for Hispanic males and a six percent chance for Caucasian males.
13 In 2011, the victimization rate
for non-Hispanic, black youth was more than twice the rate for non-Hispanic white youth.
Additionally, statistics show that the issues surrounding minority youth seem to be
worsening in the face of improved policies for youth.
15 While a recent decline in crime has resulted
in a decline in arrest rates, Figure 1 displays that the proportions of minority youth (red line) in the
American justice system compared to their non-minority peers (blue line) have not decreased.
Minority youth remain significantly overrepresented.
Figure 1 Juvenile Arrest Rates for All Crimes by Race (US), 1980-2009
Source: OJJDP Statistical
Briefing Book. (Note: Rates are
arrests of persons ages 10-17
per 100,000 persons ages 10-17
in the resident population).
Furthermore, this seems to be a growing trend. Between 1980 and 2009, the total juvenile
arrest rate decreased thirty-eight percent for Asians, twenty-nine percent for Indigenous youth
(“American Indians”), and twenty-four percent for white youth, but increased by seven percent
for African American (“black”) youth.
18 Thus, despite efforts and declining crime rates, there is
13Marc Mauer, Addressing Racial Disparities in Incarceration, 91 THE PRISON J. 87S, 88S (Sept. 2011),
http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/Prison%20Journal%20-%20racial%20disparity.pdf; The JFA Institute,
Unlocking America, THE JFA INST. 1, 1(Nov., 2007), http://www.jfa-
14Juveniles, NAT’L INST. OF JUST., https://www.crimesolutions.gov/TopicDetails.aspx?ID=5 (last visited Apr. 23,
15See Tavis Smiley, Fact Sheet: Outcomes for Young Black Men, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/tsr/too-important-to-fail/fact-sheet-outcomes-for-young-black-men/ (last visited Apr. 23, 2015) (offering statistics and
context to illustrate “the impact that structural inequality has had on Black men and boys in America” and indicating
that these youths’ futures “will be lost if something is not done”); Race, Ethnicity & Health Care Fact Sheet: Young
African American Men in the United States, THE HENRY J. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION (2006),
https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/7541.pdf (offering statistics on young African American
men to highlight concerns and illustrate that racial disparity exists).
16 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR_Display.asp?ID=qa05260 (last visited Apr. 15, 2015). See Dara Lind &
16 Theories for Why Crime plummeted in the U.S., VOX (Feb. 13, 2015),
http://www.vox.com/2015/2/13/8032231/crime-drop (discussing the decline in crime in the United States and
providing possible reasons for the trend).
17Note that the term “minority” is used here, but refers generally to African Americans. One of the weaknesses with
the American system is that Native American and also Hispanic youth are sometimes categorized as “white” or
“black,” making it difficult to decipher reliable data about these populations. Thus, the “black” category seen in Figure
1 might, and likely does, include a small proportion of Hispanic youth.
18Every two years, the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) gathers detailed information on youth
residing in detention, correctional, and other shelter facilities. This Section draws on data from CJRP and its