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  • Christian Shaughnessy

2020 Research Shows Black/Brown Youth Continue to Be Incarcerated Far More Than White Counterparts

The trend continues amidst the COVID public health crisis.

A new analysis has come out revealing that long standing trends of racial repression continue to catastrophically harm our California youth. Despite California's reputation as a progressive state compared to the rest of the nation, systematic racism continues even for those just beginning their lives.

Black youth face a startling 31.3 times higher chance of being committed to the California Division of Juvenile Justice than their white counterparts. For Latino youth this discrepancy is "only" 4.9 times. Besides causing psychological damage to these youth for the rest of their lives, this also harms the stability of family life at a time when COVID-19 is already causing immense stress for white families, let alone families of color.

California prisons are also having their own massive COVID-19 outbreaks. Too many law enforcement agencies across the nation, including the Riverside and San Bernardino Sheriffs' departments downplay the severity of COVID-19 despite an odious 300,000 death count at the time of this writing. Police officers even routinely flout mask wearing when among members of the general public as they do when inside jails and prisons.

This pernicious and wicked behavior only occurs on top of the hundreds of years of systematic racism and classism in the United States. As California Senate Bill 823 works to transition Division of Juvenile Justice duties to the county level, it is essential that the community works hard to end the cradle to prison pipeline, lest past horrors continue and harm our children's future.

About Sigma Beta Xi Inc.:

Sigma Beta Xi Inc. works to break the cycle of poverty in Riverside County through mentoring, education, and community organizing. The organization provides research-based mentoring and development services to juveniles on probation and abused, at-risk and foster care young men and women of color ages 8 to 18, and provides an alternative to suspension and incarceration.

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