Date of this Version
UNO Juvenile Justice Institute, 2012, 147 p.
1. Compared to their composition in the youth population, Black, Hispanic and Native American youth were significantly overrepresented in the population of youth stopped by law enforcement. Overrepresentation was particularly disparate for Black youth. White and Asian youth were significantly underrepresented.
a. Data indicated that there were significant differences in whether a youth was cited/summoned or arrested by race (p < 0.001). White youth were significantly underrepresented in the population of youth arrested, while Blacks, Native Americans, and Hispanic youth were significantly overrepresented (p < 0.001).
b. Gender was a significant predictor for White, Black, and Hispanic youth (males were more likely to be arrested than females), while Native American females were more likely to be arrested than males (p < 0.01).
2. When compared to law enforcement contacts, Black and Native American youth were significantly underrepresented in referrals to diversion, while Asian and Hispanic youth were significantly overrepresented. White youth were referred to diversion at roughly the same rate at which they had contact with law enforcement.
a. Overall, 94.2% of youth referred to diversion, or 4,668 youth, participated at least minimally in diversion. Minimal participation is defined as arranging the first intake appointment with the program. In 287 cases, (5.8% of referrals) the youth or family had no contact with the diversion program, and the youth never participated in diversion. Native American youth were the least likely to make it to this first appointment.
b. Only 62% of the cases that closed in FY2011 were successful. When compared to youth referred to diversion, only White youth were significantly overrepresented in successful outcomes. Native 127 Americans were significantly underrepresented in successful completions.
3. A total of 4,021 youth were booked into some form of detention in Nebraska at some point between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. Over half of all youth booked into some form of detention were 18 years old or older.
a. White youth accounted for the majority of youth in secure detention facilities (57%), but minority youth were statistically overrepresented. Nearly one quarter (24.9%) of all youth detained in FY2011 were Black. An additional 12.7% were Hispanic. Indian youth accounted for 3.7%.
b. Being male and non-White are both significant predictors of the length of time a youth spends in any form of detention.
c. Age was also a significant predictor of length of stay; specifically, older youth spend less time in all forms of detention. An ANOVA revealed a significant difference in the mean length of time youth of different racial groups spent in secure detention facilities: Black youth were in detention the longest (29.87) when compared to other youth. However, once a variety of control variables were introduced in a regression model, race became non-significant.
d. Black youth and older youth in all forms of detention had more instances of recidivism. The population of the county from which Black youth were referred to detention significantly predicted recidivism.
4. Based on data collected from JUSTICE, it is estimated that only 55.3% of youth in Nebraska are prosecuted in the juvenile court system while 44.7% are prosecuted in the adult court system.
a. While Black youth were more likely to face multiple charges, they were also significantly more likely to have those charges amended. Hispanic youth were significantly less likely to have their charges amended.
b. In 57.4% of the cases, youth pled guilty. Data indicated that only 50.1% of youth in juvenile court were represented by legal counsel. The differences across racial groups in whether or not a youth had legal representation were not significant.
c. Data indicated that the mean number of days from filing to disposition was much greater for juvenile court youth (90.97) than for youth in adult court (35.30).
5. When compared to the racial and ethnic distribution of youth in Nebraska, Black and Hispanic youth were significantly overrepresented in adult court, while White and Asian youth were significantly underrepresented in adult court.
a. Data indicated that Black youth were significantly overrepresented in the population of youth transferred to juvenile court, while Hispanic youth were significantly underrepresented.
b. A number of factors were significant in predicting whether a case would be transferred to juvenile court were. These include: age at time of offense (the younger the youth, the more likely their case would be transferred, size of community (the larger the community, the more likely the case would be transferred, and whether or not the youth had legal representation (if the youth had counsel they were significantly more likely to have their case transferred to juvenile court).
c. Of the cases that remained in adult court, in 95.4% of these cases the youth pleaded guilty, either by an admission to the court (65.6%), or by waiver (29.8%).
d. Blacks and Native American youth were significantly overrepresented in the population of youth receiving jail time.
e. Of youth who received a city or state fine, mean judgment amounts were significantly different by race. Asian, Hispanic and Native American youth had significantly higher average fines than Whites or Blacks.
f. Data indicated that only 26% of youth in adult court were represented by counsel. While this percentage is alarmingly low, the proportion of youth with legal representation across racial/ethnic groups was proportionate to their population in adult court, with one exception: Black youth were significantly more likely to have legal representation.
6. Of the juveniles on probation in FY2011, 2,592 cases remained open and the juvenile was still under the supervision of the court. Of those that closed, 69.5% closed successfully, meaning that the juvenile completed the requirements established by the probation officer in the case plan.
7. Both Black youth and Native American youth were still significantly underrepresented in youth who successfully complete juvenile probation. All other groups did not yield significantly different results. a. Probation was revoked in only 12.5 % of all active probation cases. In the majority of cases where the youth was violating the terms of probation, the Probation Officer applied administrative sanctions. The only group that was significantly overrepresented in revocations is Native American youth.
Office of Juvenile Services
8. Race and ethnicity significantly influenced level of placement and the factors contribute to placement outside the home. White youth were significantly underrepresented in the number of youth committed to OJS.
a. Asian youth were most likely to remain with a parent or family member, representing 31% of youth who were not removed compared to 23% of White, and 23% of Hispanic youth. Indian youth were most likely to be removed from their home (only 8% were allowed to remain 130 in home), and 2.7% place in foster care, the remaining 90% were placed in some form of out of home congregate care.
b. Black youth (OJS wards) were the most likely to be placed in a juvenile detention facility. Of the 700 placements: 45% were Black, 27% were Indian, 23% were White, 21.6% were Hispanic, and 23% were Asian. Data indicated that given the racial composition of youth in OJS custody, Blacks and Indian youth were significantly overrepresented in OJS youth placed in detention, while White youth were significantly underrepresented.