Race And Juvenile Justice Essay

1534 words - 7 pages

Race and Juvenile Justice addresses the correlation between race, juvenile delinquency, and justice. Through various essays addressing historical backgrounds, part one discusses racial disparities regarding the juvenile delinquency of White, Latino, Black, Asian American, and Native American youth. Part two explores significant issues such as domestic violence, gang involvement, the application of the death penalty to juveniles, disproportionate minority confinement, the due process revolution, and the positive and negative effects of both prevention and intervention. Through this compilation, Everette Penn, Helen Taylor Greene, and Shaun L. Gabbidon attempt to provide answers for the occurrence of racial disparity with regard to juvenile delinquency and solutions as to how to address and prevent the age old problem that continues to plague The United States.
Chapter one focuses on white juvenile delinquency. Pamela Preston begins by acknowledging the relevancy of school shootings in the 1990’s, and presents many recent similar incidents involving white male youths as shooters within schools. This phenomenon is the exception to the otherwise decrease in overall self-reported white juvenile delinquency. While self-reported delinquency has dropped, White juvenile arrests have increased. A proposed reason for this is the possible prejudicial response to these particular shootings. Preston then compares juvenile crime arrests occurring within rural, suburban, and urban areas followed by a breakdown of substance abuse statistics. Causes of White delinquency are then explored. As a result, Preston cites the Differential Association Model, Control Theory, and Social Learning Theory; inferring that having a positive attitude toward school, being involved in conventional activities, having involved parents, and having been arrested all contribute to less of a tendency toward White juvenile delinquency. Chapter one concludes by offering yet another theory; that we instead apply a conflict or critical perspective to address the issue of Whites having to compete with their parents for a place in society.
Chapter two focuses on the largest minority group in the United States: The Latino population. Myrna Cintron begins by exploring the demographics of the Latino population: “of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race” (Greico & Cassidy, 2000, p. 2). The chapter discusses research as to the social, historical and environmental causes of Latino juvenile delinquency. Cintron cites inadequate data regarding this demographic (largely due to the categorization of Whites and Latinos together) and explores reasons for the group’s over representation within the juvenile justice system. Latinos statistically have higher bail amounts, as well as longer incarceration sentences; and frequently the necessary services for this group are lacking. The language barrier is a problem that Latinos face in...

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