Blacks 4 times more likely to end up in juvenile justice system, says report

Black youths are more than four times as likely as white teens to be detained by the juvenile justice system in Alabama, according to a new report.

The San Francisco-based W. Haywood Burns Institute, using statistics gathered by the federal government, released an interactive map Wednesday showing the youth incarceration rates in all 50 states.

Alabama, though, was not unusual. Nationally, according to the report, black youths were more than five times as likely as whites to end up behind bars.


Laura John Ridolfi, a policy analyst for the Burns Institute, said statistics suggest that white teens are more likely to get help from other sources before ending up in juvenile court than are black youths.

“The juvenile justice system is sort of the last stop,” she said.


Baldwin County Circuit Judge Carmen Bosch, who hears juvenile cases in the county, said recent expansions in programs, such as Baldwin’s wilderness program for girls and Outward Bound have given her more options.

“Also, all of the judges have gone through additional training to inform them of additional resources,” she said.

Bosch said she tries to allow teens to stay at home or with a relative while they wait for a spot in a program to open up. But, she said, that is possible only in situations when the child can receive close supervision.

“More white families are likely to have that resource,” she said.

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March 4, 2010 - Posted by | 398 | ,

1 Comment »

  1. This seems to prove the reason for increased incarceration among blacks is not about bias but about the social setting for blacks. They don’t seem to have the family support that white kids have.

    Comment by MTR | March 4, 2010 | Reply

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