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Disproportionate Minority Confinement: Lessons Learned From Five States

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1998
12 pages
This paper describes how five States dealt with the problem of disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) by their juvenile justice systems.
The five States developed differing responses to their respective circumstances, but they generally reflected the following problem-solving process: (1) assign organizational responsibilities for the DMC initiative; (2) identify the extent to which minority juveniles are overrepresented in State and local juvenile justice systems; (3) identify underlying factors that contribute to minority overrepresentation; (4) create new and enhance existing interventions; and (5) develop methods to measure the impact of interventions. Within each State, the factors underlying DMC fell within the following domains: the juvenile justice system, the educational system, the family, and socioeconomic conditions. Because these domains are significantly interrelated, the simultaneous examination of the effects of each domain upon a juvenile or population of juveniles is necessary to identify successful remedies to DMC. The DMC initiatives had several universal effects, including development of automated systems for monitoring DMC activities, increased community collaboration, institutionalization of DMC awareness, and improvement of local services. Tables, figure, bibliography

Date Published: December 1, 1998