• Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)?

    According to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, DMC refers to the disproportionate number of minority youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

    The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 broadened the scope of the DMC initiative from "disproportionate minority confinement" to "disproportionate minority contact," requiring an examination of potential disproportionate representation at all decision points within the juvenile justice continuum and implementation of data-based prevention and system improvement efforts to reduce identified disproportionality.

    What is the goal of the Chicago Urban League's Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) public awareness efforts?

    Recognizing the negative impact DMC has on African American youth and the lack of community engagement in addressing its impact, the Chicago Urban League will increase public awareness of DMC within the African American community and increase public awareness about available resources and gaps in existing services. The Chicago Urban League's public awareness efforts will highlight opportunities for direct action.

    What impact will the Chicago Urban League's Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) public awareness campaign have on African American youth?

    DMC in the Illinois Juvenile Justice system is about fairness.

    Overcoming data deficiencies and increasing DMC awareness will go along way in creating a level playing field for racial minorities in the juvenile justice system. This will result in less youth being tried in adult criminal court and increased opportunities for youth to embrace community- based mechanisms as an alternative, providing them an opportunity to reconnect with their communities. Promoting awareness of effective DMC reduction strategies will lead to greater community engagement and advocacy efforts. There will be an increased amount of restorative justice practices. There will be less school-court referrals. There will be better advocacy and improved access to community-based programs and services

    What are the Chicago Urban League's messaging themes in connection with its Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) public awareness campaign?

    The Chicago Urban League's messaging themes include:

    a. Demanding an increase in the collection, dissemination, and analysis efforts of juvenile arrest data of African American youth in Illinois' juvenile justice;

    b. Demanding that a racial equity lens be applied to juvenile justice arrest data on a regular basis in an effort to spot emerging trends and practices that have an adverse impact African American youth;

    c. Demanding policies, procedures, practices and legislation that embrace restorative justice strategies that focus on accountability and community rehabilitation;

    d. Using the various local and national organizations focusing on systems reform and restorative justice approaches;

    e. Promoting community-based alternatives to detention and adjudication;

    f. Using existing resources and tools to better understand the juvenile justice system in terms of what youth and families should expect and being able to navigate the system to meet local needs and priorities;

    g. Encouraging youth, families, schools, policymakers, practitioners, and legislative authorities to disavow zero tolerance punitive policies and embrace restorative justice codes of conduct.

    How will Illinois' juvenile justice system change as a result of the Chicago Urban League's Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) public awareness campaign?

    The Chicago Urban League's DMC public awareness effort will play a role in reducing and eventually eliminating racial disparities in Illinois' juvenile justice system. By raising public awareness about DMC reduction strategies in Illinois, constituencies will be better equipped with information to articulate demands of legislative and administrative government officials. In addition, policies and programs in the Illinois juvenile justice system will be modified in such a way that DMC will be addressed with an increased amount of restorative justice processes.