Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
African-American youth ages 10 to 16 years.
Reduce the disproportionate contact with the judicial system of minority youth in target communities.
The Illinois Juvenile Commission in partnership with DHS has allocated funding for four pilot sites in Cook County, the City of Chicago, Peoria County and St. Clair County.
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 Burns Institute (BI) model for reducing minority over-representation is being utilized in the four pilot sites. The BI model is a community driven, consensus-based process that focuses specifically and intentionally on reducing disproportionate
minority contact (DMC). 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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In 2005, the program reported a 39 percent point drop in the percentage of minorities juvenile offenders in secure detention from 87.7 percent in 2001 to 49 percent in 2005.