Pennsylvania identified that this disproportionate treatment of youth of color was an issue that required immediate action.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) began funding a series of activities in an effort to decrease racial and ethnic disparities in its juvenile justice system.
Congress included in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), a mandate that states receiving federal formula one grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) address Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC).
The initial focus was addressing the disproportionate number of youth of color in secure facilities.
The DMC State Subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) was created by the Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee:
To ensure equal and fair treatment for every youth in the juvenile justice system regardless of race and ethnicity.
The DMC State Subcommittee took early and aggressive action, earning a national reputation for innovation by funding, “The Role of Race” study examining the issue of race in Pennsylvania juvenile justice practices.
The DMC research determined that in many areas of Pennsylvania…
This study became the standard model by which states throughout the nation examined their practices regarding juvenile justice and race.
Throughout the 1990’s:
The DMC State Subcommittee continued to fund additional research, funded various prevention programs in counties throughout the Commonwealth, convened conferences to discuss best practices, and sponsored other efforts to address the issues of DMC.
The initial Disproportionate Minority Confinement focus is expanded by Congress to include:
States must address the over-representation of youth color at each key stage of the juvenile justice process, as opposed to just confinement.
Through formal research/ data collection and prevention/ intervention, Pennsylvania has become a leader in DMC efforts.
The DMC State Subcommittee of Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) focused efforts on the point of initial contact (arrest).
With the support of the DMC State Subcommittee, DMC Working Groups were put in place across five regions of Pennsylvania to enhance minority youth and law enforcement relationships:
The Pennsylvania DMC Youth/ Law Enforcement Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed to expand the forums and the related Pennsylvania DMC Youth/ Law Enforcement Curriculum to additional jurisdictions in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
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