Race Juvenile Family, Community, And Racial Trends Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #118348 Related Topics: Juvenile Detention, Race, Juvenile Crime, Family Dynamics
Excerpt from Essay :

Race Juvenile

Family, Community, and Racial Trends in U.S. Juvenile Criminal Justice

The subject of race and ethnicity as they relate and correlate to criminality and prison populations in the United States has been the subject of a great deal of study and commentary for many decades. It is unquestionably true that a disproportionate number of people of color are convicted of crimes than are Caucasians both on a national level and at the community level in the majority of the country; this fact is easily supported by a cursory review of criminal justice statistics and is not a matter of debate despite the contentiousness of the issue. What is debated are the reasons behind this skewed prison population/criminal element, and in an effort to address this debate the following paper will study the problem as it appears not amongst adults, but amongst the still-developing youth of the country.

Race, Ethnicity, and the Juvenile Court System

Just as there is a disproportionate number of minority adults accused of criminality and ultimately convicted of crimes in the United States, the same disproportion exists for minority youths (Piquero 2008; Jordan & Freiburger 2011). Race and ethnicity still unquestionably play large roles in community dynamics in many areas, and it has been suggested by researchers that such dynamics are possibly both the result of and contributors to higher rates of actual and/or perceived youth criminality amongst minorities (Dixon & Azocar 2006; Rodriguez 2007). There are essentially two possibilities for the higher rates of colored youths in the criminal...

...

Increasing social disorganization, which is seen at much greater levels lower on the socioeconomic ladder for a variety of reasons, is highly correlated with increases in delinquent behavior, and delinquency can move into criminality both realistically and perceptually fairly quickly for both youth and criminal justice workers (Piquero 2008). These issues can create a vicious cycle in which minority youth are perceived as potential offenders, and so engage in delinquency and eventually criminality due to feelings of aggression and adversity towards a system that they feel is adversarial.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Court Decision

It is not simply within the juvenile court system that racial and ethnic disparities can be seen to exist, but referrals to court and criminal justice systems from outside institutions such as schools, community centers, etc., also show a disproportion towards minority youth (Rodriguez 2007). This can reinforce notions amongst both criminal justice workers and minority youths that the "system" is stacked against them and adversarial. This also creates difficulties for minority youths struggling to succeed in such institutions, which can itself contribute to criminality.

In addition to specific institutions that youths and the criminal justice system interact with on a regular basis, there are other large-scale external influences that almost certainly have an effect on the…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Dixon, T.L., & Azocar, C.L. (2006). The representation of Juvenile Offenders by Race on Los Angeles Area Television News. The Howard Journal of Communication, 17,

Jordan, K.L., & Freiburger, T.L. (2011). Examining the Impact of Race and Ethnicity on the Sentencing of Juveniles in the Adult Court. Criminal Justice Research Review,

Piquero, A.R. (2008). Disproportionate Minority Contact., 18( 2),

Rodriguez, M. (2007). Juvenile Court Context and Detention Decisions: Reconsidering the Role of Race, Ethnicity, and Community Characteristics in Juvenile Court Process. Justice Quarterly, 24( 4),


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