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.


The goal of DMC is to reduce the disproportionate contact of minority youth in targeted communities through systems improvement strategies.


The Illinois Juvenile Justice 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. 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

SFY 05 SFY 06 SFY 07 SFY 08
Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $586.8 $204.8 $200.0 $404.7
Number of Grantees 3 3 3 4
Sites 4 4 4 7

Program Effectiveness 

  • A racial coding manual was developed in partnership with Models for Change.
  • 66 DMC planning actions were undertaken with the pilot sites.
  • 334 non-program personal received 1,136 hours of DMC related training.
  • The program reported a 39 percent drop in the percentage of minority juvenile offenders in secure detention from 87.7% in 2001 to 49% in 2005.
  • Efforts with schools, law enforcement and other community entities were undertaken to reduce DMC.
  • Three additional pilot sites began implementation in the fall of Fiscal Year 2008.
  • The average length of stay (ALOS) for minority youth in secure detention was decreased.