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Racial and Ethnic Fairness
While commitment rates declined for all race groups between 1997 and 2019, the commitment rate for minority youth remained higher than the rate for white youth.
Committed juveniles include those placed in the facility as part of a court ordered disposition. The commitment rate is the number of juvenile offenders in residential placement on the CJRP reference date per 100,000 juveniles age 10 through the upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction. Rates exclude youth in tribal facilities.

*American Indian includes Alaskan Natives; Asian includes Pacific Islanders.

Minority group includes black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander youth, and those identified as other race.

The ratio of rates compares the rates of each minority group to white youth. A ratio of 1.0 indicates statistical parity, i.e., the rates for the comparison groups are equal. For example, if white youth and minority youth were placed at the same rate, the ratio would be 1.0, indicating the rates for these groups are equal. When the ratio exceeds 1.0, the rate for the minority group exceeds the rate for white youth; when it is below 1.0, the rate for minority youth is less than the rate for white youth.

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  • Between 1997 and 2019, the commitment rate declined the most for Asian youth (93%), followed by Hispanic (85%), black (76%), white (67%), and American Indian (60%) youth. Combined, the rate for minority youth declined 82% during this period.
  • Following these declines, the ratio of commitment rates between minority and white youth fell below 2-to-1 for the first time since at least 1997.
  • In 2019, the commitment rate for American Indian youth was about three times that of white youth, up from a ratio of 2.4 in 1997.
  • The relative rate of commitment for black youth compared to white youth remains the highest (3.6 times that of white youth in 2019).

  • See also: State-level commitment by race.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/special_topics/qa11803.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on May 21, 2021.

Data Source: Analysis of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's. Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement data files for the years 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.


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