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.