Estimating the Effect of Race on Juvenile Court Decision-Making: A Comparison of MethodsAnnual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology (2015)
Prior research has found that disproportionate minority contact (DMC) is a problem at various decision-making points in the juvenile justice system. Some have argued that this is the result of discriminatory decisions by system actors, while others assert that it is due to legally relevant factors (e.g., differences in offense seriousness). A major challenge in assessing the effect of race on justice decisions is the difficulty in comparing similarly-situated youth from different racial groups. This study will explore the relative usefulness of various techniques to determine whether there are racial disparities in the degree of penetration into the juvenile justice system among similarly-situated youth and, if identified, whether these disparities can be accounted for by relevant legal factors. Specifically, the “treatment effect” of race on juvenile justice decision-making will be examined via radius matching, nearest neighbor matching with and without caliper, kernel matching, regression, matching with regression adjustment, inverse-probability weighting, and inverse-probability-weighted regression adjustment. The discussion focuses on the properties of the different analytic techniques and their relative findings, and also considers the study’s findings in terms of understanding and responding to the DMC issue.
Publication DateNovember 18, 2015
Citation InformationShaun M. Gann. "Estimating the Effect of Race on Juvenile Court Decision-Making: A Comparison of Methods" Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shaun-gann/15/