Chapter

The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Juvenile Justice Processing

Donna M. Bishop

in Our Children, Their Children

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226319889
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226319919 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226319919.003.0002
The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Juvenile Justice Processing

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Nationally, African Americans and Hispanic youths are arrested in numbers greatly disproportionate to their representation in the general population. Despite decades of research, there is no clear consensus on why minority youths enter and penetrate the juvenile justice system at such disproportionate rates. Both public and academic discourses have tended to highlight two explanations: (1) minority overrepresentation reflects race and ethnic differences in the incidence, seriousness, and persistence of delinquent involvement (the “differential offending” hypothesis) and (2) overrepresentation is attributable to inequities—intended or unintended—in juvenile justice practice (the “differential treatment” hypothesis). This chapter reviews the research literature bearing on the second of these claims and, more specifically, explores the mechanisms through which race and ethnicity influence juvenile justice system responses.

Keywords: African Americans; Hispanics; juvenile justice system; differential offending; differential treatment

Chapter.  26085 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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