SEATTLE -- A recent study commissioned by the Washington State Supreme Court says minority youth are arrested and in the court system more often than their white counterparts.

But researchers say counties aren't keeping complete data on ethnicity -- and the gap between minority and while youth is larger.

The study by Washington State Center for Court Research says that over the past five years, African-American youth were nearly 250 percent more likely to be referred to juvenile court for prosecution than their white counterparts. Their ratio is followed by Native American youth, which were 80 percent more likely more likely to be deferred.

Overall, minority youth are 22 percent more likely to be deferred.

Furthermore, minority youth were nearly 85 percent more likely to be arrested than white youth statewide.

But researchers said that number is likely much higher because counties count Latinos as white in their record keeping.

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