Sunday, October 5, 2008

Your Black News: Criminal Justice System and Black Youth

A report released by a non-profit organization concluded that Black and white youth have been treated differently by the criminal justice system over the years, and the mistreatment continues today.

In September, the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Youth Justice organization released a report that summed up the findings of their study, which looked at the treatment of African American and white youth by the criminal justice system from 2001 to 2006.

The report, Critical Condition: African American Youth in the Justice System, identified a number disparities among Black youth, including disproportionate arrest rates and harsher prison sentencing, as compared to white youth.

“It is baffling that we are still faced with this serious problem of racial disparities in our justice system,” said Liz Ryan, president and CEO of Campaign for Youth Justice. “It is time for states to reverse punitive laws that result in the transfer and incarceration of African American youth in the adult criminal justice system.”

According to the report, African American youth make up 30 percent of youth arrested while they represent only 17 percent of the overall youth population. Additionally, African American youth are 62 percent of the youth prosecuted in the adult criminal system and are nine times more likely than white youth to receive an adult prison sentence, the report revealed.


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