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There are a number of plausible explanations for the decline, including the downward shift in the violent-crime rate among youth in recent years.

Poor families who qualify for cash or noncash means-tested benefits are disproportionately exposed to rules that inhibit job seeking and discourage two-parent households.

Moreover, black youth are more likely than their peers to be confined in secure detention and correctional facilities.

Admittedly, detention rates since 1977 have been steadily declining for all youth.

Their caregivers’ abilities to envision and execute a concerted strategy to ensure their children escape poverty is constrained by their own social location, economic circumstances, and restricted access to information.

The Role of Institutions Many of society’s intermediary institutions, whether intended to support social and economic advancement or punish antisocial behavior, have a disproportionate impact on poor black families.

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