Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Jeremy Porter

Committee Members

Lucia Trimbur

Jeffrey Butts

Doug Evans

Tim Curry

Subject Categories

Juvenile Law | Law and Society | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology


Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Defense


Youth in the juvenile justice system experience racially disparate outcomes at all contact points throughout the system process, despite race-neutral state policies governing the juvenile justice system. States provide defense counsel for indigent youth in the juvenile justice system through policies containing race-neutral language; however, each state maintains different policies protecting youth rights to defense counsel. This study questions the relationships among state policies protecting youth rights to defense counsel, racially disparate outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system, and state socioeconomic and racial composition. The study relies on content analysis to transform qualitative state policies into quantitative data suitable for quantitative analysis. As identified through statistical analysis, the study results indicate some consistent patterns emerge between the state policies protecting defense counsel for youth and racially-disparate outcomes.

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