skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 136053 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Crime Control: Los Angeles Law Enforcement and the Zoot-suit Riots (From Criminal Justice History: An International Annual, Volume 11, P 147-170, 1990, Louis A Knafla, ed. -- See NCJ-136046)
Author(s): J Appier
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Meckler Publishing
Westport, CT 06880
Sale Source: Meckler Publishing
11 Ferry Lane West
Westport, CT 06880
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The circumstances surrounding the 10 days of race riots in Los Angeles in 1943 were closely related to the rift that developed in 1942-43 between the probation department and the police agencies over the issue of juvenile delinquency among Mexican-Americans; this rift and the riots influenced local law enforcement policy toward Mexican-American adolescents during the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's.
Abstract: The Zoot-Suit Riots were named for the distinctive apparel worn by the victims, who were allegedly members of delinquent gangs and were attacked by military personnel and civilians. Sensational media reports during the past year had helped generate hostility toward the victims. In August 1942, city police said they were unable to locate the gang leaders and, in conjunction with the county sheriff's department, began making mass arrests of Mexican-American teenagers, charging them with the crime of "refusing to disperse." Although the riots are commonly viewed as a manifestation of strong prejudice, historians have ignored the role of the rift between the police and probation and its roots in wartime social conditions in Los Angeles and the narrowing, during the 1930's of police functions and emergence of a police self-concept as crime fighters. The resulting split between criminal justice agencies adversely affected all concerned for decades to come. 76 reference notes
Main Term(s): Bias related violence; Juvenile crime control
Index Term(s): California; Intergovernmental relations; Mexican Americans; Police attitudes toward delinquents; Racially motivated violence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.