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Juvenile Deliquency and Criminal Justice Responses

The criminal justice system in the United States is often accused of being racist. African-Americans are disproportionately sentenced to death, make up the bulk of the prison population, and are subjected to daily ignomies such as harassing motor vehicle stops. That there is a higher crime rate in largely black urban communities is seldom disputed, but the causes and proper responses to that problem are hotly debated. Many analyses focus on black youth, on whom the general future of the African-American community depends, but whose individual futures are at risk for a variety of reasons.

While the population of the United States is only 13% African-American, it is estimated that 53% of youths punished for juvenile offenses in the U.S. are black (Leunes, 1996, p. 699). Race, then, has been found to be a significant predictor of juvenile criminal behavior. However, race is believed to be confounded with socioeconomic status and urban environment (Bryant, et al, 1995, p. 77). Researchers have also determined that other characteristics are associated with a continuity of antisocial behavior: early age of onset, frequency of behaviors, variety of behaviors, and variety of settings in which they occur are all indicators that service agencies could potentially use to screen at a relatively early age for potentially persistent delinquency (Bryant,


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Juvenile Deliquency and Criminal Justice Responses. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:35, October 23, 2014, from
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