Disproportionate Minority Confinement Committee Meeting
Juvenile Justice Advisory Council
January 7, 2002
Drake University Resource Center
The Disproportionate Minority Confinement Committee met January 7, 2002 at the Drake University Resource Center in Des Moines.
Members present were: DeVon Binion, Allison Fleming, Stephan Pearson, Lori Rinehart, Carl Smith, Miguel Trevino. The committee welcomed its newest member, Jerry Youngbear from Tama, Iowa.
Guests present at the meeting were: Miriam Landsman and Brad Richardson from the University of Iowa. Brad noted their work with the Division of Latino Affairs on a federal grant to provide wrap-around services for Latino Youth, decats and empowerment units. Staff present were: Dave Kuker, Scott Musel, Amy Ostrander, Eric Sage, Janet Clayton.
The committee having found the summary minutes in order accepted them as correct and asked that they be shared with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council.
Landsman and Richardson reviewed the questions as summarized by Mike Leiber in the minutes and responded to each one of them as they walked through the grant application by category. They asked for discussion on selection of sites to be visited.
Inform and Educate
Under the heading of inform and educate they announced that the DMC Resource Center will be included on their own web site by the end of January. They will work with CJJP to obtain current statistics to get onto the web site. They also reported on their web site activity as to the kinds of questions and from whom questions come in to their web site. Thirty percent of their hits come from Iowa; the other 70 percent are from out of state. They will also include DMC activities on their bulletin board as events happen. Fleming mentioned the OJJDP bibliography of information as a resource for information. Musel noted that the National Resource Center will be included on the CJJP web site. The NRC address is www.UIOWA.edu/~nrc.fcp. They also distribute brochures.
Technical Assistance Site Visitations
Discussion centered on which counties to focus their efforts. The Resource Center based its application on focusing its effort on four of the six most overrepresented population areas and their willingness to participate in this effort and what's happening presently and in those communities. They asked for discussion on site selection. The effort may be to focus on the counties with the largest over-represented populations yet they were encouraged to not overlook the small rural communities. Sage suggested site selection might hinge on local conversations with communities and counties to review their present efforts and where their needs are. That could also help to provide a DMC conference with some relevance. Further discussion centered on efforts to evaluate and inform communities that the problem does even exist and the efforts to get community people on board to begin to address it.
Feedback could be sought via a survey from decat and empowerment contacts obtained from CJJP to measure activities in their communities. From that feedback NRC could identify those sites that are most viable in terms of key sites and begin to set up meetings to establish TA sites. The survey would indicate whether or not they think they have a problem and whether or not they are willing to participate in an effort to do something about it. The four to six best ones could begin. Should more justification be sought than just the numbers of over-represented youth in detention, then we could focus on the areas where we could have the most impact. Tama and Cherokee counties were the very highest in percentage.
In NRC's experience when putting on conferences the largest expense was rental of the facility, followed by paying speakers. TA from the feds may be sought. It was noted that the National Resource Center will ask the U of I Foundation for support to pay these expenses. A modest registration fee will be charged. Sara Nash will be the coordinator and handle arrangements for the Conference with Landsman and Richardson being the conference chairs. Ed Barnes may want to be more involved. As the process evolves and gathers momentum the conference will evolve. The committee will want to be involved in the conference and the entire process, site selection, etc.
Local sites will be asked to track over a period of time by projects by a system. Tracking of minority confinement is not in the NRC matrice but they can do this, probably by county and then statewide. At the local level reporting to come from the TA sites. Woodbury County already has some tracking devices in place. In other places a system will need to be installed. An e-mail list can be established to provide current updates on issues. Evidence of more interest will be shown by the increased requests for information. Requests may come from other communities also. These are outcomes also. A review of existing data will be needed with a control for severity of offenses to examine which young people are being detained, sent to a substance treatment center, in house arrest, etc. and which are not, then follow the process. Racial equality may be reviewed by examining this decision point as to where the child is sent.
Racial offending and bias.
The thoughts on this are: Kids are over-represented because they are offending more. Or kids are over-represented because something isn't right with the system. It's both of those and a different mix of those in different communities and different populations. This all needs to be worked on in communities.
Richardson and Landsman reported that Ed Barnes of the U of I will do outcome measures. Get some momentum going toward training in those sites. Training could be delivered separate from this project. It was suggested that a workshop could be held at the conference. The Technical Assistance undercurrent will be cultural competency and gender sensitivity. People on their staff are from the African-American, Native American, and Korean (Asian-American) culture. Cultural responsiveness could be different in different sites to reflect different populations.
Kuker will send e-mail to decat/empowerment coordinators that the NRC survey is coming. Allison's bibliography from OJJDP will come, list of members of this committee, and decat coordinators.
Leiber would like the news release to announce the Resource Center, the activities of this committee. Staff is working with the Governor's Office to include them in the announcement. Leiber wants the release to go to "big four" communities that may be studied. The conference will be included in the release.
Ostrander reported that Tom Gelsenan will be happy to write an op-ed. He asked for further clarification as to what we wanted in the article. Landsman and Richardson know Tom and were pleased with his credentials. The committee made suggestions as to how the piece might be constructed to raise awareness and interest and tell the public. The op-ed piece could take the form of a trajectory an outline of what issues lead up to this. It should not sound like we are blaming a family, but what alternatives are available to all kids. What is happening in the school, curriculum, teachers, the community.
A total of $160,000 will be available next year to fund a diversion grant. JCOs are extremely interested so applications for funding should come from the courts and local providers. The RFA will come late winter or early spring and the program will begin July 1, 2002. We will run the program for two years. The juvenile court will have to be a co-applicant. The RFA planning committee that met in Fort Dodge supported a program that would divert from detention holds rather than a prevention program. We want an impact and focus on kids who could either end up in a secure setting or the back of the system. A program could prevent recidivism. But the program would need to show the ability to engage the minority community too. We will ask that they work with a TA provider. They will also need to be connected with the Resource Center. A draft will be prepared within the next couple of weeks.
New member orientation
To be announced. Orientation packets will be sent to Brad Richardson and Miriam Landsman.
Youngbear announced the web site address for Eagalia. It is www.eagala.org.
Next meeting is February 13 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.