The role of juvenile adjudications in the disproportional incarceration of African-American and Hispanic defendants

Jeffery T. Ulmer, Julia A. Laskorunsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior research has demonstrated the mediating role of criminal history in incarceration decisions involving black and Hispanic men. Juvenility also plays a role in differential punishment. Our study examines juvenile adjudications as a component of criminal history, and the extent to which such adjudications are a potential source of disproportional incarceration of black and Hispanic men. Drawing from the focal concerns model of punishment decisions, we investigate juvenile adjudications in criminal history as they might mediate racial and ethnic differences in incarceration. We also examine whether judges give different weight to adjudications depending on how long ago they occurred, and whether juvenile adjudications heighten the incarceration chances of minority men more than others. We analyze Pennsylvania sentencing data from 2006 to 2010 that allow for the decomposition of criminal history into juvenile adjudications and adult convictions, and examine incarceration and guideline departure decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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