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NCJ Number: 211560 Find in a Library
Title: Race and the Impact of Detention on Juvenile Justice Decision Making
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:51  Issue:4  Dated:October 2005  Pages:470-497
Author(s): Michael J. Leiber; Kristan C. Fox
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the extent to which differential offending or selection bias contributed to any disproportionate secure detention of juveniles by race in an Iowa juvenile court jurisdiction; the degree to which race and detention status influenced further court processing was also explored.
Abstract: Because of the relatively small number of minority youth in Iowa, the cases were selected from juvenile court referrals over a 21-year period, 1980 through 2000, in one juvenile court. The cases examined consisted of a random sample of referrals of White juveniles (n=3,888) and a disproportionate random sampling of African-American juveniles (n=1,666). The weighted sample size was 5,554. Decisionmaking that impacted secure-detention status was viewed as a succession of decisions. The first stage of decisionmaking was whether or not to detain a juvenile prior to intake. The second stage of decisionmaking was at intake, when decisionmakers chose between diversion, further formal court processing, or release. Juvenile court officers made this decision. The final decision on formal court processing was made by the prosecution at the stage of petition. The next stage was the initial appearance, which could result in a decision to accept a consent decree or to proceed to the adjudication stage. The adjudication stage resulted in either dismissal or a determination of delinquency, followed by the sentencing. Youth detained at any point prior to or at the particular stage examined composed the detention variable. Measures of each youth's legal history were also performed. Multivariate analyses showed that legal factors accounted for some of the detention decisions made that resulted in minority overrepresentation; however, race also directly and indirectly influenced detention at various stages of decisionmaking. The analysis examined the degree to which race, legal variables, and extralegal variables influenced detention decisions at each decisionmaking stage. 5 tables, 11 notes, and 57 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile detention decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Iowa; Juvenile detention; Juvenile processing; Minority overrepresentation; Racial discrimination
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