G. Juvenile Justice System
African-American youth, particularly males, are clearly “at risk” of becoming perpetrators, as well as victims, in the juvenile justice system. For example, the “war on drugs” has caused African-American youth, particularly males, to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted.
The confinement of African-American male youth in state correction facilities parallels the staggering number of adult African-American males in prison. Similarly, African-American male youths in the juvenile justice system are treated less favorably than white male youths. A study on racial bias in the State of Florida juvenile justice system revealed that African-American youths “were more likely to be recommended for formal processing, referred to court, adjudicated delinquent, and given harsher disposition than comparable white offenders.”
When African-American male youths are released from confinement, they are labeled as “bad kids” and isolated when they return to school. Even more disheartening is the disproportionate number of African-American male youths who are transferred to adult courts, where the penalties are much more severe. Juveniles who are remanded to the adult criminal justice system are typically viewed by the juvenile justice system as not viable candidates for treatment or rehabilitation. Too often, African-American male youths are viewed in this manner.
Race, Racism and the Law
Vernellia R. Randall
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