SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Claus, R. E., Vidal, S., & Harmon, M. (2017). Racial and ethnic disparities in the police handling of juvenile arrests. Crime & Delinquency, 64, 1375–1393.

Abstract: The overrepresentation of racial and ethnic minority youth in early stages of juvenile justice processing remains a long-standing concern. The current study uses data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) to examine the effects of race and ethnicity on postarrest handling of juvenile cases by the police. Multilevel analyses controlling for extralegal and contextual factors found that disproportionate minority contact (DMC) was not observed for more severe charges, but Hispanic and minority youth facing less severe charges were more likely to be referred to authorities. Because even small disparities in postarrest handling may have a cumulative effect, the findings highlight the continuing need to better understand police officer behaviors and agency processes that result in DMC.

Journal Article 2: Strom, K. J., Warner, T. D., Tichavsky, L., & Zahn, M. A. (2010). Policing juveniles: Domestic violence arrest policies, gender, and police response to child-parent violenceCrime & Delinquency60, 427–450.

Abstract: This study analyzed the National Incident Based Reporting System data from 2000 to 2004 to determine how domestic violence arrest policies, along with incident, offender, and victim characteristics, influence arrest outcomes in violent incidents committed by juveniles against their parents. The authors’ primary interest was to assess whether the enforcement of domestic violence arrest laws, coupled with increased police involvement in familial disputes, has contributed to the decreasing gender gap in juvenile arrests for violent offenses. Results indicated that domestic violence arrest policies had positive effects on arrest outcomes both for juvenile females and males accused of assaulting a parent, as juveniles were more likely to be arrested in states with mandatory or pro-arrest policies than in states with discretionary arrest policies. However, there was also evidence that, beyond the effects of the domestic arrest laws, girls became increasingly more likely to be arrested for assaults against parents over the 5-year study period relative to boys. The implications for these findings are discussed, including the importance of a better understanding of how police respond to domestic violence incidents involving juveniles.