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Articles tagged with: DMC

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Friday, 04 April 2014 Posted in 2014, Across the Country

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, otherwise known as SAAM. A very serious issue, sexual assault affects everyone regardless of age, gender, orientation, class or race; sadly, almost 1 in 2women and 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. We, at the Campaign For Youth Justice, whole heartedly urge you to start a dialogue with those around you during the month about sexual violence. A key part to elimnating sexual violence from society is acknowledging that it can and does happen. Leading statisticians agree that the numbers on sexual violence underestimate the problem because many victims do not tell the police, family, or friends about the violence.
            The roots of the movement can be traced back to the late 1970’s England and the “TakeBack The Night” (TBTN) marches. Originally organized as a reaction to events of violence perpetrated against women on the streets of English cities, these female-only protests found their way over to America in 1978. As the movement grew, coordinators sought out a month to pay special attention raise special awareness about violence done to women; eventually members of the movement coalesced around the idea of selecting October to be the month to focus on violence against women issues. Slowly October became the focus of Domestic Violence Awareness activities. Advocates of sexual assault awareness soon sought another month to highlight the issues surrounding sexual assault arriving on this month, April.

 

For more information having to do with youths and for youths about sexual assault please visit the SAAM page on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) website. There you will find videos, statistics and more resources about the Sexual Assault Awareness month campaign.    

 

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System: Federal Support Still Needed

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 Posted in 2013, Research & Policy

 
As part of National Youth Justice Awareness Month, we are highlighting the federal Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act’s(JJDPA) core requirement, “Disproportionate Minority Contact” for its’ role in supporting state and local efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. 
 
The JJDPA, established in 1974 to provide federal standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system, was updated twenty years ago with the “Disproportionate Minority Confinement” (DMC) provision requiring states to address the disproportionate confinement of youth of color at key points in the juvenile justice system.
 
In the most recent JJDPA reauthorization ten years ago, the term confinement was changed to contact emphasizing the racial and ethnic disparities faced by youth of color at all points in the juvenile justice system. “DMC is a critical issue in the juvenile justice system because it is an issue of basic fairness,” says national expert Mark Soler, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Children’s Law and Policy.
 
The DMC provision was added to the law because of the huge disparities in the treatment of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. For example, African-American youth make up only 17% of the nation’s total youth population,  but African-American youth constitute 30% of the youth arrested nationwide and 62% of all youth in the adult criminal justice system.  Latino and Native American youth experience similar unfairness within the juvenile justice system. Latino children, the fastest-growing segment of the American population, represent 23% of all children under the 18.  At the same time, Latino youth are 40% more likely than white youth to be admitted to adult prison. Finally, Native American youth receive harsher sentences, with a 50% higher likelihood than white youth to receive out-of-home placement or to be placed in the adult system.
 
“Having an over-representation of young people of color in confinement means that those young people’s life outcomes are seriously diminished,” says one of the nation’s leaders on efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities, James Bell, Founder and Executive Director of the Haywood Burns Institute. “And that is why we as a society should care mightily about this.”
 
These facts are often undermined by a false impression that youth of color commit more crime than white youth.  That is simply not true.  Results from self-report surveys indicate that white youth are in fact significantly more likely than youth of color to use drugs and alcohol, sell drugs, and engage in minor theft.  Although white youth admit high drug use, African-American youth are twice as likely to be arrested and detained and as a group account for 87% of all youth tried in adult court for drug offenses.
 
The JJDPA’s DMC provision has ensured funding to every state to reduce these stark racial and ethnic disparities.  There are promising efforts in a number of states.  Take a look at the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) efforts and the Models for Change (MfC) initiative.
 
However, the recent U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division three-year investigation into the operations of the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County Tennessee underscores the need to redouble efforts nationally to do much much more, not less, to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. 
 
The federal investigation found extensive racial disparities in the treatment of African-American children: African-American youth are twice as likely as white youth to be recommended for transfer to adult court.  Of the 390 transfers to adult court in 2010 in Tennessee, approximately one half were from Shelby County, and all but two of the total children transferred were African-American.
 
As we all take National Youth Justice Awareness Month to highlight key youth justice issues, such as reducing racial and ethnic disparities, we encourage you to take a few minutes to check out the JJDPA Matters Action Center and let your national leaders know  you support the JJDPA and related juvenile justice funding.  Let them know that federal policies and programs can be part of the solution for youth in your community. Let them know that the JJDPA matters to you.
 
Join us this week in continuing the conversation on youth justice issues, follow us on Facebook and Twitter using: #JJDPAmatters #YJAM #JUSTinvest #youthjustice