Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)
Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
Communities with a disproportionately high rate of minority youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system.
The goal of DMC is to reduce the disproportionate contact of minority youth in targeted communities through systems improvement strategies, development of community awareness, and by fostering positive youth development.
The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) in partnership with DHS has allocated funding for seven sites: Englewood; Sauk Village; Macon County; Peoria County; St. Clair County; South Suburbs and Lawndale. In 2003, African-American youth in Illinois were arrested at a rate that was nearly five times the rate at which Caucasian youth were arrested. Minority over-representation is affected by decisions at many points throughout the juvenile justice system, beginning with the decision by law enforcement to arrest. The sites will work to address these issues through system change and community involvement.
The Burns Institute (BI) model for reducing minority over-representation is in part being utilized in the seven sites. The BI model is a community driven, consensus-based process that focuses specifically and intentionally on reducing disproportionate minority contact. Program staff and non-program personnel are trained on DMC related issues such as cultural diversity, cultural awareness, bias and improving understanding of cultural differences.
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- A racial coding manual was developed in partnership with McArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative.
- Individuals are being trained regarding DMC awareness through the principles of Balance and Restorative Justice (BARJ) practices.
- Cook County Juvenile Probation Department hosted community collaborative training bringing together different ethnic groups across Chicago.
- Program sites established programs such as Truancy Courts, Drug Courts, and After School programs.
- Sites worked with schools, law enforcement and other community entities to reduce DMC.
- The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) hosted a DMC strategic planning conference in June of 2010. The conference included newly inaugurated members of the IJJC as well as juvenile justice practitioners from across the state. The history and scope of the DMC work done by the IJJC was presented, and the discussion occurred concerning developing mission statements and a unified vision for DMC efforts going forward.