The Disparate Treatment of Minority Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

In a nation that is based on notions of fairness and equality…

The realization that our laws and justice system are often administered in a way that has a

disproportionately harsh impact on youth of color is extremely troubling.


Yet… there are Pennsylvania stakeholders that share a commitment

to eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.

 The creation of a training program for law enforcement officers relating to youth development and culture

Minority Youth/ Law Enforcement Forums were created to bring officers and minority youth together to talk frankly and openly about the problems on the street and the troubled relationship between the two groups.


We used these initial discussions to develop a series of policy recommendations designed to change the system.


By Opening a Dialogue…

Our hope is to reduce the number of volatile interactions between youth and officers on the street, to decrease arrests of minority youth and to diminish the chance of injuries to officers and youth on the street.554d1e3e7f5dc_Fotor

Our forums provide an opportunity for both youth and officers to be heard and to consider each other’s views without endorsing either side as completely right or wrong.

These frank exchanges have led to more in-depth discussions about balancing the need for police to investigate crime safely with the desires of young people to live in their community without being harassed.

At the end of each forum, both officers and youth have said that they have developed a new understanding of each other.

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© 2015 DMC Youth/Law Enforcement Corporation– All Rights Reserved.