Lots of laughs, but we get an admission of something we already knew:
In arrests, minority youth were nearly 85 percent more likely to be arrested than white youth statewide, the study found. But researchers said that number is likely much higher because counties count Latinos as white in their record keeping. Latino is an ethnicity, not a race.
Sarah Veele, one of the researchers from the Washington State Center for Court Research, said there isn’t a federal or state requirement for local agencies to track ethnicity in their juvenile-arrest data, so Latinos are put in the “white” category.
Which also means that white youth crime is far less bad than it seems, if Hispanics are counted as white. Therefore, the black-white gap is even higher than reported.
Be warned, though: This only applies to “bad” factors. Hispanic crime victims are counted as Hispanic. It’s only when it comes to crime perpetrators and welfare recipients are Hispanics counted as white, in order to make whites “seem” worse.
Once minority and white youth get to sentencing, the disparities begin to even out, Veele said, because judges usually follow sentencing guidelines.
“What we’re seeing is that the disparities are occurring earlier, such as arrests, referrals to juvenile court, and as you get deeper the outcomes are relatively comparable,” Veele said.
“The disparities occur earlier” because blacks commit more crime than Hispanics who in turn commit more crime than whites. That’s why, genius.
But the admission that sentencing is relatively equal shouldn’t be glossed over. The reason I want you to pay attention to that is that we’ll often get loaded research about how blacks and Hispanics often get “longer” sentences for supposedly the “same” crimes, when we know they’re not the same crimes and they’re not the same circumstances.
“The problem really starts early,” Gonzalez said. We need to look at “the link between juvenile justice, kids incarcerated and the achievement gap in schools. Most of the kids who end up in the juvenile system have some sort of contact with school discipline beforehand.”
Hooray. The achievement gap in schools made an appearance.
In Pierce County, African-American youth are 2½ times more likely to be arrested.
More than whom? It says it above: More than “whites,” a category in which Hispanics are lumped in. Yet another gap.
But to Gonzalez, the data backs up what he hears from kids.
“They don’t feel they’re trusted or respected by law enforcement,” Gonzalez said. “An officer is more likely to arrest a student of color rather than ask questions and talk things out.”
Yeah, because, you know, cops are hired to be chatty conversationalists, not to enforce the law. That’s the problem with cops: Unlike those students’ public school teachers, they really don’t care about the kids’ feelings or self-esteem at all.