The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention initiated a 15-month study to examine the role that minority status plays in the processing of youth by the juvenile justice system.
The three tasks of the research project included a literature review, identification of existing programs and policies that may have dealt with differential processing of minority youth, and identification of methodological problems associated with previous work in this area. Research guidelines addressing the issue of the disproportionate involvement of minorities in the juvenile justice system focus on the problem of aggregation and disaggregation, multiple decision points, qualitative versus quantitative approaches, police and correctional processing, multivariate models and indirect effects, organizational characteristics, identification of minority groups, family background, jurisdictional differences, and sample selection bias. Policy recommendations included here stress the need for State and local communities to conduct self-assessments related to the issue of minority representation and the implementation of programs to eliminate any bias factors within a given juvenile justice system. 4 figures, 5 notes, and 5 references
Date Published: July 1, 1995