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Between 2017 and 2021, there was a 50% decline in applications for complaint, but no reversal on the ethnic and racial disparities of the youth that do end up in the justice system. Jaromir Chalabala / EyeEm/Getty Images

GBH News

Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice Start with How Black and Latino Youth are Arrested, Report Finds 

Black teenagers in Massachusetts are four times more likely to be physically arrested than white teens who are also facing legal trouble, according to a new report released Nov. 1 by the state’s Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board. Latino youth are almost three times more likely to experience that kind of arrest than white youth, in a state where 64% of all 12 to 17 year-olds are white. And these racial disparities prevail despite a 50% drop in overall applications for complaint since 2017.

The new report, which was mandated by a Massachusetts criminal justice reform bill passed in 2018, unveils significant disparities between races in the state’s juvenile justice system and makes recommendations for how to solve those issues. 

“The [racial] disparities are largest at the ‘front door’ of the system — the arrest and application for delinquency complaint stage,” the report said. “These early disparities matter.”

Read the full story reported by GBH News at:

Publisher’s Note: This story is an aggregate from GBH, Massachusetts Latino News’ (MALN) partner in providing greater visibility and voice to the Hispanic-Latino community.

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