Examining the prevalence of a youth discount in the juvenile justice system

Weston J. Morrow, Lisa M. Dario, Nancy Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Predicated on the notions of rehabilitation and protection, the American juvenile justice system is intended to aid adolescents in reforming their delinquent behavior. This assistance often manifests itself in the form of leniency and rehabilitative care. Such reformative assistance, however, is not always applied equally across race/ethnicity and ages. Using a focal concerns framework, this study examines data from one southwestern city in the USA to test the independent and moderating effects of age among various race/ethnicity and age combinations. The results not only provide insight into the existence of an age-related sliding scale of culpability (i.e., a youth discount), but also the extent to which age mitigates, or negates, the effect of race/ethnicity at four decision-making stages in the juvenile justice system. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-490
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • age
  • focal concerns theory
  • juvenile justice
  • race
  • youth discount

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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