Skip to main content

Report documents racial inequities in state's juvenile justice system

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A new report from the Department of Public Safety finds racial inequities in Minnesota's juvenile justice system are more severe than those in other states. The research finds minority teens are much more likely than their white peers to be arrested, have their cases prosecuted, and spend time in detention.

The report, which is called On The Level, says the reasons for the inequities are complex. But a University of St. Thomas professor who leads the school's Community Justice Project tells MPR that law enforcement officers may not apply discretion equally across racial boundaries.

Here's an executive summary of the report.

There's no shortage of ideas for how to improve the system, which handles kids from ages 10 through 17. In a recent paper, University of Minnesota law professor Barry Feld noted that the rehabilitative aspect of juvenile courts has largely disappeared.

Meanwhile, the National Research Council this week suggested the legal system make better use of what the medical world knows about how teenagers' brains develop as they mature.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.13.33 AM

Family identifies man killed by police in Otsego

The 21-year-old was reportedly experiencing 'mental health challenges' and allegedly had a knife when deputies opened fire.

88 S 11th St, Minneapolis, Minnesota - April 2022 (1)

Gun found on WCCO-TV rooftop after homicide in Minneapolis

It's the 56th death reported as a homicide in Minneapolis this year.

Screen Shot 2022-08-07 at 11.43.15 AM

Deputies fatally shoot man in Wright County

Police claim the man, who had allegedly been experiencing a mental health crisis, was armed with a knife.

Ambulance hospital emergency

17-year-old killed in northern Minnesota crash Saturday

The other drive involved in the crash, a 75-year-old man, sustained life-threatening injuries.


Alcohol a factor as driver rolls ATV into corn field, injuring 3

The crash occurred in Lake Lillian Saturday night.

Minneapolis police

Man dies after being found shot at Minneapolis' 38th and Chicago

Responders were called to the scene early Sunday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-08-07 at 6.34.12 AM

7 children arrested after 'disturbance' at Cabela's, escape in stolen vehicle

Employees called police saying the children were stealing goods from the store.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 6.16.49 PM

Fire sparks evacuation from apartment building, man arrested for arson

Police and fire crews responded to the fire just before 9 a.m. Saturday.

Flickr - utility pole power line

Morning storms cause power outages, ensuing problems in Eagan

There have been reports of disabled traffic lights and issues at local businesses.

kim crockett facebook sos

GOP nominee questions if those with disabilities, non-English speakers should be able to vote

Crockett made the comments in a 2020 radio interview following a ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court.


Jury: MN pharmacist did not violate woman's rights by refusing her morning-after pill

Gender Justice, the advocacy group that brought about the lawsuit, says it will appeal the decision.