Black, White Youth Treated Unevenly by Justice System



A nonprofit organization has confirmed a generally held assumption: Black youths have been treated differently than their White counterparts by the criminal justice system over the years—and the mistreatment continues today.

Last month, the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Youth Justice released a report that concludes that Black juvenile offenders suffer disproportionate arrest rates and harder prison sentences than White youths. While Blacks under 17 years old make up only 17 percent of the nation's youth, they represent about 30 percent of those arrested, says the report.

"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."

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