Training & TA
All children and youth, regardless of race or ethnicity, have more in common than they have differences, but culture does influence how they behave and how the juvenile justice system perceives them. Although racial discrimination may emerge from these differences some of the time at some stages of the juvenile justice process, little evidence exists that racial disparities result from systematic, overt bias. Instead, such disparities in the juvenile justice system appear to be the indirect result of unintentional racial bias and the amplification over time of initial disadvantages (Sampson and Lauritsen, 1997:311). Indirect racial discrimination can occur even when no intention to discriminate exists. For example, a rule stating that all students must not wear anything on their heads could result in discrimination against students whose religion requires the wearing of headwear.
Training and technical assistance is often employed to promote the cultural competency of all personnel who routinely interact with the culturally diverse members of system-involved youth and to address indirect (particularly unintentional) racial bias. The two most common types of training and technical assistance strategies that are used to promote the cultural competency and address indirect racial bias are cultural competency training and culturally competent staffing practices. Each strategy is discussed in more detail below:
Cultural Competency Training and Program Development
Culturally Competent Staff Practices
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