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Racial and Ethnic Disparities (R/ED)

Racial and Ethnic Disparities (R/ED)

States, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia that receive Federal Title II Formula Grants must establish a State Advisory Group (SAG). SAGs advise Governors and, where appropriate, other stakeholders on matters relevant to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. In Oregon, the Youth Development Council (YDC) is the designated SAG. The YDC oversees the administration of Federal Title II Formula Grant funds from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and monitors Oregon’s compliance with the core provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 2002 and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA), signed into law in 2018, which reauthorizes and amends the JJDP Act.

In 2018, the JJRA changed the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) requirement to focus on Racial and Ethnic Disparities (R/ED). It requires that States collect and analyze data on R/ED at the following Decision Points:

1. Referral
2. Diversion
3. Pre-trial detention
4. Secure Confinement
5. Transfer to Adult Court

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Oregon is dedicated to the equal and fair treatment of every youth -- regardless of membership in a minority or majority population group -- who encounter the juvenile justice system. Oregon works to achieve compliance with the R/ED requirement by implementing strategies at various levels—State, territorial, local, and Tribal—to identify and reduce racial and ethnic disparities among youth in the juvenile justice system.

The Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coordinator at Youth Development Oregon (YDO) uses OJJDP’s R/ED Reduction Model—a three-pronged, research-driven strategy—to decrease racial and ethnic disparities. The reduction model consists of:

1. Identify the Problem (by collecting and analyzing Statewide data at key juvenile justice decision points)
2. Develop an Action Plan
3. Conduct Outcome-Based Evaluation

OJJDP requires that states participating in the federal Formula Grant Program report racial and ethnic juvenile justice data using the following categories: White (Non-Hispanic), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic), American Indian/Native American, Hispanic, or Latino, and Asian (Non-Hispanic).

  • OJJDP defines "minority" as youth who are Black or African American, American Indian/Native American, Hispanic, or Latino, Alaska Native, Asian, or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander. Other commonly used terms are non-white and youth of color.
  • The reduction of racial and ethnic disparities begins with identifying the scope of disproportionality and the impact of disparity at each contact decision point.

Data from Oregon’s Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS) for Fiscal Year 2022 showed that Youth of Color were disproportionately represented at four of the five decision points OJJDP analyzes. Disproportionality and disparity occurred for youth of color at the following decision points:

  • Referral to the Juvenile Justice System
  • Diversion
  • Pre-Trial Detention
  • Placement in Secure Confinement at Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) Facilities.
Nationwide research shows that minority youth are disproportionately involved with the juvenile justice system. Statewide data has shown a consistent trend supporting this research, indicating an ongoing problem. Eliminating disparate outcomes can be achieved with the continuous support and collaboration of various youth-serving agencies, departments, and stakeholders. Youth Development Oregon and its partners are committed to achieving this goal.

For more information about Juvenile Racial and Ethnic Disparities contact Lawrence White at