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Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice


African America, disproportionate minority incarceration, juvenile offenders, risk assessment, secure detention


Disproportionate minority contact and confinement (DMC) are significant problems within the juvenile justice system in the United States. Minority youth are more often arrested, court referred, placed in locked facilities, and transferred to adult criminal courts. In fact, African American youth are 6 times more likely than White youth to experience a secure facility placement. Standardized risk assessments have been used, in part, to reduce these biased placement outcomes. The purpose of this article is to determine if DMC impacts secure detention placement even when a standardized risk assessment is used to determine youths' risks and needs in 1 Midwest county's juvenile court population over a 17-month time frame. Multivariate binary logistic regression results indicated and confirmed that African American youth were 2 times more likely to receive secure detention center placement than non-African American youth even when a standardized risk assessment was used. Practical applications and recommendations are set forth.

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