Reducing Disproportionate
    Minority Contact
    in the Juvenile Justice System




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Minority Over-representation



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Continuous DMC Reduction Cycle Model

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, DMC Reduction Cycle Model illustrates the process of continuing reduction efforts:


Five Phases of the OJJDP DMC Reduction Cycle Model

Phase I: Identification

The primary purpose of this phase is to identify and describe where DMC is occurring, including the relative extent and nature of the DMC issue. This information provides a starting baseline for future monitoring and provides initial guidance for the assessment phase. The Relative Rate Index (RRI) method is used to compare the rates of activity for minority youth with majority youth at selected key decision points in the juvenile justice system:

There are nine decision points in the juvenile justice systems that are generally considered for DMC monitoring and investigation. They are:

  • Decision Point 1 - Juvenile Referrals

  • Decision Point 2 - Juvenile Referrals Received by the Juvenile Department

  • Decision Point 3 - Juvenile Referrals Diverted

  • Decision Point 4 - Juvenile Referrals Involving Secure Detention

  • Decision Point 5 - Juvenile Referrals Petitioned (Charge Filed)

  • Decision Point 6 - Juvenile Referrals Resulting in Delinquent Findings

  • Decision Point 7 - Juvenile Referrals Resulting in Probation Placement

  • Decision Point 8- Juvenile Referrals Resulting in Confinement in Secure Juvenile Correctional Facilities

  • Decision Point 9 - Juvenile Cases Transferred to Adult Court

Additional data and decision points may be considered for assessment or monitoring in a county DMC plan, such as juvenile referrals processed as Measure 11 cases.

Data from other areas may also be monitored, such as the data profile of children and youth who are identified by JCP risk screening as being at imminent risk for entering the juvenile justice system. Contributing factor areas may also be assessed and monitored, such as the data profile of youth who are expelled or drop out of school (by gender, race, ethnicity and geographic area), and other social indicators.

Phase II: Assessment/Diagnosis

The major activity of the assessment phase is to conduct an in-depth examination of why DMC is occurring at one of more key decision points in the system. The assessment process attempts to identify the underlying causes and factors that are contributing to DMC.

Phase III: Intervention

Findings in the Assessment/Diagnosis Phase should point to policy and practice changes, as well as suggest interventions that will reduce the DMC issues that were identified in Phase II.

Corrective actions and interventions usually will fall into four categories.

  1. System Change – modifying or changing policies, procedures or practices in the juvenile justice system that are contributing to identified DMC issues;

  2. Training and Technical Assistance – for various agencies and personnel to improve skills, awareness, competencies, and practice;

  3. Redirected Services - targeting at-risk and system-involved youth, families, and communities with existing resources and early intervention and prevention efforts; and,

  4. New Services - implementation of new services or programs based on specific strategies in the county DMC plan for reducing identified disportionality or disparities;

Phase IV: Process Evaluation

Evaluation occurs throughout the project. Quarterly RRI data reviews help to determine whether strategies for intervention are achieving desired objectives. Focusing on how an intervention is achieving outcomes assures that the changes in DMC at different points in the system are attributable to planned interventions or for some other reason.

Phase V: Monitoring for Outcomes

The monitoring phase is ongoing. Periodic assessment of the achievement of project objectives as well as assessing RRI trend data is essential in determining whether any changes in DMC in the prioritized decision points is sustained over time and truly reduced.

Oregon's Juvenile Delinquency Process

Minority over-representation has been documented at every stage of Oregon's juvenile justice system. The following nine stages provide an overview of Oregon's juvenile delinquency process and may help to provide context for these findings.

Stage One

Police decide to arrest or release youth

Stage Two

Juvenile department decides to place and keep youth in detention or release youth

Stage Three

Juvenile department or district attorney decides to file or not file a petition

No action
Prevention services
Formal Accountability Agreement
Diversion (such as a victim and offender conference)
Peer counseling
File a delinquency petition

Stage Four

Judicial officer decides at the preliminary hearing to keep the youth in detention or release the youth

Stage Five

Juvenile department or district attorney decides to continue prosecution or agrees to dismiss the petition

Stage Six

The youth requests an alternative to formal adjudication:

Civil compromise
Convert to a dependency petition
Other alternatives

Stage Seven

Judicial officer at the contested adjudicatory hearing decides whether or not the youth committed the alleged act

Stage Eight

Judicial Officer imposes disposition if the youth is found within the jurisdiction of the court

Alternatives to probation such as dismissal of the petition
Remove the youth from home and place in substitute care
Order the youth to complete treatment
Place the youth in a youth correctional facility (including boot camps)

Stage Nine

Juvenile department supervises the youth if the youth is placed on formal probation

Visit the OJJDP website for a caseflow diagram of the juvenile justice system and the National Center for State Court website for answers to frequently asked questions about the juvenile justice system.