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, 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.

Delivery Method

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.

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $204.8 $200.0 $403.0 $435.0
Number of Grantees 3 3 4 4
Sites 4 4 7 7

Program Effectiveness

  • In fiscal years FY 08 and 09, the IJJC made funding available to the Burns Institute to provide technical assistance to sites.
  • In fiscal years FY 08 and 09, the IJJC funded the development and pilot testing of a web-based survey to measure DMC in communities.
  • Three additional pilot sites which began implementation in the fall of Fiscal Year 2008 are now fully operational.
  • A racial coding manual was developed in partnership with McArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative.
  • Over 300 people were trained in Peoria gaining important 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 a Truancy Court in Decatur, a Drug Court in East St. Louis, and After School program in Sauk Village.
  • Sites worked with schools, law enforcement and other community entities to reduce DMC.
  • The average length of stay (ALOS) for minority youth in secure detention was decreased from 23 days for African American youth and 25 days for Hispanic youth in 2001to 22 days African American youth and 20 days for Hispanic youth in calendar year 2008. This compares to an ALOS of 16 days for white youth in 2001 and 17 days for white youth in 2008.