Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $49,992)
This program furthers the Department's mission by sponsoring small studies and/or secondary analyses of existing data to improve knowledge about the scope and impact of ethnic disparities affecting Hispanic/Latino youth's contact and involvement with the juvenile justice system.
The goal of this project is to conduct a rigorous secondary analysis of data from juvenile justice agencies to provide an in-depth, culturally-competent examination of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) as it relates to Hispanic/Latino youth in order to inform practice and policy in the juvenile justice field. The study proposes to build on an existing partnership between the researchers at the American Institute for Research (AIR) and state agencies in Indiana to examine the trajectory of Hispanic youth across the juvenile justice continuum. The study will focus on five years' worth of data from 19 counties participating in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in Indiana. The data for analysis will be extracted from local jurisdiction data systems, including probation, correctional, and secondary systems (e.g., social services). The applicant led the effort to create the JDAI data systems across Indiana and has the support of local communities for access to data.
Three questions will be addressed. First, what DMC exists at each decision point in the justice system? (This includes an examination of change over time in DMC within counties.) Second, what factors predict/explain DMC at each decision point (e.g., personal attributes of youth, other system involvement)? Third, what justice responses exist with respect to disparity at each decision point; what options vary over time within counties or between counties?