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NCJ Number: 229163 Find in a Library
Title: Critical Condition: African-American Youth in the Justice System
Author(s): Neelum Arya; Ian Augarten
Corporate Author: Campaign for Youth Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Campaign for Youth Justice
Washington, DC 20005
Sale Source: Campaign for Youth Justice
1012 14th Street, NW
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This policy brief examines the racial disparities in the adult justice system and the impact of transfer laws on African-American youth.
Abstract: It is well documented that African-American youth are treated more harshly by the justice system than Whiter youth, for the same offenses, at all stages of the justice system. African-American youth are 62 percent of the youth prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, and are 9 times more likely than White youth to receive an adult prison sentence. The decision to transfer youth to the adult criminal system is really a decision about whether a youth is “redeemable” and should be rehabilitated by the juvenile justice system, or considered “unsalvageable” and prosecuted by the adult criminal justice system. This report shows that African-American youth have been disproportionately deemed unsalvageable by Federal and State laws. This policy brief begins with a discussion of demographics and disparities in education, healthcare, child welfare, and economic opportunity that contribute to delinquency and the cycle of incarceration that disproportionately affects the African-American community. It continues with an examination of self-reported criminal behaviors of African-American and White youth, comparing them to more traditional criminal justice statistics to show that African-American youth are not disproportionately committing crimes to justify the current disparities. The report takes an in-depth look at the disproportionate treatment that African-American youth receive at all major decision points in the justice system, and looks at national initiatives aimed at reducing disparities, highlighting recent law and policy change that help African-American youth. The report concludes with a series of recommendations for Federal and State policymakers to address the pervasive racial disparities in the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems and minimize the negative impact of transfer laws on these youth. References
Main Term(s): Black juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Adolescent males; Adolescents at risk; Black/African Americans; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile delinquents; Juvenile offenders; Juveniles in adult facilities; Minorities; Minority juvenile offenders; Racial discrimination
Note: Downloaded December 24, 2009. Campaign for Youth Justice Policy Brief - Race and Ethnicity, Volume 2.
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