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

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 1996
128 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 North Carolina project.
The North Carolina DMC Initiative focused on gaining understanding and acknowledgment at the State, county, and community levels of the DMC problem, as well as a commitment to multilevel DMC interventions. A formative, or process, evaluation design was selected to document and analyze the process used by the DMC project team and the State and local stakeholders. Data were collected through document reviews, on-site observations, and during interviews with key DMC informants. Given the State's current conservative political climate together with the historical civil rights struggles, the North Carolina DMC initiative determined that DMC problems should be addressed through a process of information dissemination, community education and planning, and consensus-building among community leaders, county officials, and State legislators; therefore, the North Carolina DMC Initiative had, as a primary emphasis, local and county planning and problemsolving. The major findings of the Phase I research were that minority youth were more likely than white youth to be arrested and presented to a juvenile intake facility, as well as more likely to be committed to training school. The evaluation identified several lessons learned from the State and local efforts to address DMC. First, the North Carolina initiative showed that resistance to DMC recognition and acknowledgment can be deeply entrenched at the State, county, and local levels. The need for State leadership together with adequate resources and organizational support was also shown. Finally, the North Carolina initiative reinforced the recognition that community involvement and "buy-in" are essential to DMC planning. Further, strong court leadership is a critical factor in the success of the DMC problem identification and planning process. Future plans are also discussed. Extensive exhibits and appended supplementary information

Date Published: May 1, 1996