The Connecticut Mirror

Does race matter in the juvenile justice system?
May 4, 2012- by Jacqueline Rabe Thomas- When a child is referred to a Connecticut court, the state’s juvenile justice system is largely colorblind. New state data from 2011 show that whether a youth is black, white or Latino, he has about a 50 percent chance of having his case dismissed. Similarly, about 30 percent of all youths — regardless of skin color or ethnicity — receive probation after they are arrested. But skin color and ethnicity are powerful indicators of which children will be arrested in the first place. In fact, when students are arrested on school property, one of every two will be black or Hispanic.

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Nationwide and in Connecticut, juvenile arrests have declined steadily over the last several years, but arrests for less serious incidents — including drug possession and minor assaults — have increased substantially, reports the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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