Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Political Science, PhD


School of Politics and Economics

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Benoy Jacob

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jean Schroedel

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jennifer Merolla

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Ernie Maldonado

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Ginger Silvera


Using the theory on Representative Bureaucracy, this study considers the minority representative role, which suggests that administrators who are minorities are more inclined to represent minority interests. This study examined whether officers perceive themselves as advocates based on shared demographics and whether they develop attitudes toward reducing youth violence. Considerably more researchers conduct studies in adult prisons than juvenile correctional facilities, which focus on rehabilitation for youth. Therefore, this study further examines youth correctional staff attitudes toward inmates. The way correctional officers' treat minors may impact the amount of violence in juvenile detention facilities.

The purposes of the study are to determine whether bureaucratic representation can have an impact on preventing violence, and to understand what factors lead officers in perceiving they have different roles. The two types of bureaucratic representation are passive and active. Passive representation, such as race, ethnicity, and gender, may shape role perceptions because attitudes are constructed by demographic characteristics. Active representation consists of decision-making behavior reflected in measurable policy outputs that are responsive to minority interests. This dissertation seeks to determine whether minority officers perceive themselves in passive or active terms, and how that representation relates to their particular strategies for dealing with youth violence.

To determine how officers perceive themselves, this study incorporated mixed methods of both qualitative and quantitative research to examine how officers implement decisions in their positions. This study uses survey research from the Performance Based Standards from the U.S. Department of Justice and interviews with individuals who worked with inmates in California juvenile detention facilities to determine the relationship between minority officers and attitudes toward youth violence. Regression models, including year, were conducted for each hypothesis as a predictor in the model. Multiple regression analysis was used to demonstrate the relationship between independent variables and a single dependent variable. The data have information on facilities as well as staff and inmates within those facilities. Due to the nested nature of the data, multilevel regression models were also conducted when examining outcomes measured at the staff and inmate level.