective of this project was to determine if juvenile justice processing decisions in Missouri disproportionately affect black and white youth.
Abstract: The total juvenile population and the percent of black youth were obtained for all juvenile court circuits in Missouri. Eight circuits in which at least 5 percent of juvenile residents were black were selected for inclusion in the study, and seven agreed to participate. Juvenile court referrals for 1987 and 1988 were evaluated by examining court files. Initial study findings indicated a disproportionate number of black youth referred to juvenile courts and overrepresentation of black youth in detention and out-of-home placement facilities. In the metropolitan courts of St. Louis and Jackson County, black youth outnumbered whites at every juncture, but the reverse was true in other circuits. After court urbanization, variables best able to distinguish between juvenile justice processing decisions were race, gender, referral for violence, number of prior referrals, felony, misdemeanor, representation by legal counsel, parent willingness to provide supervision, living with parents, and alcohol abuse problems. In urban courts, referrals for felony offenses were more common for black youth who also had a higher rate of violent offenses than white youth. Black youth were more likely to have co-offenders and make threats but less likely to show remorse. Further, black youth were more likely to live only with their mothers. Parents of black youth were less likely to appear in court and were less able to provide adequate supervision. In rural courts, black youth were no more likely than whites to have felony referrals. Black youth were much less likely than white youth to have alcohol abuse problems, more likely to have parents who did not provide adequate supervision, and less likely to be detained than whites. Recommendations for alleviating disparities and assuring more equitable juvenile justice processing are offered. Appendixes contain the data collection instruments, an overview of the data, and descriptive information by court circuit. References, tables, and figures
Main Term(s): Black juvenile delinquents; Black/White Crime Comparisons
Index Term(s): Missouri; Racial discrimination; Sentencing disparity; State juvenile justice systems
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