2014 Governor's Summit on Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System








History of the Governor's Summit

The summit has the long-term goal to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system through strategic partnerships that develop a sustainable, ongoing effort to address over-representation. It is also a celebration of progress made by many committed state and community based groups and organizations.

Youth of color are overrepresented at nearly every point of contact with the juvenile justice system—and this "disproportionate minority contact" is disturbingly persistent over time. Youth of color are more likely to be incarcerated and to serve more time than white youth, even when they are charged with the same category of offense.

In the JJDP (Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention) Act of 2002, Congress required that States participating in the Formula Grants Program “address juvenile delinquency prevention efforts and system improvement efforts designed to reduce the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups, who come into contact with the juvenile justice system”.

For purposes of this requirement, OJJDP has defined minority populations as American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders.

States participating in the Formula Grants Program address DMC on an ongoing basis by moving through the following phases:

  • Identification. To determine the extent to which DMC exists.
  • Assessment. To assess the reasons for DMC, if it exists.
  • Intervention. To develop and implement intervention strategies to address these identified reasons.
  • Evaluation. To evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen intervention strategies.
  • Monitoring. To note changes in DMC trends and to adjust intervention strategies as needed.

Each State must report on its progress in its comprehensive JJDP 3-year plan and subsequent plan updates (in compliance with Section 223(a)(22)). OJJDP reviews the plan updates annually. Any State that fails to address the overrepresentation of minority youth in juvenile justice system contact stands to lose a percent of its Formula Grants allocation for the year.

In 1997, Governor John Kitzhaber called the first Summit on Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) in the Juvenile Justice System. Oregon has since held eleven additional summits to address the issue. Although progress has been made and documented over the years, the problem of DMC has persisted. To raise the stakes for solving the issue, the 2012 Summit established a specific framework –commitment, collaboration, data, and accountability. Within that structure, the summit set out to renew commitment to actions and solutions, ensure collaboration by bringing all partners together, build on the firm foundation now established on data, and hold ourselves accountable for achieving the results envisioned by the summit recommendations.

The 2014 Summit will build upon the strategies that were identified during the 2012 Governor Summit ; and provide an introduction and strategic roadmap to engage participants in a Collective Impact Model, a three-five year journey to address systemic racial and ethnic disparities to have a greater impact in reducing DMC in our state. Collective Impact is an approach to solving a community problem through commitment of key leaders from different areas to achieve a common purpose and measurable outcomes.

"The State of Oregon is committed to ensuring equal and fair treatment for all children and youth in our state. The fact that youth of color are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system in Oregon and nationwide remains troubling, and this summit is designed to create a forum to understand and eliminate those disparities.

Additionally, the downstream effect on youth that enter the juvenile justice system is unacceptable: dropping out of high school, being placed in the child welfare system, inability to form healthy families, lack of job skills or recidivating, which creates more victims. The focus of this year’s summit is on ways to reduce these negative outcomes. Workshops on best practices nationwide will provide you an opportunity to promote strategies to reduce and eliminate overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems while improving school attendance and academic success for minority students."

Governor Ted Kulongoski, 2008 Governor’s Summit



Questions regarding the Summit?  Contact:
Marisela Gonzalez - 503-378-4667
Renee Hernandez - 503-373-7595