Mitigating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice

The U.S. justice system continues to grapple with racial and ethnic disparities in its outcomes. Findings from studies of juvenile justice, policing, pretrial and bail decisions, sentencing, and corrections consistently indicate inequities in the experiences of Black, Native American and Indigenous, and Hispanic American people in the criminal justice system compared to those of White people. The fundamental question that connects the work of researchers to that of policymakers and practitioners is, “What can we do to mitigate systemwide disparities?”

The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP) at George Mason University and the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center (JPRC) have joined forces to provide engaging online conversations that will use scientific evidence to explore this critical issue. Our first event discussed the evidence behind police training innovations in procedural justice, implicit bias, de-escalation, and community policing.

Our second event focused on the area of juvenile justice. Although there are significant national decreases in the use of detention and incarceration of youth, disparities in who gets into the juvenile justice system and receives the harshest penalties persist. Following a framing presentation by JPRC Director Anthony Petrosino, featured speakers Nancy Rodriguez (University of California, Irvine), Sean Darling-Hammond (BITJustice and WestEd), and David Muhammad (National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform) discussed research, evidence, and challenges in tackling this important issue. The session was moderated by CEBCP Director Cynthia Lum. Access and view the webinar here.

Future event dates will be announced soon.