Disproportionate minority contact in Canada: Police and visible minority youth

Fitzgerald, Robin T. and Carrington, Peter J. (2011) Disproportionate minority contact in Canada: Police and visible minority youth. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 53 4: 449-486. doi:10.3138/cjccj.53.4.449

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Author Fitzgerald, Robin T.
Carrington, Peter J.
Title Disproportionate minority contact in Canada: Police and visible minority youth
Journal name Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1707-7753
1911-0219
Publication date 2011-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3138/cjccj.53.4.449
Open Access Status
Volume 53
Issue 4
Start page 449
End page 486
Total pages 38
Place of publication Toronto, Canada
Publisher University of Toronto Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract There is a consensus that some racial groups are over-represented in their contact with the Canadian justice system, but a lack of agreement about possible reasons for this over-representation. The two dominant explanations for disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the police are differential involvement in crime and differential treatment by the police. Differential treatment may be due to disproportionate possession by minorities of risk factors for police contact or to discriminatory policing. This paper uses data on self-reported delinquency and police contacts from a representative sample of Canadian youth aged 12 to 17 years from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth to test the hypotheses that DMC is due to differential involvement or to differential treatment due to disproportionate risk factors. The results indicate that there was disproportionate minority contact with the police, but no support was found for explanations of DMC in terms of either differential involvement or differential treatment due to risk factors. Distinguishing between youth who report violent delinquency and all other youth, DMC was found only for the non-violent youth; this DMC was also not explained by differential treatment due to risk factors. By eliminating other explanations, the results suggest that racially discriminatory policing may be one explanation for DMC in Canada.
Keyword Disproportionate minority contact
Differential involvement
Differential treatment
Discriminatory policing
Self-report
Visible minority
Delinquency
National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 21 Oct 2011, 09:21:48 EST by Robin Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Social Science