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NCJ Number: 221364 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Court Context and Detention Decisions: Reconsidering the Role of Race, Ethnicity, and Community Characteristics in Juvenile Court Processes
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:24  Issue:4  Dated:December 2007  Pages:629-656
Author(s): Nancy Rodriguez
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 28
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data are presented from a large urban juvenile court to explore the relationship between race/ethnicity and community factors in detention decisions/outcomes.
Abstract: The study presents how attribution theory (where it is noted that both personal (internal) and environmental (external) factors operate on individuals each affecting the attribution of responsibility) can be used to explain juvenile court detention decisions. It was established that the effect of race and ethnicity varied across communities and that economic and crime community-level data significantly impacted detention decisions. In examining detention outcomes, ethnic disparities were discovered to be interrelated with residential economic characteristics of juveniles. It is recommended that future research on juvenile court decisionmaking processes should empirically analyze juveniles’ community characteristics to identify the extent to which communities mediate the effect of racial and ethnic disparities in court outcomes. The relationship between race and juvenile court decisions continues to be one of the most examined areas of the justice system. Detention decisions have received considerable attention due in part to the disproportionate number of minority juveniles who are detained and the severe impact detention has on subsequent court outcomes, such as adjudication and disposition. By utilizing official juvenile court data from a city in the southwest, this study draws upon attribution theory to examine how economic and crime community-level measures directly and indirectly influence detention outcomes. Tables, figures, references and appendix
Main Term(s): Juvenile detention decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Attribution theory; Decisionmaking; Environmental influences; Ethnic groups; Individual behavior; Juvenile detention; Juvenile processing; Personality assessment; Race relations; Race-punishment relationship
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