The Policing of Youth on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Law Enforcement Perception of Leniency Academic Article uri icon


  • The study of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) has encountered at least three obstacles: the lack of research on policing, the difficulty of expanding research beyond Blacks and Whites, and the absence of research focused on different regions of the country. The authors of this article seek to fill these three gaps by exploring the reasons why Hispanic juveniles have a greater number of arrests for delinquent and nondelinquent behavior than White youth. The geographic context for this study is the Southern New Mexico border with Mexico, which is one of the poorest regions in the United States. Using various sources of data, both qualitative and quantitative, the authors contribute to the theory of minority group threat to explain how law enforcement officers participate in reinforcing DMC despite a perception of juvenile justice leniency in minority majority communities. We devote special focus toward the policing of poor communities, school discipline, and internal divisions regarding punishment-oriented strategies.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Duran, R. J., & Posadas, C. E.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Duran, Robert J||Posadas, Carlos E

publication date

  • January 2016