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Sentencing Disparity and the Ethnicity of Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
P Gallagher; P Poletti
Date Published
51 pages
This study investigated the need for, and importance of, data capable of monitoring the impact of sentencing policies upon Aboriginal and ethnic minorities.
Samples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander juveniles and juveniles from Pacific Islander, South East European, Middle Eastern and East Asian ethnic groups were matched with juvenile offenders from an Anglo-Australian background and compared in terms of sentence severity. The youths were matched on factors known to influence sentencing. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group received harsher penalties, more community service orders and more supervised orders than their Anglo-Australian counterparts. The Pacific Islander group received harsher penalties and twice as many control orders as their Anglo-Australian matches. There were no statistically significant differences for the other ethnic groups; however, the direction of the difference was consistently in favor of the Anglo-Australian group. Notes, figures, appendixes, references