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OJJDP In Focus Fact Sheet: Disproportionate Minority Contact

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2012
4 pages
Publication Series
This fact sheet provides an overview of Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP's) efforts to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC).
This fact sheet includes a description of OJJDP's DMC Reduction Model, which helps States determine whether disproportionality exists and, if it does, guides the establishment of multipronged intervention strategies to ensure equal treatment of all youth. Also included is a summary of States' DMC-reduction activities derived from compliance plans submitted in fiscal year 2011. Disproportionate minority contact refers to the disproportionate number of minority youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. States participating in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act's Part B Formula Grants program are required to address juvenile delinquency prevention and system improvement efforts to reduce, without establishing or requiring numerical standards or quotas, the overrepresentation of minority youth in the Nation's juvenile justice system. Amendments made to the JJDP Act in 1992 elevated efforts to address DMC to a "core requirement" and tied 25 percent of grant funds to State compliance, further strengthening national efforts to address the problem. In the years since DMC became a core requirement, both research and practice have taught many lessons. Two of the most important lessons are: that in most jurisdictions, disproportionate juvenile minority representation is not limited only to secure detention and confinement, but that it is evident at nearly all contact points on the juvenile justice system continuum; and that the contributing factors to DMC are multiple and complex, requiring comprehensive and multipronged strategies, including programmatic and systems change efforts.

Date Published: November 1, 2012