Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)
Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Communities with a disproportionately high rate of minority youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system.


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 seven pilot sites in 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.

Delivery Method

The Burns Institute (BI) model for reducing minority over-representation is being utilized in the seven 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.

Program Data

SFY04 SFY05 SFY 06 SFY 07
Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $587.0 $586.8 $204.7 $200.0
Number of Grantees 4 4 4 4

Program Accomplishments

  • The pilot sites implement the nationally recognized Burns Institute Model data driven approach to identify hot spots for juvenile crime and target communities and decision points accordingly.
  • In 2005, the program reported a 39 percent drop in the percentage of minority juvenile offenders in secure detention from 87.7 percent in 2001 to 49 percent in 2005.
  • Efforts with schools, law enforcement and other community entities are undertaken to reduce DMC in communities.
  • Three additional pilot sites will begin implementation in the fall of Fiscal Year 2008.
  • In 2001, the average length of stay (ALOS) in secure detention for Caucasian youth was 17.2 days while African American youth had an ALOS of 23.9 days and Hispanic youth 25.2 days. In 2003, this was dramatically reduced for African American youth. The ALOS in secure detention for Caucasian youth in 2003 was 16 days while African American youth has an ALOS of 27 days and Hispanic youth 23 days.