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Predicting Secure Detention Placement for African-American Juvenile offenders: Addressing the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Problem

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Zeljka Pap

Predicting Secure Detention Placement for African-American Juvenile Offenders: Addressing the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Problem

West Texas A&M University

Juvenile Delinquency

        In this article authors Mallett and Stoddard talk about the minority contact and confinement issues in the juvenile justice system within the United States. The authors argue that minority youth are more often arrested and taken to facilities, and even transferred to adult’s courts than any other juveniles. The purpose of the authors article is to try and to determine if Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) really impacts secure detention of juveniles who are minorities. The authors really wanted to see if race would impact certain detention placement for juveniles. A couple of variables that were used in their study were things such as alcohol/drug use, anger disposition, different moods, gender, education, life experiences, and a few other variables. The studies were done in a Midwest county in the United States, and they collect arrests and chargers that were from the youth over a 17-month period. It seemed as if the authors would mainly use court record data to collect their data. The variables such as alcohol/drug use, education, and other variables did have an impact on juveniles who would go to any facilities or confinement. It seems that minorities, particularly African Americans are more seen in detention facilities than any other race, the authors and other policy makers find this very concerning. The purpose of their research was to study the DMC persistence and be able to see if other factors other than race can explain why children are put into detention facilities. The authors wanted to try and eliminate the issues of monitories being the main youth that go into detention facilities. Even though using the different variable such as age, gender, education, abuse, and other things doesn’t eliminate the issues it definitely helps. Overall, the authors study found that the standardized assessment does not fully eliminate the representation of the minority groups in secure detention. The authors go on to explain that more research needs to be done around this topic and that researchers need to understand the confinement problems that minority youth have in the United States. The authors also want to expand on the importance of uncovering the reason for the disproportionate placement of the minorities.

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