Minorities Vs. The Juvenile Justice System Essay

1344 Words Nov 16th, 2016 6 Pages
Minorities are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. There is a disparate racial outcomes in all phase of the legal process (Rovner, 2014). Minorities faces more frequent arrests and are placed in secure placement more often than their Caucasian counterpart (Rovner, 2014). These differences in arrest rates and processing can be attributed to institutional racism, socioeconomic factors, subjective enforcement, and biased risk assessment instruments, among other things (Rovner, 2014).
Social Injustice
African-Americans youths account for 17% of the overall population but they comprise of 30% of court referrals, 38% of residential, and 58% of youths in the state adult prison (youth.gov, 2016). Rates of recidivism in 12 months follow-ups are 55% for juveniles under 21 years old (youth.gov, 2016). This fact has remained consistent for the past few decades (Rovner, 2014). African-American juveniles are more likely to be processed as adults and are not as often referred to diversion programs (Rovner, 2014). Arrest rates and conviction of juveniles have decreased by half since it reached the high point in 1996 but, the differences in arrests between Caucasian and African-Americans remain the same (Rovner, 2014).
Prior to the 20th century adults and children in the justice system were treated almost the same, age was factored in terms of punishment. Juveniles were eligible for the same punishment as adults including the death penalty (Ramirez, 2008). This disparity begins…

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