A new study says that black youths in Colorado are much more likely to be incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities than the U.S. average for black youths, reports the Rocky Mountain News. The Oakland, CA.-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency says that 1,150 of every 100,000 black youths in Colorado were placed in detention facilities in 2003. The national average was 754 per 100,000.
“Colorado needs to look at this problem and figure out what is driving it and move from there,” NCCD President Barry Krisberg said. The study said minority youths, ages 10 to 17, are overrepresented in every stage of the juvenile justice system – arrest, detention, adjudication and sentencing. Among other national findings: black youths are detained at 4.5 times the rate of white youths; black youths are more likely than white counterparts to be charged and sentenced to custody; in 2004, black youths were disproportionately arrested in 26 of 29 offense categories. “Crime patterns have something to do with it, but do not explain it all by a long shot,” Krisberg said. “On a national level, we’re not doing so well. The number of kids in custody has gone up. The number of whites in custody has gone down.”