Minority juvenile offenders receive harsher treatment and longer sentences than whites, a new state report says.
The Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice report states that while the arrest rates of white and minority youths are roughly in proportion, the number of minorities incarcerated is grossly disproportionate to the general population."Ethnic minority youth stay longer in detention than do Anglo youth and are more likely to be detained in the first place," the commission said.
It recommended "recommitment to equal justice and treatment regardless of ethnic minority status."
Barbara Lee, state probation officer in the 2nd District, said she has witnessed juvenile justice conduct bordering on inequity in her 17 years in the system.
"There are biases," she said. "I can see there is an attitude there and I can feel it, too. But I think it's more ignorance than racial bias sometimes."
Lee, who is black, said there should be more rehabilitation programs available for minorities.