skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 250731 Find in a Library
Title: Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System
Corporate Author: Sentencing Project
United States of America
Date Published: 2014
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Sentencing Project
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Sentencing Project
1705 DeSales Street, NW
8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Description; Legislative/Regulatory Material; Report (Technical Assistance); Technical Assistance
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is an overview of issues and policies in addressing the causes of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in the juvenile justice system.
Abstract: The report first addresses measurement of the extent of the problem. This includes a discussion of the Relative Rate Index (RRI), which is a measure of the rate of racial disparity between White youth and youth of color at a particular stage in the system. The current limitations of the RRI as a tool for measuring DMC in the juvenile justice system are discussed. The report then examines disproportionate arrest rates for White youth and youth of color compared to youths’ self-reported crimes. Data on the DMC in the arrests of juveniles are discussed for the following types of offenses: status offenses, property crime, and drug offenses. Another major section of the report addresses how policy choices worsen DMC. This discussion focuses on school discipline being a law enforcement issue, using typical juvenile misbehavior as a gateway into the juvenile justice system through valid court orders, and how geography and population density impact the likelihood of DMC. Another section of the report discusses disproportionate minority confinement and how this is addressed under the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). A concluding discussion of ways to eliminate DMC outlines five requirements for States in countering DMC under the JJDPA. They include establishing coordinating bodies to oversee efforts to reduce disparities; identifying key decision points in the system to determine which points create disparities; creating systems to collect local data at every point of contact youth have with the juvenile justice system; and developing and implementing plans to address disparities that include measurable objectives for policy or practice change that are based on data. 1 table, 4 figures, and 37 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Disproportionate Minority Contact; Federal legislation; Juvenile arrest statistics; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Minority juvenile offenders; Minority overrepresentation; Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP); Police-minority relations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.