Race and Ethnicity in the Juvenile Justice System provides a comprehensive empirical examination of the role of race and ethnicity in the juvenile court. Using empirical research as a foundation, the authors examine how race and ethnicity influence multiple decision points for youth entering the juvenile system, including arrest, referral, petition, pre-adjudication release, adjudication, and disposition. The authors ground the decision-making in a separate chapter that exclusively focuses on theories that can be used to explain the role of race and ethnicity in juvenile justice processing.
Additionally, there is an examination of how community factors differentially impact decision-making based on the race/ethnicity of youth, the role of race/ethnicity in the practice of transferring youth to adult court, and how race influences juveniles’ perceptions of police and the juvenile system. Also, the authors empirically examine the role of race/ethnicity on the processing of status offenders and how it influences female involvement in delinquency.
In framing all of these salient issues in the proper context, the authors provide a historical analysis of the role of race in development of the juvenile court system and how different races were treated both before and after the juvenile court’s implementation. The underlying theme of the text is that all races/ethnicities of youth were not initially served by or meant to benefit from the juvenile court. Therefore, the continuing racial and ethnic disparities currently observed in the system can be traced to the pre-juvenile court era.
“In Race and Ethnicity in the Juvenile Justice System, Tina Freiburger and Kareem Jordan provide an informative, comprehensive, and exceptional overview of a topic of great importance. This is a must read for those interested in race, ethnicity, gender and social control in the juvenile justice system.”
— Michael J. Leiber, University of South Florida
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