If Parents Don’t Speak English Well, Will Their Kids Get Locked Up?

Language Barriers and Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System

By VERA Institute of Justice

June 11, 2010

Summary

Language barriers are making it difficult for immigrant parents to advocate for their children during juvenile delinquency cases. But just how to remedy the situation needs more research. With support from Casey, the Vera Institute of Justice is studying the relationship between parents' ability to speak English, their ability to participate in the juvenile justice process and the likelihood of immigrant child being prosecuted for criminal offenses. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Language barriers and the juvenile justice system

Language barriers can contribute to the disproportionate representation of minorities in the juvenile justice system as parents don’t understand what’s expected of them.  

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