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Disproportionate Minority Contact in the JJ System

  • Broadcast in Legal
Childrens Law

Childrens Law


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Youth of color comprise 38 percent of the youth population in the U.S.yet comprise nearly 70 percent of those who are confined. That is because youth of color are arrested, charged and incarcerated more than White youth for similar conduct, a majority of which are minor status offenses such as consumption of alcohol, tobacco smoking, truancy, or running away from home. The disparity in the number of youth of color to white youth continues to increase as youth move deeper into the juvenile justice system. However, this is information is not new. It received national attention in the 1980's when brought to Congress' attention. The Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act now requires states to address the issue. This episode of Spotlight on Youth will feature James Bell, Founder and Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute and Clarence Williams, Director of Youth Detention Services, Jefferson County, Kentucky discussing the disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and findings outlined in the report, Non-Judicial Drivers into the Juvenile Justice System for Youth of Color. The guests will provide an overview of how youth of color are disproportionately brought into the system, outline the impact of the system on youth of color, and discuss strategies states and communities can use to reduce DMC within the juvenile justice system.