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Minority threat and criminal sentencing: examining juveniles in the adult criminal justice system

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Racial/ethnic threat has been researched regarding its impact on criminal sentencing. Past research has been fairly mixed, but a significant number of studies suggest that in areas of higher minority concentration, sentencing is generally harsher. Most of the existing research has utilized adult samples in testing this hypothesis. The current research adds to the existing research through the examination of juvenile offenders convicted in the adult criminal justice system. The data included a national sample of 3457 juveniles convicted in criminal court during 1998 across 40 counties within the United States. In this study, the racial/ethnic hypothesis was examined to assess its effect on sentencing among juveniles in the criminal system. The findings suggest some support for minority threat having an effect on sentencing decisions.
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Keywords: Racial threat; ethnic threat; incarceration; juvenile transfer; minority threat; sentencing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2016

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