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Latino students are suspended
1.5 times more often

and expelled 3.5 times more often
than white students.

Youth involvement with the juvenile justice system starts in our schools, with over-zealous school discipline. From there, a disproportionate number of minority youth are sent to court rather than diverted from the system. While in court, a disproportionate number of minority youth receive adjudications (juvenile court equivalent of a conviction). Finally, a disproportionate number of minority youth recidivate and return to the juvenile system due to lack of services.

  • White

  • Latino

  • Black

African American students are suspended 3 times more often and expelled 3.5 times more often than white students.

Latino students are suspended 1.5 times more often and expelled 3.5 times more often than white students.

Students who are suspended at least once have a 1 in 7 chance of having subsequent contact with the juvenile justice system. 

  • White

  • Latino

  • Black

Of the 15,942 juveniles that came into contact with the juvenile justice system in 2010 and 2011, almost half (48.6%) were Black, 39.3% were White, 8.1% were Hispanic, and 4.0% were other (combined American Indian, Asian, multi-racial, and unknown). The population of North Carolina is 22% Black, 64% White, and 9% Latino.

North Carolina was ranked 35th in the nation on expungement and sealing of juvenile records by the Juvenile Law Center’s national scorecard on juvenile records.

Juveniles who have had previous contact with the system are not getting their eligible records expunged. Whereas juvenile records in North Carolina are generally confidential, there are exceptions to this rule. Most exceptions are for system actors who are capable of making discipline decisions for the youth—i.e., school administrators, probation officers, court counselors and prosecutors. If eligible records were wiped clean, then there wouldn’t be the risk of a youth being punished more harshly for a subsequent offense based on previous involvement in the juvenile justice system. However, in North Carolina, youths aren’t told of their right to expunction and have the burden of petitioning the court themselves. NC-CRED is partnering with several organizations to educate juveniles, parents, and defense attorneys about expunction.