Faculty Publications

Title

Race and the impact of detention on juvenile justice decision making

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Decision making, Detention, Juvenile justice, Race

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Crime and Delinquency

Volume

51

Issue

4

First Page

470

Last Page

497

Abstract

In recent years, the growing number of minority youth disproportionately confined in secure detention facilities has led to a search for a better understanding of this occurrence. Explanations vary but tend to center on either differential offending or selection bias. The present study examines the extent both may explain decision making by specifically assessing the effect of race on detention and the degree that race and detention influence further court processing in one juvenile court jurisdiction in the state of Iowa. Multivariate analyses using juvenile court data (1980 through 2000) show that although legal factors account for some of the decision making and minority overrepresentation, so too does race. Evidence is presented that, through detention, race has direct, interaction, and indirect effects that often work to the disadvantage of African American youth relative to White youth. Implications for future research and policy are discussed. © 2005 Sage Publications.

Original Publication Date

10-1-2005

DOI of published version

10.1177/0011128705275976

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