Juvenile Justice is Key to Racial EquityMarch 17, 2021
Read the latest from the National Assembly in “Diverting Youth From Justice Systems Is Key to Racial Equity,” an article published in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and co-authored by National Assembly Board Members Jeff Fleischer (Youth Advocate Programs) and Adolph Falcón (Alliance for Hispanic Health). The article cites a recent Annie E. Casey Foundation study that found youth of color are less likely to be diverted from the juvenile justice system, which has compounding effects, especially in communities of color. As the article notes, “…we spend more money on [youth] once they are in the system than we do to support them in their communities and keep them out of the justice system.”
Read the full article and call for investment in an array of community-based supports and services to keep our youth out of the system and help them to reach their full potential.
“An often overlooked but major injustice is how our juvenile justice system impacts Black and Hispanic youth and their families, limiting their ability to reach their full potential and thrive in their communities. In fact, the disparities are so bad that a recent Marshall Project article noted that ‘though the racial inequality in youth detention has long been stark, it’s wider than ever.’
A recent Annie E. Casey Foundation study showed that youth of color are less likely to be diverted from the juvenile justice system, even when the offense by white youth is more serious, noting, ‘a white youth involved in an offense against a person, such as aggravated assault, is more likely to be diverted than an African American youth involved in an offense against public order, such as trespassing or graffiti.’ Similarly, The Sentencing Project found that ‘Latino youth are 65 percent more likely to be detained or committed than their white peers.’
This is a disparity that we cannot ignore, and a significant problem that amplifies the need for comprehensive and urgent solutions.”