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OJJDP Funds an Analysis of DMC Data and
Patterns to Identify Best Practices

Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) has been recognized for decades as a deep-rooted problem in the juvenile justice system, and States are required to address it to stay in compliance with the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. However, despite widespread acknowledgment that DMC-reduction activities should be evidence-based, collecting and making use of accurate data is still difficult for most States and localities. Through a 4-year grant from OJJDP, Development Services Group, Inc. has analyzed the DMC data submitted to OJJDP from the States to identify best practices in reducing racial disparities.

For DMC monitoring purposes, OJJDP requires States to collect raw juvenile justice data on the volume of activities by race and ethnicity at nine different juvenile justice contact points—arrest, referral, diversion, detention, petitioned/charges filed, delinquent findings, probation, confinement in secure correctional facilities, and transfer to adult court—for targeted DMC-reduction sites within their boundaries (usually at least three counties in each State). These data allow States to compare involvement with the juvenile justice system “between race” within each jurisdiction and between contact points and provide a rich source of DMC data over time and across jurisdictions. This study is the first systematic, longitudinal national analysis of the nature of the experiences of minority youth with the justice system.

Products from this study will include a DMC literature review from 2002 to 2010 and detailed case studies of nine sites that successfully reduced DMC at selected contact points.