Date of Award

12-13-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Holly Hetrick, Psy.D.

Abstract

Overrepresentation of minorities within the justice system is an on-going, nationwide problem (Harris, Steffensmeier, Ulmer, & Painter-Davis, 2009; Mooradian, 2007; Pope & Leiber, 2005). Despite increasing attention and efforts to reduce this problem, research regarding disproportionate minority contact, especially within the juvenile justice system, is lacking. This study was a replication and extension of a study completed by Freiburger, Marcum, and Pierce (2010), who examined the impact of race on pretrial sentencing decisions in an adult population. The present study was conducted with a juvenile population, with some modifications from the original study. The results did not find race to have a significant impact on pretrial sentencing decisions, which was inconsistent with the study being replicated. Possible explanations for this inconsistency, as well as limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

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