An Effective Approach to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice

Detention Reform Brief 3

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2009

Summary

Having a disproportionate number of  kids of color in jail is a real problem facing today’s justice system.  Casey's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) has achieved reduced rates of minorities in lock up by making the reduction of racial and ethnic disparities a priority.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Kids of color are arrested and detained at higher rates and face harsher penalties than similarly situated white kids

It is no secret that kids of color are arrested and detained at higher rates and face harsher penalties than similarly situated white kids. JDAI’s core strategies have reduced this disparity and leveled the playing field for all youths.

Findings & Stats

Ethinc minorities represented 41% of the youth population in the United States, but more than 67% of those detained at the time of this report.

Daily detention rates in Cook County, Illinois, were reduced by 44% for kids of color as a result of detention reforms.

Statements & Quotations