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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 183847 Find in a Library
Title: Color of Justice: An Analysis of Juvenile Adult Court Transfers in California
Author(s): Mike Males Ph.D.; Dan Macallair M.P.A
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Justice Policy Institute
San Francisco, CA 94103
Sale Source: Justice Policy Institute
1622 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States of America
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used data collected from the Los Angeles County Probation Department Research Division, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the California Youth Authority Research Division, the California Department of Justice, and the U.S. Census Bureau to compare the proportions of white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and others in the total juvenile population between 10 and 17 years of age and in the total number of juvenile arrests by offense category.
Abstract: The study hypothesized that minority youth were disproportionately transferred to adult court and sentenced to incarceration, compared to white youth in similar circumstances. Data revealed Hispanic youth were 6 times more likely, black youth were 12 times more likely, and Asian and other youth were 3 times more likely than white youth to be found unfit for juvenile court and transferred to adult court in Los Angeles County. Minority youth had higher arrest rates for felony violent crimes than white youth. While some of the discrepancy may have reflected racial biases in the arrest and charging system, the result was that the pool of violent arrestees, those most likely to be transferred to adult court, was disproportionately minority. Adult courts were considerably more likely to sentence black and Asian offenders to prison than Hispanic and white offenders. Compared to white youth, minority youth were 2.8 times as likely to be arrested for a violent crime, 6.2 times as likely to wind up in adult court, and 7 times as likely to be sent to prison by adult courts. Data for Los Angeles County are compared to data from the State of California. 8 endnotes, 2 tables, and 6 figures
Main Term(s): Minority juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Asian Americans; Black/African Americans; California; Caucasian/White Americans; Hispanic Americans; Juvenile arrest statistics; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile offender statistics; Juvenile offense statistics; Minority overrepresentation; Race-crime relationships; Race-punishment relationship; Racial discrimination
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