Reducing Recidivism by Juvenile Offenders Recidivism Reducing Essay

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Reducing Recidivism by Juvenile Offenders


Reducing Recidivism by Juvenile Offenders: The Power of Hope and Inclusion

It is important to begin this discussion by recognizing the fact that minority youth are disproportionately represented throughout juvenile justice systems in nearly every state in the nation. Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in juvenile justice occurs when minority youth come into contact with the system at a higher rate than their white counterparts. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans comprise a combined one-third of the nation's youth population. Yet they account for over two-thirds of the youth in secure juvenile facilities (Armour & Hammond, 2009).

Armour and Hammond (2009) point to an assortment of explanations that have emerged for the disproportionate treatment of minorities including jurisdictional issues, certain police practices, punitive juvenile crime legislation of the 1990s, and perceived racial bias in the system. Often the outcome of criminal allegations can depend on the jurisdiction in which the youth is processed according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Research indicates cases adjudicated in urban areas are more likely to result in harsher results than similar cases adjudicated in non-urban areas. Another contributing factor may come from the geographic effect.
Minority populations are concentrated in urban areas; this may work to over represent minorities in the juvenile justice system. Another contributing factor related to urbanization is the location and visibility of minority youth crimes. According to the OJJDP white youth tend to use and sell drugs in their homes while minority youth are more likely to commit these illegal activities on street corners or in public neighborhood gathering spots. Police practices that target low-income urban neighborhoods and use group arrest procedures also can contribute to disproportionate minority contact. Research shows African-American youth are arrested at twice the rate of their white peers for drug crimes. One might jump to the conclusion that minority youth simply commit more crimes, however studies show white youth are just as likely, or even more so, to be involved with illegal drug use and sales.


Given this reality the question still looms what can be done to mitigate the 70% chance that a juvenile offender has a 70% chance of returning into the system within six months of release? There are many obstacles most of us have to overcome on the road to adulthood. The addition of overcoming the….....

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