Faculty Publications

Title

Race and decision making within juvenile justice: The importance of context

Document Type

Article

Keywords

attitudes, disparity, juvenile court, race, stereotyping

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

Volume

11

Issue

4

First Page

363

Last Page

384

Abstract

Previous tests of the influence of race on decision making within juvenile justice proceedings have traditionally focused on case-level variables and/or macrolevel factors that characterize the jurisdictions under study. Often excluded are measures of the attitudinal context within which decision making occurs. Using a revised conflict perspective that incorporates the role of racial stereotyping, hypotheses are developed centering on racial differences in case processing decisions within four midwest jurisdictions. Attitudes of juvenile court officials toward the punitiveness of the juvenile court and perceptions regarding differences between the behavior and attitudes of whites and those of African Americans are included in additive and race interactive models of five decision-making stages. Results indicate both lenient and harsh treatment of African Americans compared to whites. Hypotheses regarding racial stereotyping in the decision-making process receive some support and the discussion focuses on how inconsistent racial effects may be a function of variation in structural “coupling” across system decision points. © 1995, Plenum Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1995

DOI of published version

10.1007/BF02630569

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