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Disproportionate Minority Contact

The federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act requires states to assess the extent to which minority youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system - and, if minority youth are overrepresented, to implement activities to impact the issue. Minority youth comprise approximately 15 percent of all of Iowa's youth, while minority youth comprise 45 percent of the youth in Iowa's juvenile detention facilities. Overrepresentation exists at other juvenile court decision points as well. Iowa's Juvenile Justice Advisory Council has charged a state Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Committee to provide oversight for Iowa’s DMC effort.  Iowa’s Department of Human Rights, Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP) administers Iowa’s DMC effort.  Iowa’s major DMC activities include:  the provision of DMC related technical assistance to local jurisdictions in Black Hawk, Johnson, Polk and Woodbury Counties; review of policy and training through a School-to-Court: Local Strategies Instrument: collection and analysis of data (school incidents, suspension and expulsion, arrest, and Juvenile Court services referrals); and local provision of a juvenile Detention Screening Tool. 

Community and Strategic Plan (CASP)

Given the persistent disproportionate representation of minority youth at various decision points in Iowa’s delinquency system, the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP) and the Office of State Court Administration (SCA) applied for and received a Community and Strategic Planning (CASP) grant offered by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  The purpose of the CASP grant was to support the development of a strategic action plan to reduce DMC in Iowa’s delinquency system.  Consistent with the terms of the CASP grant, SCA created a diverse CASP Advisory Committee to guide development of the strategic plan.  Provided below is the CASP strategic action plan and related documents developed with the oversight of the CASP Advisory Committee.

CASP Updates

Recommendations and Action Plan for Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contacts