Studies Show Dramatic Racial Disparities in Front End of Juvenile Justice System
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Resource Type: Website or Webpage Article
Focus Population: People with Criminal Justice System Involvement, Youth, Youth of Transition Age
Topics: Criminal or Juvenile Justice System, Experience of Racism, Discrimination, and Oppression
Two peer-reviewed studies document an alarmingly unequal juvenile justice system, particularly for Black youth. The studies point to systemic responses that result in harsher treatment for youth of color — especially Black youth — than non-Hispanic white youth at the front end of juvenile justice, starting with police encounters before young people even reach high school. Glaring disparities by race and ethnicity persist, according to the studies, and differences in behavior cannot account for the overrepresentation of youth of color in the justice system.