Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the Juenile Justice System: A blueprint for community engagement and action
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This presentation will discuss the approach we have taken as part of a statewide initiative to reduce Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) in the Missouri Juvenile Justice System. DMC looks at the experiences of minority youth compared to Caucasian youth at all stages of the Juvenile Justice System (referrals, detention, petitions, probation, transfers to adult courts, etc.). African American and Latino youth in Missouri are almost twice as likely to be referred to the juvenile office as Caucasian youth. By working intensively in three counties, we have built community teams to analyze local policies, practices, and procedures that produce these disparities. We will discuss how and why we formed local teams, the data analysis process, and lessons learned through our experiences working with these communities. Finally, we will discuss the solutions proposed by the three communities, the successes those communities have experienced, and the challenges they face in striving to reduce disparities.