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NCJ Number: 168912 Find in a Library
Title: Disproportionate Minority Arrest: A Note on What Has Been Said and How It Fits Together
Journal: New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1997)  Pages:29-61
Author(s): A H Garrison
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 33
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the issues that involve police contact with citizens, with an emphasis on what is in the literature regarding the connection between police contacts and race that relates to the disproportionate arrests of minority juveniles.
Abstract: The majority of the literature finds that disproportionate minority arrest (DMA) is not simply caused by the criminality of minority youth. Race and racism is too much a factor in the juvenile and criminal justice system to claim that crime rates are explained by criminal activity alone. The issue of DMA is larger than simply studying the issue of whether race affects the arrest rate of African-American and other minority juveniles. The social issues of why and how race affects the police officer, the community, and the juvenile are more important. Studies to discover and prove racial bias and discrimination in the juvenile justice system are important, but research should move beyond this. The problem with the debate on whether disproportionality is caused by racism or whether minority males simply commit most of the violent crime is that the questions will never be satisfactorily answered in either the academic or the political world. Research should focus on how race affects the juvenile justice system in general and how it impacts the individual police officers within the system, so as to resolve the issue of disproportionality. DMA issues might be better served if researchers began to focus on what prevents and alters negative images of the African-American male in general, how these negative images are created, and how they are maintained. Further, there should be additional studies of police attitudes toward race and how they are created. 227 footnotes
Main Term(s): Police juvenile relations
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Police discretion; Police-minority relations; Race relations
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