OJJDP's 11th Annual Conference on Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), held September 710 in New Orleans, focused on law enforcement approaches to reducing racial disparities and disproportionately high rates of juvenile justice system contact for minority youth. Marilyn Roberts, OJJDP's Deputy Administrator for Programs, welcomed participants on behalf of OJJDP, described the Office's DMC efforts, and provided an update on States' progress in addressing DMC. Presented through a grant to the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), the conference sought to expand partnerships among State Advisory Groups (SAGs), state juvenile justice agencies, local juvenile justice practitioners, and law enforcement officers.
The opening session featured a presentation by Steve Holbert, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and coauthor of The Color of Guilt and Innocence, who discussed policing practices, the effects of racial profiling and surveillance on communities and public safety, and ways in which law enforcement agencies can guard against racial bias. Luncheon speaker Garry Mendez, Jr., Ph.D., Executive Director of the National Trust for African American Men, spoke about the urgency of recognizing and addressing systemic racial disparities that affect African American youth. The closing general session offered information on law enforcement-faith community partnerships to reduce DMC.
Conference workshops highlighted a wide variety of approaches to DMC reduction (see Workshop Topics sidebar). At facilitated forums, small discussion groups explored ideas for partnerships and next steps. Meetings involving State Juvenile Justice Specialists and DMC Coordinators provided opportunities for information sharing, and training sessions offered guidance to SAG members regarding their roles in working with designated state agencies in DMC reduction planning.
OJJDP's release of its new DMC Technical Assistance Manual, 3rd Edition, coincided with the conference. This comprehensive online tool, designed to be used with OJJDP's Web-Based DMC Data Entry System, covers DMC identification and monitoring, assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
Other conference highlights included the presentation of two awards: Pat Cervera of Denver, CO, was named 2006 Tony Gobar Outstanding Juvenile Justice Specialist, and the CJJ Spirit of Youth Award went to Marvin Gumba of Gods X Gangsters, Norfolk, VA. CJJ also arranged for conference attendees to take part in a local youth-related service project working to restore New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
OJJDP Home | About OJJDP | E-News | Topics | Funding | Programs
State Contacts | Publications | Statistics | Events