By Benjamin Chambers, July 02 2009
Anyone who's serious about juvenile justice reform wants to address disproportionate minority contact (DMC), and several major foundation efforts have been chipping away at the problem for over a decade.
Now, TimeBanks USA hopes to bring the "practice of sending minority youth to confinement to a screeching halt."
There's plenty of information about DMC out there, of course.
This year alone, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) released Created Equal, on the racial ethnic disparities in the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems (see p. 30 for juveniles); and the National Conference of State Legislatures put out its own excellent issue brief on minority youth in the juvenile justice system.
(Because Native youth rarely get much attention in this context, it's also worth mentioning that last year, the NCCD also released an alarming brief on Native Americans in the juvenile justice system, which showed that Native youth were 50% more likely than Whites to be placed out of home or transferred to the adult system -- and these percentages even exceeded those for African American children.)
In the most tantalizing press release of the week, TimeBanks USA promised a "new legal strategy" that would compel juvenile courts to end disproportionate minority confinement by adopting promising practices. The approach, which has just been published in the University of the District of Columbia Law Review, attempts to demonstrate juvenile courts' "intent to discriminate" when they don't take advantage of known alternatives.
You can find more info on this laudable attempt to reform the juvenile justice and child welfare systems here -- including the full law review article.
Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, No bio box, Public Policy, Resources
Updated: February 08 2018