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ERIC Number: EJ1179177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1054-8289
"Kids Do Not so Much Make Trouble, They Are Trouble": Police-Youth Relations
Brunson, Rod K.; Pegram, Kashea
Future of Children, v28 n1 p83-102 Spr 2018
Young people's encounters with the criminal justice system generally begin with the police. Officers' decisions about how to handle these encounters are affected by their on-the-spot assessments of young people's proclivity for delinquency, prospects for rehabilitation, and overall moral character. And because most police-citizen interactions occur in public spaces, officers render these judgments with limited information, often falling back on racial and ethnic stereotypes. In this article, Rod Brunson and Kashea Pegram examine how police officers' decisions about which young people to watch, stop, search, and arrest contribute to historical and enduring justice system inequality. Research confirms that officers apply their discretion highly unevenly, Brunson and Pegram write, consistently exposing youth of color to a wide range of harms. Moreover, aggressive policing strategies such as stop-and-frisk disproportionately affect youths and communities of color. In many urban areas, they say, officers are a constant, inescapable, and unwelcome presence in the lives of black and Latino adolescents--especially males, who are disproportionately stopped, searched, and killed by police. Yet the authors find reason for optimism in efforts to improve trust in minority communities and end racially discriminatory policing through practices based on procedural justice principles--that is, whether citizens believe they're treated fairly and with respect during police encounters. Still, they acknowledge, racial disparities in policing mean that in many places, police-community relations have already suffered tremendous harm that will be extremely difficult to repair.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. 267 Wallace Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. Tel: 609-258-6979; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York); Missouri (Saint Louis); Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A