Dr. David HolleranAssociate Professor, The College of New Jersey Dept. of Criminology
Thursday, February 14th at 11:30am-12:30pm
“An application of random forests to understand minority juvenile confinement in New Jersey”
Abstract: The overrepresentation of minority youth within the juvenile justice system has been a well-documented issue for decades. This study uses data from the New Jersey Family Court in 2010 to examine the factors, with specific attention being paid to the race of the juvenile, that contribute to a juvenile being committed to state incarceration. While minority youth comprise the bulk of the juvenile correctional population in New Jersey, the New Jersey Family Court rarely incarcerated juveniles in 2010 resulting in data imbalance. A variety of procedures have been offered in statistical literature to deal with imbalanced data. In this study, the role of the race of the juvenile in the confinement decision is explored via a comparison of results obtained from additive binary logisitic regression models to results obtained from balanced random forests.