"Black Threat" and Discrimination Against Minorities in the Imposition of Detention

M. Dyan McGuire, St. Louis University

Using statewide data from 1997, this paper explores the impact of the percentage of minorities within a county's youth population on the likelihood of minority children receiving detention pending their adjudicatory hearing. The results are generally supportive of racial threat theory and indicate that Black children are more likely to be detained pending their adjudication if they reside in a county with a relatively high percentage of minority children. Possible alternate causes and the continuing need for research are also discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006