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NCJ Number: 69558 Find in a Library
Title: Ethnic Origins and the Disposition of Delinquents in Israel
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:63-74
Author(s): G Rahav
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Analysis of official juvenile delinquency data in Israel reveals that dispositions affecting Oriental Jews will be harsher than those affecting Occidental Jews, while Arab juveniles will be dealt with more harshly.
Abstract: Principles underlying criminal law emphasize its universality and impartiality, while the heterogeneity of cultures can lead to differential interpretations and applications of that law. Some research findings have suggested that minorities are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system, while others find no bias existing, or that the bias may be explained by some of the legal aspects of the case. Analysis was conducted of statistics regarding dispositions of juvenile delinquents in Israel in 1976, with special attention to differences between Oriental and Occidental Jews and between Jews and Arabs. Overall bias was found in the outcomes of the juvenile justice system, as expected, in the direction of more severe treatment and punishment decisions for members of nondominant groups: Oriental Jews and Arabs. However, this finding should not be interpreted as a reflection of prejudice, or ethnic discrimination. Their differential handling appears to be consequence of decisions made within their own cultures especially for Arabs. Oriental Jews are perceived as children with greater needs for supervision and treatment. Since they are more likely to be children of lower class and larger families, to come from deteriorated neighborhoods, and to have dropped out of school, this perception may be justified. Nevertheless, this analysis was more concerned with the aggregate outcome, with the structural consequences of the system; thus, the operation of the system is uneven. Members of the dominant group (Occidental Jews) are considerable less exposed to the more restrictive, higher control, and more punitive types of treatment available to the system. Therefore, the strains and conflicts of society appear to be reflected in the decision outcomes of the juvenile justice system. About 25 references and 4 tables are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Ethnic groups; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Israel; Judicial decisions; Juvenile case disposition; Juvenile delinquency factors; Minority juvenile offenders
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