Race and Treating Other People's Children as Adults

Journal of Criminal Justice 28 (6):507-515 (2000)
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Juvenile offenders are sometimes transferred to a criminal court where they may stand trial as adults. The rationale for this current trend cannot be justified based on evidence from developmental psychology, the evidence of consistent positive effects for particular intervention strategies, and ethical arguments for justification of punishment. The rationale in actuality reflects the selective manipulation of the alternative conceptions of young people as dependent and vulnerable or as autonomous and responsible to continue to justify policies that entail cultural and racial discrimination. Discretionary decisions at various stages of the justice process amplify racial disparities as minority youths proceed through the system and result in more severe dispositions that for comparable White youths.
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