National Center for Youth Law

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Implicit Bias in the Child Welfare, Education and Mental Health Systems

Youth of color are overrepresented at every stage of the juvenile justice process. Much of the literature that discusses this overrepresentation focuses on racial disparities in the juvenile justice process itself. However, a comprehensive understanding of this racial disproportionality is not possible without examining racial bias in the “feeder systems” that funnel our children into the juvenile justice system.

This paper investigates the impact of racial bias on three public institutions: the child welfare, education, and mental health systems.

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