Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact to JJ System

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Unformatted text preview: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Addressing disproportionate minority contact in juvenile justice September 2009 Jeff Slowikowski, Acting Administrator Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact: Preparation at the Local Level Mark Soler and Lisa M. Garry Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) refers to the disproportionate rep­ resentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. DMC first came to national attention in 1988, when the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (formerly the National Coalition of State Juvenile Justice Advisory Groups) focused on the problem in its annual report to Congress. In response to the report, Congress required that all States receiving formula grant funds address dispro­ portionality among detained and confined youth. In 1992, Congress elevated DMC to a core requirement for States. Under the Juvenile Justice and Delin­ quency Prevention Act of 2002, if a State fails to address the overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) may withhold 20 percent of the State’s for­ mula grant allocation for the subsequent year. The Act expanded the requirement to include disproportionality at all points in the juvenile justice system. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has long been a leader in DMC-reduction efforts, offering a wide range of training, technical assistance, and other resources for States and localities. Recently, OJJDP added the Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, 4th Edition (see sidebar, page 8) to its Web site. The manual provides detailed guidance on all aspects of DMC reduction. This Bulletin was written by the authors of the manual’s chapter on local preparation. In addition to useful “how to” information (including a six-step preparation process) drawn from the manual, the Bulletin presents important background on the context in which local preparation takes place—media coverage and public attitudes about crime, race, and youth. A Message From OJJDP Addressing disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system is a core requirement of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act. More important, it is a fundamental matter of justice and fair play. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) works proactively with States to ensure that they comply with the JJDP Act’s requirements, including DMC. This goal is pursued through a variety of means, including onsite visits, technical assistance, and national and regional training conferences. OJJDP has trained a large number of juvenile justice professionals in the core requirements. This training provides them with information to address DMC and other significant challenges facing the juvenile justice system. The key focus of OJJDP’s efforts to combat DMC is prevention. By preventing disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system, we also will lower the rate of disproportionate minority confine­ ment and enhance the administration of justice. A companion to the latest edition of OJJDP’s Dispropor­ tionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, this Bulletin describes strategies that States and com­ munities can use to reduce DMC. It is OJJDP’s hope and conviction that the information provided in this Bulletin, as well as the ongoing efforts described above, will advance that worthy end. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Why Preparation Is Important Preparation before launching a DMC-reduction effort has several benefits. Major benefits include— • Establishing relationships with and among key stakeholders. • Determining the key goals of DMC-reduction efforts. • Identifying available data and research on DMC in the jurisdiction. accountable, frustration at perceived ineffectiveness of the current system, and a belief that young people in trouble can change for the better. Perhaps most important, the public is concerned about the fairness of a justice system that may treat youth differently based on their race or ethnicity. Public opinion polls should certainly not control policy changes and DMC efforts. However, research on these issues may help a community prepare to launch a DMC-reduction effort (Dorfman and Schiraldi, 2001a, 2001b; Soler, 2001). In addition, preparing locally for a DMC-reduction effort has a num­ ber of specific advantages. For example, planning at the local level is less susceptible to bureaucratic and political intervention than plan­ Crime, Race, and Youth in the Media ning at the State level. Further, local stakeholders are likely to invest Dorfman and Schiraldi (2001a, 2001b) examined 77 studies on in viable solutions aimed at particular issues in the community. From how the media report crime. The studies covered stories in local a practical perspective, local DMC efforts place the issue closer to the and network television news programs, newspapers, and broadcast direct work of agency staff and community and print news magazines between 1910 leaders who either (1) closely resemble and 2001. Their finding was clear: the population of youth most represented Preparation at the in the juvenile justice system in terms of “Overall, the studies taken local level is critical to race and ethnicity or (2) are experienced in together indicate that depictions planning and problem-solving for a specific of crime in the media are not re­ understanding population of youth and families in a way flective of the rate of crime gen­ the roles, values, that is responsive to culture and context. erally, the proportion of crime Preparation at the local level is critical to understanding the roles, values, priorities, and joint missions of local stakeholders as they begin to reduce DMC. priorities, and joint missions of local stakeholders as they begin to reduce DMC. which is violent, the proportion of crime committed by people of color, or the proportion of crime committed by young people.” Talking About DMC Critical to any DMC-reduction effort is an understanding of the context in which the effort takes place. Negative public attitudes about the association between race (particularly minority races) and crime are an important part of that context. These issues form a volatile combination: they are sensitive and controversial, stereotypes are common, and opinions are strong. However, the reality may not correspond with public attitudes. The most important influence on public attitudes about these issues is the media, especially local television news, which is the way most people receive information about crime in their com­ munity (ABC News, 2000; Merkle, 2000). The depiction of crime, race, and youth in the media can have a significant impact on the level of motivation for and commitment to DMC intervention strategies (Braxton, 1997; McCombs and Shaw, 1993). Reports that perpetuate racial and ethnic stereotypes can raise difficult barriers to DMC efforts (Martindale, 1996). Public opinion research demonstrates the impact that this media coverage can have (Bell, 2006). At the same time, opinion research indicates that the public has mixed views on justice system re­ sponses to juvenile crime: a desire to hold young offenders |2 The problem is not inaccuracy of individual stories.The problem is that the cumulative effect of what is included in the news—and what is not included—makes it seem as though crime is more frequent and more severe than is actually the case. It is not surprising that newspapers and television emphasize and report extensively on violent crime, particularly on local television news, where “if it bleeds, it leads” is an unspoken but well understood journalistic mantra. However, this creates a problem for DMCreduction efforts because it contributes to the public’s erroneous impression that violent crime is a common and increasingly frequent occurrence. In fact, the opposite is true. As Dorfman and Schiraldi report, three different studies of television news in the 1990s1 all found that homicides made up more than a quarter of the crimes reported on the evening news (27 to 29 percent) during the periods studied, while homicides accounted for only 0.1 to 0.2 percent of all arrests during the same periods. From 1990 to 1998, homicide coverage on network news increased 473 percent (Center for Media and Public Affairs, 2000), while the incidence of homicides decreased more than 30 percent (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2000). Another problem for DMC-reduction efforts is that media coverage, particularly television news, disproportionately connects crime with race and ethnicity. The studies noted above found that Disproportionate Minority Contact African Americans and Hispanics were overrepresented as perpe­ trators in news reports, especially those involving violent crimes, and underrepresented as victims (Dorfman and Schiraldi, 2001b, table 1). Articles about homicides with African American suspects were longer than those about homicides with white suspects (Weiss and Chermak, 1998). More articles were written about white victims of homicide than about black victims (Sorenson, Manz, and Berk, 1998), and the articles about white victims were longer (Weiss and Chermak, 1998). In local television news coverage, black suspects were less likely to be identified by name than white suspects, were not as well dressed as white suspects, and were more likely to be shown being physically restrained. Thus, African American suspects were regularly depicted as poor, dangerous, and indistinct from other noncriminal members of the black community (Entman, 1992). The third problem for DMC-reduction efforts is that media cover­ age disproportionately connects violent crime with young people, particularly minority youth. As Dorfman and Schiraldi note, an analysis of 840 newspaper stories and 109 network news segments in 1993 showed that 40 percent of all newspaper stories on chil­ dren and 48 percent of network television news stories on children were about violence (Kunkel, 1994). A study of 3,172 youthrelated stories appearing in 3 California newspapers2 in 1 year found that 25 percent were about youth violence, although only 3 percent of young people are either violent offenders or victims of violence (McManus and Dorfman, 2000). Minority youth may fare badly in the media. For example, as Dorfman and Schiraldi report, a study of cover stories in Time and Newsweek between 1946 and 1995 found that the term “young black male” became synonymous with the word “criminal” in the late 1960s. In later stories in the 1970s, both magazines portrayed crime as “largely perpetrated by ‘young Black males’” (Barlow, 1998). Research covering reports from 1990 to 1995 found that minority youth were also more likely than white youth to appear in television news stories about crime (Dorfman and Woodruff, 1998). The combination of a focus on violent crime, disproportionate linking of crime with people of color, and overrepresentation of young people (especially minority youth) in stories of criminal violence may have a significant effect on public attitudes toward crime, race, and youth. Because these attitudes are an important part of the context in which DMC-reduction efforts take place, those working on DMC preparation at the local level should be aware of local media coverage of crime, race, young people, and related topics. 1 Several types of stories may convey messages or receive coverage that perpetuates racial or ethnic stereotypes. These include stories on violent crimes (especially in white neighborhoods) (Brown, 2006; Fischer, 2006); police crackdowns (Stewart and Klein, 2006); statements by political candi­ dates; aggressive efforts by community activists; and new studies of issues such as poverty, race, crime, “urban decay,” and “the plight of the poor” (Gans, 1995). To the extent that juvenile justice stakeholders, public officials, or other members of the community accept racial/ethnic stereotypes conveyed in the media, these stereotypes present barriers to DMC-reduction efforts. Public Attitudes About Crime, Race, and Youth Of course, the media do not dictate the attitudes of individuals, and, as mentioned earlier, research indicates that members of the public have complex views on the juvenile justice system. Some of these attitudes present additional barriers to DMC-reduction efforts, but others provide important support. Opinion polls consistently show that the public is very fearful about juvenile crime (Soler, 2001). In fact, although arrests of juveniles for violent crime decreased 33 percent from 1994 to 2003 (National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2006), the public believes that juvenile crime is increasing (Snyder and Sickmund, 1999; Gray, 2003; Wagner, 2003). The public also believes that young people who break the law will commit other crimes in the future and that the juvenile justice system is ineffec­ tive in dealing with young offenders (Butts, 1999). There is wide­ spread belief that the system does not hold youth accountable for their actions but instead lets delinquent youth back on the streets without effective interventions or rehabilitation. Moreover, the public is unsympathetic to arguments that delinquent behavior is a result of immaturity (the “youth excuse”) (Soler, 2001). All of these opinions present challenges for DMC-reduction efforts. On the other hand, the public has great concern about what hap­ pens to young people in the justice system. It overwhelmingly supports a focus on prevention and rehabilitation rather than imprisonment and strongly endorses a variety of rehabilitation programs (Steinhart, 1988; Ladd, 1997; Hart Research, 2002). The public is concerned about dangerous conditions in juvenile facilities (Amnesty International, 1998) and does not want delinquent youth incarcerated with adult inmates (Schiraldi and Ziedenberg, 2000; Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 2005). Instead, it supports programs that emphasize responsibility and accountability (e.g., victim Rocky Mountain Media Watch’s 1-day snapshot of local television news in 55 markets around the country on February 26, 1997 (Klite, 1995); the Kaiser Family Foundation (1998) analyses of national television news in 1996; and Gilliam et al.’s (1996) and Gilliam and Iyenger’s (2000) studies of the evening news on KABC–TV in Los Angeles from 1993 to 1994. 2 The stories were randomly selected from the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, and San Francisco Chronicle. Disproportionate Minority Contact 3| reconciliation and restitution) and programs that provide adult models (e.g., mentoring) (Marcus, 2005; Sherman et al., 1998). Public attitudes about race and juvenile crime are complex. Many people subscribe to racial stereotypes. In a national poll conducted for Building Blocks for Youth, when asked direct questions, more than one-third of respondents agreed with statements that African American youth are more likely to commit crimes than white youth. Black respondents were less likely to agree with the state­ ments, but only slightly: at least one-quarter of black respondents agreed with the statements (Soler, 2001). Nevertheless, the public is concerned that the justice system may treat minority youth unfairly. “Fairness” is the critical issue (Dunnaville, 2000). In the Building Blocks poll, large majorities considered the issue to be serious and supported measures to remedy unequal treatment of minority youth, such as diversity training and new guidelines for arrest, prosecution, and sentencing. who commit crimes. A better approach is to agree that young people should be held accountable for their misbehavior—after all, everyone must learn from their mistakes, and everyone makes mistakes when they are young—and then discuss whether incar­ ceration is the most effective way of holding youth accountable. Stakeholders, public officials, and members of the community may be receptive to proposals for effective alternatives to incarceration, such as evidence-based intervention programs (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). Funding Sources for Local DMC Efforts An initial issue in preparation for local DMC-reduction efforts is how to support them financially. OJJDP awards Title II Formula Grant funds to States for system improvement and programmatic efforts as well as technical assistance and other support for DMC-reduction and other reforms. OJJDP’s Juvenile Accountability Block Grant and Title V Community Prevention Grant Program funds provide addi­ tional financial support to States for juvenile justice reform, interven­ tion, and prevention services in the area of juvenile delinquency.Title II Formula Grant funds passed from States to communities support the work of the Burns Institute, described below, in many communi­ ties. State and county agencies may also support DMC-reduction efforts with State or local dollars. Local foundations, particularly com­ munity foundations, may be a source of funds.The Council on Foun­ dations and other organizations provide information on locating and contacting community foundations. Several national foundations, such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, support juvenile justice reform initiatives— e.g., the Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change—that have DMC-reduction components. Taking Public Attitudes Into Account: Suggestions for Local DMC Efforts These findings about public attitudes may help a jurisdiction develop its approaches to enlisting support for DMC-reduction efforts. They suggest that strongly held beliefs may present challenges to DMC interventions but that approaches may be successful if they emphasize some basic principles of juvenile justice reform: • Young people should be held accountable for their behavior. • Holding young people accountable does not necessarily mean incarcerating them. • Alternatives to incarceration are desirable, but interventions for delinquent youth should be proven to be effective. • Having a race-neutral justice system is a matter of basic fairness. Thus, local preparation should include research on media cover­ age of crime, race, youth, and related sensitive issues to determine whether the community may have attitudes (in general or related to a particular, highly publicized incident) that DMC-reduction efforts must overcome. With these findings in mind, people working on local DMCreduction efforts should consider how the public may receive their efforts in view of widespread attitudes about DMC-related issues (Schwartz, 2001; DeMuro, 1999). For example, it probably will not be effective to argue that DMC-reduction efforts are im­ portant because many minority youth come from poor homes in which parents have many difficulties. The argument that DMC is a matter of basic fairness—minority youth should not be treated differently in the justice system because of their race or ethnic background—is more likely to find support. Similarly, DMCreduction efforts should avoid any suggestion of excusing delin­ quent behavior or calling for a slap on the wrist of young people Steps in Local Preparation Establishing a Steering Committee Local preparation should begin with the establishment of a steer­ ing committee. The committee should include key stakeholders in the juvenile justice system, such as the chief judge in the juvenile court, chief juvenile probation officer, senior prosecutor in the juvenile court, senior public defender, and police captain or lieutenant in charge of juvenile cases. It is important to have chiefs or senior officials on the committee to ensure that committee decisions are implemented. The committee should also include nontraditional stakeholders (i.e., persons with an interest in DMC from the perspective of program services rather than system policies and practices).These representa­ tives are identified from community-level leadership, such as direc­ tors of community groups, civil rights organizations, child advocates, parent advocates, and others in the community who are concerned with DMC issues.The committee should also include young people | 4 Disproportionate Minority Contact or representatives of young people who are or have been in the system to anchor the work to the population most affected. For example, the composition of DMC workgroup members in Cook County, IL (South Suburbs), is exemplary in its engagement of nontraditional stakeholders, such as community-based service providers, grassroots leaders, and community residents. Community representatives often understand the program and service delivery needs of youth, families, and communities in greater context. Reductions in overrepresentation cannot be sustained without an infrastructure of ef­ fective community-based detention alternatives, diversion, and other programs to address and prevent youth involvement in the criminal justice system. Identifying Leadership DMC is a difficult issue to address, so it is critical to identify strong leadership for the steering committee. This usually means the chief judge in the juvenile court or chief juvenile probation officer, since they will most likely control policy changes that may be necessary to implement DMC reduction. Leadership by high-level administrators of the judicial and/or probation system also conveys and lends validity to the message that DMC reduc­ tion is an important issue within system agencies. Reaching Consensus The first task of the steering committee is to reach consensus on the goals of the DMC-reduction effort and the responsibilities of participants in the effort. If the local effort will conduct its activities in conjunction with a State DMC-reduction effort, State leaders should use the preparatory phase to introduce DMC as a shared vision and responsibility of both State and local entities.This approach will incor­ porate the concerns, insights, and innovations of local communities in the broader context of statewide DMC-reduction activities. At the early stage, this foundational step in preparation at the local level will be based more on dialog than on data research. Dialog among all participants on the committee will help establish con­ sensus, prioritize problematic decision points, and create a sense of urgency among local leaders and stakeholder groups. Members of the steering committee may come to the effort with different expectations and understandings of the goals. The pre­ paratory dialog will reveal the shared agendas and differences of position among stakeholders concerning variables contributing most to DMC. Leadership of the steering committee should anticipate and plan for differences among stakeholders in goals, priorities, or strategies. Creative tension helps the collaborative build consensus and trust. convey a sense of urgency about the issue. The members of the committee should address the following questions: • Do the stakeholders consider DMC to be an important issue? • Do they believe that fair and equitable treatment of minor­ ity youth will improve their outcomes and, therefore, reduce concerns about public safety? • W hat changes in policy are they prepared to consider to reduce DMC? • W hat resources can they bring to the effort? Conveying a sense of urgency reflects the committee’s determina­ tion to search for active solutions to racial and ethnic disparities. Setting Priorities DMC may occur at any decision point in the system—arrest, referral to juvenile court, diversion, secure detention, petition (charges filed), delinquent findings, probation placement, secure confinement, and transfer to adult court. The steering committee should lead an effort to gather available data—broken down by race, ethnicity, gender, geography (ZIP code or census tract), and offense—at all or selected decision points (e.g., secure detention). The committee should then oversee an analysis of the data in order Conveying a Sense of Urgency DMC reduction will not occur as an afterthought or a by-product of other initiatives. The leadership of the steering committee must Disproportionate Minority Contact 5| to develop interventions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. Collecting and assessing data, creating interventions, and analyz­ ing the efforts can be challenging and time-consuming. In order to simplify the process, a committee may want to address one decision point at a time. Although committees should set priori­ ties based on data, other factors—such as the level of collaboration among stakeholders, the community’s readiness for change, and availability of resources—may drive local efforts. Consensus, urgency, and priority are keystones of DMC prepara­ tion and planning. The process may take months, or even longer, to accomplish. Local communities should not move forward until they meet these prerequisites. By the same token, when they meet these prerequisites, the community should acknowl­ edge and celebrate them as notable successes in the DMC planning process. reductions. Additionally, routine dissemination of the workplan to partners and community stakeholders helps to communicate the steering committee’s work, findings, and progress. Mediating Discussions Initial discussions about the system decision points at which disproportionality was greatest unveiled differences of opinion and perspectives among key stakeholders within the steering com­ mittee. Although some stakeholders believed that disparate law enforcement practices resulted in the high numbers of juveniles being presented at intake, others were convinced that disparate system policies and practices following juvenile arrest were the issue and priority. Opinions differed even more when the jurisdic­ tion experienced an increase in the number of difficult-to-place, postadjudicated juveniles who were in confinement, and thereby increased disproportionality even further. Through its mediation of the DMC discussions and debates, the steering committee facilitated a shift from disagreements on the extent of dispropor­ tionality at various decision points to a mutually agreeable focus on decision points where DMC-reduction victories could be gained more readily and rapidly. City stakeholders agreed that the steering committee’s influence over policies and practices at the doors of detention was greater than its influence over the public attitudes and perceptions that were driving law enforcement prac­ tices. Ultimately, DMC-reduction activities in Baltimore City were better served by this focus on detention rather than law enforcement. Organizing the Work by Defining Success The next step in local-level DMC-reduction preparation is defin­ ing success. How do local stakeholders define success based on their own perspective of need and their collective experience in lo­ cal juvenile justice work? Although the goal is to reduce dispropor­ tionate representation at particular points in the system, there are many ways to move toward that goal, such as adopting an objective risk assessment instrument to control detention admissions, devel­ oping new community-based programs and services as alternatives to secure detention, modifying police procedures to better track contacts with minority youth, adopting policies to reduce transfer to adult criminal court, and reducing postdispositional placements in secure confinement. As with the consensus-building process, reaching agreement among stakeholders on the definition of suc­ cess may be a struggle, but it is an important step. Keeping DMC at the Forefront of Juvenile Justice Activities The task of keeping the issue of DMC front and center in all juve­ nile justice discussions and activities in the jurisdiction is strongly tied to the principle of creating and maintaining a sense of local urgency on the issue. Early in the planning process, Baltimore City’s DMC steering group identified all other local planning and strategy initiatives that shaped and drove outcomes for youth of color who were either involved, or at risk for involvement, in the juvenile justice system. The intention was to establish racial dispar­ ity as an agenda item for the other initiatives. This was accom­ plished through the active involvement of DMC group members in the other initiatives to apply a “racial lens” to their planning and strategies. For example, the DMC steering committee and the other committees within Baltimore City’s detention reform initia­ tive formed working partnerships to assess and redevelop deten­ tion alternatives, expedite case processing, and study the nexus between the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Through a full-time DMC coordinator in Baltimore City, the DMC steer­ ing committee has taken the lead on detention utilization studies and community capacity building to increase community-based resources that serve juveniles in less restrictive settings. Basic Tasks for the Steering Committee The lessons learned from the Baltimore City DMC Reduction Initiative’s planning and preparation activities have identified the following basic tasks for the steering committee. Articulating Local Goals and Objectives The core goals and objectives of the DMC reduction initiative in Baltimore City, MD, are to reduce over representation of youth of color at the secure detention decision point by altering conditions, policies, and practices that contribute to their overrepresentation in the system and by influencing the culture and values of the system and community toward least-restrictive and communitybased sanctions. The steering committee has clearly articulated a set of objectives, identified specific tasks, made assignments, and developed timelines for activities. The result is a tangible workplan to which the steering committee, its staff, and consultants hold themselves accountable and by which they measure progress toward policy and practice reforms and, ultimately, DMC |6 Disproportionate Minority Contact Moving Ahead With Intervention Strategies Jurisdictions must be careful not to allow extended dialog and analyses of assessments to immobilize them so that they fail to move forward with active reduction strategies and interventions. This “analysis paralysis” is a common experience in jurisdictions that lack measurable goals and objectives and a detailed workplan to accomplish them. While the State of Maryland had been exam­ ining the issue of DMC through various data analyses, reports, and conferences for several years, communities lacked viable strategies toward attainable goals. The development of its DMC workplan and the decision to hire a full-time DMC coordinator enabled the Baltimore City DMC Reduction Initiative to move beyond abstract discussion and to finally focus on the development and implementation of intervention strategies that address day-to-day agency practices and increase community-based resources and detention alternatives. lead the process. In addition, an Institute staff member is assigned to each site, attends all local meetings, and is available for the local site coordinator and stakeholders to contact for technical assis­ tance and guidance. Site coordinators from each of the Institute sites meet twice yearly to compare best practices and are available year-round for consultation with one another. The Institute also provides a Readiness Assessment Consultation to enable a site to assess its readiness to address DMC. In 2006, the Institute worked in Baltimore, MD; Louisville, KY; Pima County, AZ; Cook Coun­ ty (Lawndale and South Suburbs), IL; St. Clair County, IL; Peoria County, IL; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; and Seattle, WA. The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative: Changing the System To demonstrate that jurisdictions can establish more effective and efficient systems to accomplish the purposes of juvenile detention, the Annie E. Casey Foundation established the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative ( JDAI) in 1992. The objectives of JDAI are to reduce the number of children unnecessarily or inappro­ priately detained, to minimize the number of youth who fail to appear in court or reoffend pending adjudication, to redirect public funds toward successful reform strategies, and to improve conditions of confinement. As minority youth are consistently overrepresented in juvenile detention facilities, the elimination of disparate treatment and decisionmaking for these youth is a core JDAI strategy. Other core strategies include collaboration, reliance on data, objective admissions screening, alternatives to secure detention, expedited case processing, interventions for special detention cases (e.g., probation violations), and rigorous facility inspections. In May 2005, the Foundation began developing system assessment frameworks for sites participating in JDAI.The frameworks provide a structured, content-specific way for local jurisdictions to examine their detention policies, practices, and programs and to gauge progress in JDAI’s eight core strategies for detention reform. As part of this process, the Foundation and the Burns Institute de­ veloped a f ramework for viewing the JDAI core strategies “through a racial lens.” This JDAI Core Strategies Matrix can help jurisdictions to examine detention policies, practices, and programs and can also serve as a workplan to help jurisdictions accomplish the following: • Structure a diverse DMC-reduction collaborative that has au­ thority, common agendas, shared responsibilities, and community representation. The Burns Institute Process: Building Community Momentum The W. Haywood Burns Institute is a national organization working with local jurisdictions to reduce the dispro­ portionate representation of minority youth in their juvenile justice systems using a data-driven, consensus-based process model that engages both tradi­ tional and nontraditional stakeholders. The Institute has a range of services to assist jurisdictions in reducing racial disparities in the juvenile justice sys­ tem, f rom consulting to intensive engagement. The Institute model requires the active commitment and participa­ tion of the key traditional and nontraditional stakeholders in the juvenile justice system in each site. This includes judges, prosecu­ tors, public defenders, police, probation, school officials, political leaders, service providers, and community groups. The Institute leads these stakeholders through a process that focuses specifically and intentionally on reducing DMC. Without a committed and intentional approach to reducing DMC, jurisdictions often lose momentum because of changes in stakeholders, inconsistent approaches, and short attention spans. To ensure that sites stay focused, the Institute has developed a manual and workbook to guide them through the process. The Institute’s model of Intensive Site Engagement calls for stakehold­ ers to develop a workplan and to meet monthly to move it forward. The model requires each site to hire a full-time local coordinator to Disproportionate Minority Contact 7| • Rely on both quantitative and qualitative data to assess and reform detention utilization and to determine the most effective allocation and placement of community resources. • Eliminate intentional and unintentional biases in detention admission screening. • Develop culturally and racially competent detention alternatives. • Equalize case processing at all system decision points to mini­ mize delay and ensure equity in the judicial process. • Address disparate handling of special detention cases (e.g., writs, warrants, violations of probation). • Ensure that confinement conditions are acceptable and competent. The JDAI Core Strategies Matrix supports the more than 80 JDAI sites around the country when they examine system practices. The matrix is also useful to non-JDAI jurisdictions that are planning or expanding DMC-reduction initiatives and developing workplans for racially equitable juvenile justice systems. This Bulletin includes a draft section from the JDAI Core Strate­ gies Matrix (see pages 10–11). The full matrix is included in chap­ ter 3 of OJJDP’s online Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, 4th Edition (see sidebar). Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, 4th Edition OJJDP’s online Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, 4th Edition, provides detailed guidance on DMC identification and monitoring, assessment, inter­ vention, and evaluation. Its intended audience is juvenile justice specialists, members of State planning agencies and State advisory groups, DMC researchers and consultants, and policymakers and practitioners involved in the juvenile justice system at the State and local levels. The manual incorporates lessons learned in DMC efforts over the years. It brings States and localities the latest information and tools for understanding and effectively addressing disproportionate minority representation in the juvenile justice system. Electronic publication of the manual offers important benefits, including: • Wide distribution. • Hyperlinks for instant access to related materials. • Annual updates: new information, resources, and examples of effective DMC-reduction strategies. Access the manual at dmc_ta_manual/index.html. Conclusion This Bulletin outlines minimum core steps for local jurisdictions to prepare to engage in DMC-reduction activities. Additional pre­ paratory steps will be unique to the specific climate for system re­ form in each particular site. Public attitudes and beliefs about race, crime, and youth, and key decisions by key juvenile justice system stakeholders reflect that climate. Engaging in preparatory activities presents an important opportunity for local leaders to develop con­ crete strategies toward measurable DMC-reduction results. Braxton, G. 1997. Ratings vs. crime rates: Putting L.A.’s changing numbers into perspective. Los Angeles Times ( June 4):A1. Brown, D.L. 2006. Fear’s neighbors: Violent crime is no stranger to one side of the city, now it’s crossed the line. The Washington Post ( July 19):C01. Butts, J.A. 1999. Youth Violence: Perception Versus Reality. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. Center for Media and Public Affairs. 2000. The media at the millen­ nium: The networks’ top topics, trends, and joke targets of the 1990s. Media Monitor 14(4):1–6. Coalition for Juvenile Justice. 2005. Childhood on Trial: The Failure of Trying and Sentencing Youth in Adult Criminal Court. Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice. DeMuro, P. 1999. Consider the alternatives: Planning and implement­ ing detention alternatives. In Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Dorfman, L., and Schiraldi, V. 2001a. Off Balance: Youth, Race, and Crime in the News, Executive Summary. Washington, DC: Building Blocks for Youth. References ABC News. 2000. Large majorities of Americans say the news media influence their perceptions about crime. May 31–June 4. Republished on Public Agenda Online. Accessed January 9, 2007, at type=crimeandlist=4. Amnesty International USA. 1998. Betraying the young— Children in the U.S. justice system. Accessed online November 28, 2006, at 50F375DF4236C3BA80256900006931A1. Barlow, M.H. 1998. Race and the problem of crime in Time and Newsweek cover stories, 1946–1995. Social Justice 25:149–182. Bell, J. 2006. Correcting the system of unequal justice. In The Covenant with Black America. Chicago, IL: Third World Press, pp. 49–69. | 8 Disproportionate Minority Contact Dorfman, L., and Schiraldi, V. 2001b. Off Balance: Youth, Race, and Crime in the News, Full Report. Washington, DC: Building Blocks for Youth. Dorfman, L., and Woodruff, K. 1998. The roles of speakers in local television news stories on youth and violence. Journal of Popular Film and Television 26:80–85. Dunnaville, C.M. 2000. Unequal justice under the law—Racial in­ equalities in the justice system. Virginia Lawyer December (Senior Lawyer’s Section):20–25. Entman, R.M. 1992. Blacks in the news: Television, modern rac­ ism, and cultural change. Journalism Quarterly 69:341–361. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2000. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1999. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Fischer, M. 2006. D.C.’s reaction to killing misses the point. The Washington Post ( July 18):B01. Gans, H.J. 1995. The War Against the Poor: The Underclass and Anti­ poverty Policy. New York, NY: Basic Books. Gilliam, F.D., and Iyengar, S. 2000. Prime suspects: The influence of local television news on the viewing public. American Journal of Political Science 44(3):560–573. Gilliam, F.D., Iyengar, S., Simon, A., and Wright, O. 1996. Crime in black and white: The violent, scary world of local news. Harvard International Journal of Press-Politics 1(3):6–23. Gray, E.S. 2003. The media—Don’t believe the hype. Stanford Law and Policy Review 14(45):45–50. Hart Research. 2002. The New Politics of Criminal Justice: A Research and Messaging Report for the Open Society Institute. Washington, DC: Peter D. Hart Research Associates. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Media and Public Affairs. 1998. Assessing Local Television News Coverage of Health Issues. Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation. Klite, P. 1995. A day in the life of local news in America. Rocky Mountain Media Watch. Kunkel, D. 1994. How the news media “see” kids. Media Studies Journal 8:74–84. Ladd, E. 1997. Crime and punishment: An American odyssey. The Public Perspective June/July:8–26. Marcus, D. 2005. Communities helping kids: Why diversion, outreach, and counseling programs serve troubled children—and society—better than prisons. The American Prospect September (Special Report). Martindale, C. 1996. Newspaper stereotypes of African Americans. In Images That Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media, edited by P. Lester. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, pp. 21–26. McCombs, M., and Shaw, D. 1993. The evolution of agendasetting research: Twenty-five years in the marketplace of ideas. Journal of Communication 43(2):58–67. McManus, J., and Dorfman, L. 2000. Youth and Violence in California Newspapers. Issue 9. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Media Studies Group. Merkle, D. 2000. Crime fears linger, public still concerned despite improvements. June 7. Accessed online November 30, 2006, at DailyNews/poll000607.html. National Center for Juvenile Justice. 2006. Easy Access to FBI Ar­ rest Statistics, 1994–2004. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Accessed online November 28, 2006, at Schiraldi, V., and Ziedenberg, J. 2000. The Florida Experiment: An Analysis of the Impact of Granting Prosecutors Discretion To Try Juve­ niles as Adults. Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute. Schwartz, R.G. 2001. Promoting and sustaining detention reforms. In Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Sherman, L.W., Gottfredson, D., MacKenzie, D., Eck, J., Reuter, P., and Bushway, S. 1998. P reventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. Snyder, H., and Sickmund, M. 1999. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Disproportionate Minority Contact 9| Soler, M. 2001. Public Opinion on Youth, Crime, and Race: A Guide for Advocates. Washington, DC: Building Blocks for Youth. Sorenson, S.B., Manz, J.G., and Berk, R.A. 1998. News media coverage and the epidemiology of homicide. American Journal of Public Health 88:1510–1514. Steinhart, D. 1988. California opinion poll: Public attitudes on youth crime. NCCD Focus December. Stewart, N., and Klein, A. 2006. Council approves earlier curfew: Video sur veillance in neighborhoods also wins support. The Wash­ ington Post ( July 20):A01. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2001. Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services; and National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. Wagner, P. 2003. The P rison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Criminal Justice System. Portland, OR: The Prison Policy Initiative. Weiss, A., and Chermak, S.M. 1998. The news value of AfricanAmerican victims: An examination of the media’s presentation of homicide. Journal of Crime and Justice 21(2):71–88. Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Core Strategies Matrix Collaboration Issue Authority Composition What We’re Looking For, Why This Is Important • Is there an official imprimatur that reducing racial disparities is an explicit responsibility of the JDAI collaborative? • Does the collaborative reflect the diversity of the kids and families involved in your juvenile justice system? • Do we have the decisionmakers sitting at the table with the appropriate community representatives? • Does the collaborative effort include representatives of the impacted neighborhoods of color? • Are civil rights advocates at the table? • Are community-based service providers at the table? Review, Observe, and Interview Major Findings Best Practices, Recommendations Organizing the work • The intentionality and infusion of the racial lens needs to be driven in unison with decisionmakers and communities of color. • Is the current configuration (e.g., work group, ad hoc committee) working? • Is each subcommittee held accountable for contributions to reducing racial disparities? • Common challenges are: “work groups” working in a silo, which are expected to “fix” the problem.. Creating a safe place • Are discussions regarding disproportionality undertaken with respect and tolerance? • Are the discussions mainly finger-pointing sessions? • Are deliberations based on facts and supported by data or impressions? • Have efforts been made to ensure equal and full participation in the discussions and deliberations? |10 Disproportionate Minority Contact Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Core Strategies Matrix (continued) Collaboration Issue Forging a common agenda What We’re Looking For, Why This Is Important • Do members of the collaborative, including work group members if relevant, have a common understanding of, and embrace, the same agenda: detention as the entry point to the reduction of racial disparities? • Members of the collaborative understand that the work entails changing policies and practices under the control of their juvenile justice system. • Members of the collaborative reach a consensus on the use of detention in their jurisdiction. • A shared value that pretrial detention should not be used as either punishment or treatment. Review, Observe, and Interview Major Findings Best Practices, Recommendations Disaggregating data by race and ethnicity • Baseline data of youth ages 10–17, disaggregated by race, ethnic­ ity, gender, and geography, should be collected as a foundation to identify the disproportionality and to commence the discussion. • Has the collaborative compared the percentage of youth of color in the juvenile justice system with the percentage of minorities in the general youth population? All ensuing data collection—e.g., admissions by reason, risk assessment instrument (RAI) screen­ ing, RAI overrides, length of stay (LOS), average daily population (ADP), use of alternatives to detention—should be disaggregated by race/ethnicity/gender/geography. • Routine management reports present basic utilization statistics by race/ethnicity/gender to enable stakeholders to identify dis­ parities and to assess trends and change policies and practices. Detention utilization study • One of the first steps in planning for reform is to document how detention is currently used through careful data collection and analysis. A thorough description of recent trends and current practices in detention utilization provides the foundation for the problem identification and analysis, as well as the subsequent development of change strategies. The detention utilization study should provide the collaborative with a quantitative picture of how detention use varies for different categories of youth. • Identify the target area(s), i.e., the geographic area(s) contrib­ uting the highest number of kids in detention. • Map the community assets, including community-based organizations currently providing services to youth and their families in the target neighborhoods. • Identifying the target neighborhoods and mapping communitybased services will assist in informing strategies for effective and efficient alternatives to detention. Geocoding and community mapping Routine management reports • Using data to monitor progress toward reducing racial disparities and disproportionate minority confinement. The JDAI quarterly reports are an example of fundamental management reports. As the data from the reports raise questions, further data queries should be developed to dig deeper and acquire clarity... • Digging deeper generally leads to going “behind the data” to look at individual policies and practices to clarify reasons behind the statistics. • What are the practices or policies contributing to the statistical disproportionality? Qualitative analysis Comprehensive • Is the community informed of the state of racial disparities/ annual analysis of DMC on an annual basis in your jurisdiction? racial disparities • Annual reports developed by the system partners help keep eyes on the prize and promote accountability and transparency. Disproportionate Minority Contact 11| U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Washington, DC 20531 Official Business Penalty for Private Use $300 *NCJ~218861* PRESORTED STANDARD POSTAGE & FEES PAID DOJ/OJJDP PERMIT NO. G–91 Bulletin NCJ 218861 This Bulletin was prepared under grant number 2004–JL–FX–0083 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department of Justice. Acknowledgments Mark Soler is Executive Director at the Center for Children’s Law and Policy in Washington, DC. Lisa M. Garry was the Baltimore City DMC Coordinator in Baltimore, MD, and is currently DMC Policy Director at the Center for Children’s Law and Policy. The authors are deeply indebted to Sarah Boyle, Saint Louis University School of Law summer intern, for her excellent research for this Bulletin. Share With Your Colleagues Unless otherwise noted, OJJDP publications are not copyright protected. We encour­ age you to reproduce this document, share it with your colleagues, and reprint it in your newsletter or journal. However, if you reprint, please cite OJJDP and the authors of this Bulletin. We are also interested in your feedback, such as how you received a copy, how you intend to use the information, and how OJJDP materials meet your individual or agency needs. Please direct your comments and questions to: Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse Publication Reprint/Feedback P.O. Box 6000 Rockville, MD 20849–6000 800–851–3420 301–519–5600 (fax) Web: The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the of Justice; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex and Tracking (SMART). Community Capacity Development Office; the National Institute Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, For information about other OJJDP programs, go to |12 ...
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