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Evaluation of the Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) Initiative: Florida Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 1996
105 pages
The disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) mandate of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act requires States to develop and implement strategies to address and reduce the overrepresentation of minority youth in secure facilities; in an effort to facilitate compliance with the mandate, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention sponsored demonstration projects in five pilot States; this is the final evaluation report for the Florida project.
Florida's DMC Initiative focused on the development and implementation of a pilot project in Hillsborough County. It lent itself to a formative, or process evaluation design. It consisted of qualitative analysis of State, county, and local project documents and interviews with key State, county, and local DMC stakeholders. The Phase I activities included a three-pronged research effort that examined racial bias in the juvenile justice system statewide. The major findings were that African-American youth were overrepresented at every stage of the juvenile justice process. Hillsborough County was selected as the Phase II pilot site, primarily based on the severity of minority youth overrepresentation within the county's juvenile justice system and the capacity and willingness of the county to address the issue. The Phase II intervention strategy focused on the initial decision point in juvenile justice processing, i.e., intake assessment. All of the pilot project objectives, except for providing cultural sensitivity training, were accomplished during Phase II. The DMC Initiative was an attempt to create a replicable model for a community-based program to reduce the high level of contact between minority youth and the juvenile justice system. Educating stakeholders about alternatives to confinement available in the community persuaded them to develop a diversion program for minority youth already involved in the juvenile justice system. Allowing for local planning in the context of State and Federal planning resulted in local processes and system reforms that continued after the completion of Phase II. Future plans are outlined. Extensive exhibits and appended evaluation forms

Date Published: May 1, 1996