Since 1988, the U.S. Congress has applied increasing pressure upon states to identify and remedy the causes of disproportionate minority contact. Findings from studies examining the influence of race/ethnicity in juvenile justice processing have been inconsistent, hindering the development of effective policies. One methodological criticism is the assertion that juvenile decision-making models fail to consider the complexities inherent in parens patriae justice. In particular, family characteristics such as the presence of 2 parents may mitigate race/ethnicity effects in decision-making models. In the present research, logistic regression was used to examine the effect of race/ethnicity and family status in the decision to detain 16,338 juveniles in a southwestern state. The results suggest that although family status is significant predictor of detention decisions, race continues to exert a significant and greater effect on the decision to detain. In comparison to legal variables, the effect of race/ethnicity on detention decisions was weak. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.