“ Juvenile offense touches 1000000s of people in the United States each twelvemonth, enforcing significant cost on society. “ ( Jacob and Lefgren, 2003, p. 1560 ) “ The rate at which juveniles were arrested for violent offenses rose 79 per centum between 1978 and 1993 ” ( Levitt, 1998, p. 1156 ) . “ In 1997, jurisprudence enforcement functionaries arrested 2.8 million people under the age of 18 ” ( Jacob and Lefgren, 2003, p.1560 ) . Minorities represent a important part of those arrested. Old ages of informations show that “ offense rates among minorities, particularly inkinesss, systematically shadowing those among Whites. “ ( Piquero, 2008, p. 60 ) . This is why the United States ‘ condemnable justness system is frequently accused of being racialist. African americans are disproportionately sentenced to decease, make up the majority of the prison population, and are subjected to day-to-day shames such as hassling traffic Michigans. That there is a higher offense rate in mostly Afro-american urban communities is rarely disputed, but the causes and proper responses to that job are heatedly debated. Many analyses focus on African-American young person, on whom the overall hereafter of the black community depends, but whose individualised hereafters are at hazard for a assortment of grounds.

While the population of the United States is merely 13 % Afro-american, it is estimated that 53 % of young persons punished for juvenile discourtesies in the U.S. are Afro-american ( Leunes, 1996, p. 699 ) . Race, so, has been found to be a important forecaster of juvenile condemnable behaviour. However, race is believed to be confounded with socioeconomic position and urban environment ( Bryant, et Al, 1995, p. 77 ) . Research workers have besides determined that other features are associated with a continuity of antisocial behaviour: early age of oncoming, frequence of behaviours, assortment of behaviours, and assortment of scenes in which they occur are all forecasters that service bureaus could perchance utilize to test at a comparatively early age for potentially relentless delinquency ( Bryant, et Al, 1995, p. 77 ) .

Chavaria ( 1997 ) documented that riotous and antisocial inclinations are most ductile at early ages, going more intractable by early adolescence. “ Malleability besides implies that immature people are particularly susceptible to external influences. “ ( Bishop, 2000, p.83 ) Winters ( 1997 ) found that larning disablements and hapless educational public presentation were strong forecasters of juvenile delinquency. The U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment conducted a comprehensive reappraisal of factors associated with delinquency, as portion of a study on adolescent wellness. This reappraisal reported that demographic factors, such as age, gender, and race are associated with increased rates of delinquency. Adolescents with low IQ or larning disablements have higher rates of delinquency ( Bryant, et Al, pp. 77-78 ) . Scherer, et Al ( 1994 ) investigated a assortment of household factors in relation to delinquency, including hapless disciplinary patterns, household condemnable behaviour, hapless matrimonial dealingss, and parental absence. The strongest forecaster of juvenile delinquency, nevertheless, is past juvenile delinquency, or recidivism.

Recidivism refers to an wrongdoer ‘s backsliding into condemnable behaviour, frequently after having countenances or undergoing an intercession for a antecedently committed offense. Often the individual best index of future engagement in offense is past engagement in offense. The unanswered inquiry, nevertheless, is whether anterior condemnable behaviour entirely is the major culprit, or whether there is variable that interjects to heighten the possibility for future condemnable behaviour. There are evidences that the condemnable justness system is little more than a school of offense, in which immature first-time wrongdoers and serious calling felons are incarcerated together. This introduces the first-time wrongdoer to the thought of offense as a calling, every bit good as larning how to go better felons ( Leunes, p. 700 ) . This could be the key to understanding the differing captivity rates for African-Americans and Caucasians as grownups. If Afro-american young persons are more likely to be punished as young persons, so the influence of recidivism would do it more likely that they will be introduced to offense as a calling. Therefore, while racism may permeate the full condemnable justness system, its effects may be most unsafe in the country of juvenile intervention.

“ Sentencing immature wrongdoers as grownups increases the figure of chronological juveniles confined in grownup prisons and poses significant challenges ” ( Feld, 1998, p. 190 ) . Given the grounds that past condemnable behaviour is a strong forecaster of future condemnable behaviour, along with the impression that the condemnable justness system frequently serves as a school of offense from which immature wrongdoers graduate to condemnable callings, it is of import to analyze how young persons are foremost introduced to offense. “ Most surveies show that males commit more delinquent Acts of the Apostless than do females, particularly serious offenses. ” ( Cernkovich and Giordano, 1979, p. 132 ) It is common for immature teens, particularly adolescent male childs, to prosecute in loony jokes which can surround on condemnable behaviour. Drug usage, intoxicant ingestion, and junior-grade larceny are sometimes rites of transition for adolescent male childs. Since this is slightly common behaviour among young persons, this behaviour may non be a good indicant of future condemnable behaviour. The step ining variable may be engagement with the condemnable justness system. That is, young persons who are caught and punished for early condemnable behaviour are more likely to prosecute in future condemnable behaviour than those who are non caught and punished. The component of racism enters the equation here. If Caucasic young persons are more likely to be treated laxly by governments, while Afro-american young persons are treated harsher and handed over for judicial penalty, this could travel a long manner toward explicating the higher grownup offense rates among African americans than among Caucasians.

This leads, so, to three separate hypotheses. The first will analyze the degree of minor condemnable activity engaged in by both Afro-american and Caucasic young persons, the 2nd will seek to find whether there is a difference in official responses to minor condemnable activity by Afro-american and Caucasic young persons, and the 3rd will quantify the relationship between early engagement with the condemnable justness system and hereafter, more serious condemnable activity. Formally stated, these hypotheses are:

H1: There will be no difference in the degree of minor condemnable activity engaged in by Afro-american and Caucasic teenage male childs.

H2: Afro-american young persons will be significantly more likely to be treated badly for minor felon activity than will Caucasian young persons.

H3: Young persons who are treated badly for minor condemnable discourtesies are more likely to take part in serious condemnable discourtesies than are young persons who are treated laxly.


For this survey a two-group design with a individual sample will be utilized. The information will be collected through a study administered to a sample drawn from a population of teenage male childs at several high schools. There are three separate dependant variables and two distinguishable independent variables. Data will be analyzed by analysis of discrepancy ( ANOVA ) .

Variables. The dependent variable for H1 is degree of condemnable activity engaged in. This will be measured by a four point graduated table. No condemnable activity will be at the lowest degree. The following degree will be minor condemnable activity. It will include occasional hooky, occasional drug and intoxicant usage, minor hooliganism such as “ labeling ” or interrupting Windowss, or occasional larceny of little points such as confect and coffin nails. Moderate activity will include frequent hooky, drug usage and intoxicant ingestion, larceny of little points up to $ 50 in value, and more serious hooliganism of up to $ 100 in belongings harm. Heavy activity will include anything more serious than the discourtesies non covered in the first three degrees of the graduated table. The independent variable for this hypothesis is the race of the topic. Although the hypotheses specifically relate to the differences between Afro-american and Caucasic young persons, the race variable will include Hispanic, Asian, and other classs.

The dependant variable for H2 is the degree of lenience or badness of response by the condemnable justness system to youthful condemnable behaviour, while the independent variable is one time once more race. The dependent variable will be measured on a four point graduated table. No Action Taken for the condemnable behaviour be at the lowest degree on the graduated table. Next will be Reprimand. The 3rd degree is Adjudication, in which the felon behaviour led to a official hearing and any type of administrative penalty. The 4th degree is Incarceration, in which the behaviour led to detention in any condemnable justness installation for more than 24 hours. The highest degree of response indicated by an person for any condemnable discourtesy will be taken as the concluding step of this variable. In other words, a topic who had no action taken on most of his behaviour, but was reprimanded one time and adjudicated one time will be scored as Adjudicated.

The dependant variable for H3 is serious condemnable behaviour. This is a dichotomous variable and will be measured by whether a topic committed any felony after the age of 16. The independent variable is the response of the condemnable justness system to youthful condemnable behaviour. This will be measured the same as in H2.

Population and Sample Selection. The population to be studied is immature males between the ages of 16 and 18. The sample will be drawn from three different high schools. One school will be in an urban country, a 2nd will be in a suburban country, and the 3rd will be in a rural country. The mark sample drawn from each school will be n=30, for a entire size of at N=90. From the pool of voluntaries, a semi-random sample will be drawn. The sample will non be absolutely random because actions will be taken to do certain that the sample ‘s racial composing approximately matches the racial makeup of the schools. Anonymity will be guaranteed for all information supplied by all pupil voluntaries.

Data. A study instrument will be constructed for the aggregation of the informations. Each study will hold a alone designation figure and no informations that can place the respondent will be collected. The first subdivision of the study will roll up demographical informations, including: age, race, and school attended.

The following subdivision would dwell of personal information. It will get down inquiring innocuous inquiries such as avocations, preferable type of music, and favourite athleticss squads. This is designed to let the respondent to experience comfy with the study and to hold them open up about themselves. It will transition into inquiries about parties and intoxicant usage, so drug usage, hooky, and hooliganism. These inquiries will concentrate on the topics ‘ behaviour as immature teens before adolescence. This subdivision will reason with inquiries about whether the behaviours continued, and if more serious discourtesies had of all time been committed, whether they had been caught at these or non, and whether the activities were ongoing.

Volunteers will be able to finish the studies at their leisure and locked aggregation boxes will be placed in convenient locations for completed studies to be dropped. This will help in guaranting the namelessness of the respondents.

Data Analysis. Each hypothesis considers merely a individual independent variable, but these are differences between multiple groups ( Afro-american, Caucasic, Hispanic, and Asian for H1 and H2 ; badness of intervention on a four point graduated table for H3 ) . Single-factor analysis of discrepancy, or one-way ANOVA, is the proper statistical trial of significance for these hypotheses.


There are three separate dependant variables. The first two consist of ordinal degree informations, the 3rd consists of nominal degree informations. The first dependant variable is Level of Criminal Activity Engaged in. It is ordinal degree, measured on a four point graduated table dwelling of 1 = No Criminal Activity, 2 = Minor Criminal Activity, 3 = Moderate Criminal Activity, and 4 = Heavy Criminal Activity. The 2nd dependant variable is Severity of Response by the Criminal Justice System to Youthful Criminal Behavior. This is besides ordinal degree, measured on a four point graduated table from 1 = No Notice Taken, 2 = Reprimand, 3 = Adjudication, and 4 = Incarceration. The 3rd dependant variable is Serious Criminal Behavior After Age 16. It is nominal degree and is measured as 0 = No Commission and 1 = Commission.

The analysis used for each hypothesis will be one-way ANOVA. ANOVA allows for the testing of differences between two or more groups. The first two hypotheses will be tested for differences on the footing of ethnicity, which will dwell of four groups ( Afro-american, Caucasic, Asiatic, and Hispanic ) . The 3rd hypothesis will be tested for differences on the footing of badness of response by the condemnable justness system, besides dwelling of four groups ( No Action Taken, Reprimand, Adjudication, and Incarceration ) . Therefore, one-way ANOVA is the proper statistical trial.

For H1, the ANOVA will analyze whether there are differences in the self-reported delinquent behaviour by African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians. It is expected that there will non be any important differences in this behaviour by ethnicity.

For H2, ANOVA will mensurate whether there are differences in the response of the condemnable justness system to reprehensively delinquent behaviour by African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians. It is expected that Afro-american young persons will be significantly likely to see a more terrible response than will Caucasian young persons. Hispanics and Asians are besides expected to see more terrible responses, but no important differences are hypothesized or predicted.

H3 will analyze whether young persons who are badly treated for delinquent behaviour are more likely to perpetrate more chronic felon discourtesies later on than those who are treated with lenience. ANOVA will measure differences in the chronic condemnable behaviour that is committed subsequently by groups who received No Action ( least terrible intervention ) , Reprimand, Adjudication, or Incarceration ( most severe intervention ) for their juvenile delinquency. It is predicted that young persons who received more terrible responses will be significantly more likely to prosecute in subsequently serious condemnable behaviour.


Assuming that all three hypotheses are supported, the findings would be really of import on two important degrees. The first country of importance would be the young person intercession theory. It would intend that recidivism is a self-fulfilling prognostication. That is, by badly penalizing some signifiers of juvenile delinquency, we are really increasing the opportunities that more serious condemnable behaviour will happen at a ulterior day of the month. A 2nd country in which the findings are relevant is the country of race dealingss. If functionaries in authorization are so harder on Afro-american young persons than on Caucasians, so they are lending to the mass captivity of Afro-american males on a national degree. Once once more, this will necessitate concentrating more attempt on alternate schemes.

Internal cogency is the grade to which a design accurately measures the effects under consideration and no other effects. There is one major menace to internal cogency in this survey. It is the inquiry of racism in the condemnable justness system. It covers the full survey. If the hypotheses are supported, so the findings will demo that there is no difference in the juvenile delinquent behaviour of Afro-american and Caucasic young persons other than the manner that behaviour is responded to by governments. It would farther show that terrible intervention of such behaviour is straight related to later condemnable activity. Then logically it would follow that the unequal intervention of Afro-american young persons is a major cause of ulterior behaviour. However, it will non needfully follow that racism is the perpetrator. Other factors may be the cause of this unequal intervention. This survey did non analyze or see any such other factors, so any decision about racism could be confounded. Future surveies might include samples of condemnable justness professionals in order to acquire a better appreciation on other factors in general and on the function of racism in peculiar.

External cogency is the grade to which research findings are generalizable beyond the sample which was studied. If a sample is non genuinely representative of the whole population, so the findings from a survey can be said to be true merely for that sample, and non as a general decision. For this survey, the sample will be drawn from a cross subdivision of high schools in order young persons from different environments. However, better attention might be taken to guarantee that the samples are proportionately drawn. That is, if excessively many topics are drawn from rural communities, the consequences may be skewed one manner, while if excessively many topics are drawn from urban schools, consequences may be skewed another. Besides, if the bulk of Caucasic topics are drawn from rural schools while the bulk of African americans are drawn from urban schools, so the consequences may be confounded by environmental factors. Future research could analyze each type of school individually, instead than by trying to prove them together.

If some of the hypotheses are supported but non others, so different decisions can be drawn. For illustration, if H2 is rejected and it is found that there are no important differences in the intervention of Afro-american and Caucasic delinquents by governments, yet H3 is accepted and it is found that early penalty leads to later offense, so the importance of altering early intercession schemes remains valid. If, on the other manus, both are rejected, so there would be no logical nexus to be made at all between them.

Of the three hypotheses, the rejection of H3 would be the most interesting. H1 and H2 are derived chiefly based on premises about racism in America. H3, on the other manus, was derived based on old research on delinquency and recidivism. If it is rejected, so it could intend that when anterior condemnable behaviour is involved, recidivism may non be a concern. This means that terrible penalty might be the best option for delinquents.

However, H3 perchance suffers from an internal cogency job. Severity of Response by the Criminal Justice System to Youthful Criminal Behavior is the independent variable for H3. H2 is designed to demo that there are racial differences in badness of intervention, but all of the possible causes for differences in this intervention are non accounted for. For illustration, parent ‘s income and urban environment could lend to the differences. Randomization of a representative sample is the agencies by which possible confounding factors are controlled. As celebrated above, nevertheless, the sample for this survey may hold been neither representative nor random ( this, once more, is besides an external cogency job ) . Future surveies should either analyze single schools in specific environments or take a national sample that takes into history all environments together.