ERIC Number: ED438379
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
The Color of Justice: An Analysis of Juvenile Adult Court Transfers in California.
Males, Mike; Macallair, Dan
This study used data collected from Los Angeles County, California, authorities and the U.S. Census to test the hypothesis that minority youth are disproportionately transferred to adult court and sentenced to incarceration when compared to white youths in similar circumstances. The research examined arrests between 1996-98 and sentencings between 1997-99. In 1996, the Los Angeles area population was 25% White, 51% Hispanic, 13% African American, and 11% Asian and other races. Hispanic, African American, and Asian/other youth accounted for 95% of the cases that were transferred to adult court in 1996, with Hispanic youth alone accounting for 59% of cases transferred. Hispanic youth were 6 times more likely, and African American youth were 12 times more likely than White youth to be transferred to adult court. Minority youth did have higher arrest rates, but examination of the arrest categories suggests little reason (such as greater number of violent crimes) for the racial disparity in terms of transfers to adult court. The disproportionately harsh disposition of minority youths by adult court shows up regardless of the felony category that is used as the index to measure arrest propensity. Minority youths are 8.3 times more likely than white youths to be sentenced by a an adult court to imprisonment in a California Youth Authority facility. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.; California Wellness Foundation.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Washington, DC. Justice Policy Institute.
Identifiers - Location: California