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Justice, Social Control, and Social Inequality: Framing the U.S. Juvenile Justice System’s Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Race, Ethnicity and Law

ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4, eISBN: 978-1-78714-603-7

ISSN: 1521-6136

Publication date: 25 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter harnesses Western conceptions of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and existing social inequalities to frame and fully understand the racial and ethnic disparities which constitute the U.S. juvenile justice system.

Methodology/approach

Juvenile justice system disparities are framed within the theoretical contexts of Western conceptions of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and social inequality. The chapter’s perspective is based on these concepts of justice, social control justifications, and evidence from scholarly research on juvenile justice system disparities.

Findings

Overall, the U.S. juvenile justice system’s racial and ethnic disparities violate fundamental concepts of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and exacerbate existing social inequalities.

Originality/value

Through its utilization of Western conceptions of justice and social control justifications, this chapter offers a relatively unique framework for the examination of the U.S. juvenile justice system’s racial and ethnic disparities. While recognizing the overall quality and significance of disparities research, the chapter asks the reader to take a step back, and look at and think about the broader justice and inequality contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Smith, B.J. (2017), "Justice, Social Control, and Social Inequality: Framing the U.S. Juvenile Justice System’s Racial and Ethnic Disparities", Race, Ethnicity and Law (Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 237-250. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1521-613620170000022018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited