The Influence of Offender Race, Risk Level, and Participant Emotion on Juvenile Probation Case Judgments

Taylor Petty, Richard L. Wiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research has consistently demonstrated minority youth are treated unfairly within the juvenile justice system, yet little research has explored the psychology of juvenile probation judgments and the ways they contribute to disparate treatment. This article reports on two experiments that explored the influence of participant fear on juvenile probation judgments by varying the offender's race (Black or White) and risk information across two studies which invoked fear, anger or no emotion in participants. In Study 1, fearful participants who received no risk information were more likely to recommend a control-oriented supervision approach for a Black offender, but not a White offender. Fearful participants who received moderate risk information were not influenced by the offender's race. Study 2 increased the amount of risk information (Low, Moderate, High), such that all participants received some risk information. Participants relied on the risk information to make their decisions, and we found no biasing race or emotion effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-503
Number of pages28
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this