Understanding the Link Between Race/Ethnicity, Drug Offending, and Juvenile Court Outcomes [2017]

Compared with criminal sentencing decisions, limited research has assessed the impact of an imagery of a “dangerous” offender on the interrelationships between race/ethnicity and juvenile court outcomes. Applying base premises from Steen, Engen, and Gainey’s perspective concerning the dangerous drug offender stereotype, the present study examines the case outcomes of White, Black, and Hispanic youth charged with drug offenses and who match the stereotype of a “dangerous drug offender” (male drug seller with a prior record). Findings suggest that youth who fully matched the stereotype were more likely to receive harsher dispositions compared with those who have some or none of the characteristics, but the magnitude of these effects for Whites did not exceed those of Blacks and Hispanics.

Michael J. Leiber, Jennifer H. Peck, Melissa Lugo, Donna M. Bishop

Crime & Delinquency, Vol 63, Issue 14, 2017