Disproportionality in juvenile justice diversion: An examination of teen court peer-derived consequences

Katie Cotter Stalker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Juvenile justice diversion programs, such as Teen Court (TC), represent an alternative to traditional juvenile justice responses to youth misbehavior and delinquency. However, although TC represents a potential strategy to address disproportionate minority contact, there is a dearth of research examining the extent to which TC programs are racially equitable. To address this gap, the current study examines racial disproportionality in a TC program in Arizona. Results indicated that in a diverse sample of youths involved in a TC program in Arizona, youths who identified as Latinx or American Indian were more likely to receive a severe consequence from the peer jury compared with their non-Latinx, white counterparts. Multiracial youths were less likely to receive a severe consequence compared with white youths. A hierarchical regression model indicated that offense-related variables explained the largest proportion of variance in number of consequence hours assigned. However, disparities for Latinx and American Indian youths compared with non-Latinx, white youths persisted after controlling for other demographics, type of offense, prior offenses, and additional charges. The results of the current study are the first to document racial disparity in the TC process.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)221-233
    Number of pages13
    JournalSocial work research
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


    • Disproportionate minority contact
    • Diversion programs
    • Juvenile justice
    • Racial equity
    • Youth violence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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