ILNews

ICJI awards grant for study of juvenile courts

Rebecca Berfanger
November 15, 2010
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Two Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs professors at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have received a $200,000 grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to study the records of juvenile delinquents in Indiana to determine if juvenile court personnel treated defendants differently based on race, the school announced today.

IUPUI professors Crystal A. Garcia and Roger Jarjoura will examine decisions by juvenile court personnel on delinquency cases from 2005 through 2009 in all 91 Indiana county courts (Dearborn and Ohio counties share a court). They will review how juveniles were treated at various points in the system.

Jarjoura and Garcia plan to have their preliminary findings ready as early as April 2011, Garcia said, according to a statement from the school.

“We want to answer the question: Are kids of color dealt with differently? In other words, are court actors treating kids fairly?” Garcia said in a statement.

“This is important work that benefits the state of Indiana, and that’s what we're all about. And no one is more qualified to do this work than Crystal and Roger,” said Terry Baumer, executive associate dean of SPEA, in a statement.

This issue was one of the concerns addressed by participants in the Summit on Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System that the Indiana State Bar Association helped organize in August 2009. In September 2010, the ISBA published a report based on the findings of the summit’s participants. Indiana Lawyer reported on the findings in the Sept. 29 – Oct. 12, 2010, edition.
 

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  • bias evident already
    I wonder if it will be a foregone conclusion that non-whites are discriminated against. The way the question is phrased it sounds like they aren't even entertaining the possibility that white kids actually might get worse treatment than nonwhites. Kind of like hate crime enhancements; only applied against whites, never to protect them.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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