Step into juvenile delinquency courts throughout the country, and you will usually find the number of children of color who appear there are far out of proportion to their numbers in the surrounding community. For decades, they have been over-represented (and treated more harshly for the same behavior as their non-Hispanic white counterparts) at every stage of the delinquency process – from arrest, to secure detention, confinement, and transfer to the adult system. The causes are varied and have often proved resistant to change.
However, in recent years, better data collection and analysis in many localities has helped spur the development of strategies to reduce disparities among youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. This work is paving the way for a more equitable juvenile justice system that will treat youth fairly regardless of their race or ethnicity.
The Racial-Ethnic Fairness section of the Resource Hub will provide you with an overview of salient issues and links to information on each approach, as well as the most recent research, cutting edge reforms, model policies, best practices, links to experts, and toolkits to take action.
Other sections in the Resource Hub include:
The Resource Hub continues to expand to cover all relevant, important topics regarding juvenile justice system reforms.
Find past reporting on the JJIE and its efforts toward juvenile justice reforms here.
The Juvenile Justice Reform Hub is sponsored by a generous donation from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative. Hosted and promoted by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, content is curated by the National Juvenile Justice Network.
Image from the JJIE.org
Cecilia Bianco is the social and digital communications account coordinator for Prichard Communications. She contributes to the Reclaiming Futures blog regarding topics of juvenile justice reform and substance abuse prevention.
Updated: March 10 2014