Representative Bureaucracy and Youth Violence in Juvenile Detention Facilities

Ginger Silvera


This exploratory study uses the representative bureaucracy theory to consider the racial representative role, which suggests that administrators who are minorities are more inclined to represent minority interests. This research examined if racial identity and gender was related to detention officers’ perceptions of themselves as advocates for same race and same gender to incarcerated youth and to understand what they perceive are the causes for youth violence. A qualitative study was done on individuals who worked with inmates at the Los Angeles County juvenile detention facilities. The grounded theory approach was used for data analysis by observing common responses among participants. The results of this analysis indicate that detention officers are more likely to pursue the advocate role, especially when officers share the same race and gender to minors.

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Public Administration Research  ISSN 1927-517X  (Print)  ISSN 1927-5188  (Online)  Email:

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