Update on State Compliance With the DMC Core Requirement
As noted, the 1992 reauthorization of the JJDP Act substantially strengthened the national effort to address DMC by elevating it to a "core requirement" of the Formula Grants Program along with deinstitutionalization of status offenders, removal of juveniles from adult jails and lockups, and sight and sound separation of juvenile offenders from adults in secure institutions.7 States participating in the Formula Grants Program are required to address the DMC issue in three phases: (1) identification (identify the extent to which DMC exists); (2) assessment (assess the reasons for DMC if it exists); and (3) intervention (develop an intervention plan to address these identified reasons). Progress is reported by each State and territory in its comprehensive JJDP 3-year plan and subsequent plan updates (in compliance with Section 223(a)(23)). OJJDP reviews the plan updates annually. The status of State compliance with the DMC core requirement based on the States' 1997 plans is summarized below. Readers desiring additional information concerning individual States are encouraged to contact the State's juvenile justice specialist.8
Based on OJJDP's review of FY 1997 State plans, 39 States have completed the identification and assessment phases and are implementing the intervention phase of DMC. Three States have completed the identification and assessment phases and are formulating their intervention plans. These States are making a concerted effort to address the factors that contribute to minority overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system. However, DMC remains a serious concern, requiring an ongoing and continuous effort. Recommendations for future action discussed in the 1996 National Report (Hamparian and Leiber, 1997), including the need for comprehensive data collection and analysis, the development of research- and data-based State intervention plans, and the strategic importance of prevention and early intervention, remain valid actions for States in refining and improving their approaches to reducing DMC.
This Bulletin provides the updated status -- as of December 1997 -- of compliance with the DMC core requirement among the jurisdictions participating in the JJDP Formula Grants Program (48 States, 6 territories, and the District of Columbia). However, unlike previous national reports, which highlighted DMC activities undertaken by various States in the identification, assessment, and intervention phases, this Bulletin provides an indepth description of how Pennsylvania moved from one DMC phase to the next in a systematic, data-driven, and targeted effort to comprehensively address DMC.