The role of race in probation monitoring and responses to probation violations among juvenile offenders in two jurisdictions

Jordan Beardslee, Kathryn Monahan, Sara Wakefield, Elizabeth Cauffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Though many studies have examined racial disproportionality in arrest and sentencing, few have examined disparities once initial sentencing has been completed. We examined racial disparities in responses to juveniles who violate the conditions of a probation sentence. Across 2 sites with diverse ethnic and racial compositions and sentencing regimes, we tested whether probation officers monitored youth differently according to their race or ethnicity, whether judges had differential responses to probation violations for youths of different racial or ethnic groups, and whether a jurisdictional context driven by sentencing guidelines responds differently to violations relative to one with greater flexibility. Although we find some regional differences, no systematic pattern of discrimination toward one particular racial or ethnic group is documented. Finally, our data demonstrate that the most common juvenile justice system response to probation violations in both sites was overwhelmingly punitive, and not treatment or otherwise oriented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-337
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Juvenile justice
  • Probation violations
  • Racial disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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