Since 1988, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has been a leader in efforts to reduce the overrepresentation of minority youth in the Nation's juvenile justice system. A Disproporitionate Minority Contact Chronology: 1988 to Date outlines a history of this effort.
OJJDP's DMC website is a resource to help States comply with the JJDP Act's DMC requirements and a source of information for all who are interested in understanding and engaged in reducing the extent of DMC.
Core Requirement of JJDP Act
In the JJDP Act of 2002, Congress required that States participating in the Formula Grants Program “address juvenile delinquency prevention efforts and system improvement efforts designed to reduce, without establishing or requiring numerical standards or quotas, the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups, who come into contact with the juvenile justice system” (see section 223(a)(22)).
For purposes of this requirement, OJJDP has defined minority populations as American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders.
States participating in the Formula Grants Program address DMC on an ongoing basis by moving through the following phases:
- Identification. To determine the extent to which DMC exists.
- Assessment. To assess the reasons for DMC, if it exists.
- Intervention. To develop and implement intervention strategies to address these identified reasons.
- Evaluation. To evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen intervention strategies.
- Monitoring. To note changes in DMC trends and to adjust intervention strategies as needed.
Each State must report on its progress in its comprehensive JJDP 3-year plan and subsequent plan updates (in compliance with Section 223(a)(22)). OJJDP reviews the plan updates annually. Any State that fails to address the overrepresentation of minority youth in juvenile justice system contact stands to lose 20 percent of its Formula Grants allocation for the year.
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