Disproportionate Minority Confinement Subcommittee of the
Juvenile Justice Advisory Council
Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Via the ICN

The DMC subcommittee met via the ICN on Wednesday, August 29, 2001. Members present at each of the sites: Des Moines: Allison Fleming, Carl Smith, Jean Lumsden; Cedar Falls: Mike Leiber, presiding; Bob Greenlee, Sara Petersen, Marvin Spencer; Davenport: Devon Binion, Miguel Trevino; Sioux City: Pat Gordon, Stephan Pearson. Staff present: Dick Moore, Dave Kuker, Eric Sage, Scott Musel, Janet Clayton.

Leiber asked for introductions at each site and called up the first item of business, the DMC Pilot Project. He announced that the North Iowa Area Detention Center has withdrawn its application and asked Dave Kuker to review the events leading up to this day.

Kuker summarized the events leading up to the current project status including the recommendations from Technical Assistant, Randy Thomas. He announced that Sara Petersen, on behalf of the Northeast Iowa Area Cetention Center, withdrew the application for funding of the DMC Pilot Project. The applicant felt aht it could not proceed on the basis of an OJJDP draft policy decision on time-released locks on a 30-second delay. In light of the time it might take to get a formal policy statement, they withdrew their applications in order to free up the funding to proceed.

The question then was what to do with the $80,000 remaining for the project. There being no further discussion on the North iowa Area decision, Leiber and Kuker felt it appropriate to proceed with brainstorming where we stand with DMC diversion plan funding.

Spencer asked what has been done in the past and Kuker outlined the procedure that has been used to award funding to a local project. The RFA did go to JCOs and members of the Coalition for Children and Families, existing formula grant recipients and decat coordinators. The RFA that went out did not prevent a new or existing program from receiving funding. Leiber suggested a review of the RFA and a pro-active approach when the RFA is out.

Carl asked about flexibility in the process of using the dollars. Moore noted that we could not sole source the grant funds. A fair and equitable process that gives everybody a chance. You can sole source the funds to another state government agency but I wouldn't do that without the Council saying they wanted to do it that way. The only other requirement is the local pass-through requirement of the federal government. The feds say a certain percent of money must go directly to local programs. We would have to review the pass-through requirement to a local entity. Carl noted that with a pass through requirement we would not be able to do a sole source process and stay within the requirements to be met with fairness and equity. An RFA would be required. Carl asked about channeling the money to the JCOs with the understanding that the juvenile court is a local entity. Would this meet the OJJDP requirements:

Leiber suggested:

1. Prepare an RFA that was streamlined and more attractive to applicants
2. Include Randy Thomas recommendations
3. Other evaluation component

Carl asked what would happen if we called together the JCOs from four areas to brainstorm issues on how to address this issue. What would make for an attractive RFA from your standpoint? The process to include the Thomas report or include him.

Eric noted that JCOs are aware of what we want to do. $80,000 may not be attractive enough when a statewide initiative is considered. They have no mechanism to receive money and dole it out. They rely on DHS to do that with the juvenile justice programs. We can manage it for them. The other factor is we still may not have done enough educationally for people to perceive (even the four high ones) DMC as a problem to them.

Marvin Spencer noted that at a recent meeting of JCOs state agency meeting he asked a question or two about DMC. Many came to him after the meeting and asked what he was talking about. He questioned how much information was being filtered down to line workers.

Greenlee suggested that we should have a clear picture of what we want people to do and what we are looking for.
Kuker offered that Dave Huff, in the CJJP office could help with preparation of risk assessment tools.

Carl suggested that when we go back to the Council and ask for some flexibility that we have in mind some of the ways in which se see this playing out.
Mike concurred and suggested that today's discussion might not solve anything but offer an opportunity to discuss, brainstorm. He also felt Marvin's statement about talking to line workers really illustrates the need for our efforts in terms of a DMC conference, or when we find a person or an entity, …resource center or whatever it might be called to educate and reach out. If an annual conference have someone there to talk to the officers to illustrate the need for education. We only had one applicant for this program. Can we be a little bit more pro-active to get people to apply.

Allison reported that a long time ago we did target a specific need and went to an agency to issue a sole source award. She suggested that we could go to our four targeted areas with the highest overrepresentation. Talk to them abut the needs as they see them. See if we can work with them individually. It is important for this money to go out in a community program rather than the state level. She would not object to doing a sole source based on discussions that Dave, Dick, Mike, Carl had with individual groups. Dick immediately cautioned that to sole source other than to another state agency is much more difficult today that it was six months ago. I would steer you away from thinking about sole sourcing with a private agency.

Sage suggested some decats could be a source of a way to pass money down to get applications. If we could target the general areas where dmc is the highest and say we would entertain applications from any planning enetity or program in those areas. With JAIBG funds there is already some effort and collaboration on that front and maybe we could target the 10 or 12 decats that would touch those areas where we have the highest representation. Maybe get a little wider interest.

Moore suggested that a way could be figured out to award funding to decats. He would not single out any one decat. As long as it is available to certain population sizes or steer it toward certain population areas. Perhaps go through Decat Governance boards. Or offer it to any existing planning entity that does include service providers and DHS and juv. Court officials and then if some other group surfaces, that is fine.

Sara felt that it would be good if we could target local communities in those four areas, gear the RFA specifically to those four communities. It was noted that that could be done in the criteria in the RFA or limit who we let apply.

Carl again asked if we have a clear picture of what we are looking for from a successful applicant and/or partner who is working on the issue of alternatives to detention.

Mike concurred.
Alternatives to detention could be one. Limiting RFAs to detention could be one option.
There might be other things where it might be diverting youth away from juvenile court, could be programs.
System type of issues, detention, diversion, juvenile court, etc.
Develop pareint, mentoring
Be broader and let the applicant say how he or she might interpret to address DMC along those linesor we could say specifically we are looking for someone who would be interested in reducing dmc in detention.
You could be very specific or leave it open.

Greenlee asked if we really know where to go and if towns need us and want to work with us?

Carl: Possible strategy
If we used the general term diversion and use that as the umbrella term and if in fact we do have a situation where no one wants to apply, is it possible to to develop an RFA that basically gathers, disseminates and communicates what is happening in our state regarding successful diversion practices related to minority youth and we are looking for someone to do that.

Mike stated that the above is what he saw as a resource center doing. He sess this more as trying to fund an intiative to reduce DMC.

Fleming stated that we need a program that impacts on minority overrepresentation in secure facilities in Iowa. Are we sure we know what we want. She also suggested that we put this year's $80,000 with a pot of money from the next year to come up with a substantial amount of money that make a difference and create interest.

Mike suggested a smaller group rework the RFA and address several issues:
Are we sure we know what we want;
Are there ways to make it more attractive;
Educating and reaching out
People who volunteered are: Mike Leiber, Sara Peterson, Stephan Pearson, Allison Fleming. Dave Kuker, staff.

The subcommittee then reviewed the RFA. Moore noted that with $95,000 available his staff would be better able to handle loistics of gathering. We will do number 5. Number 3: Mixed feelings about tracking. We will want to do a program evaluation not connected with T.A. split out program evaluation from data. CJJp can do it.

Most people supported a multi year funding process. A most felt that some sort of conference should be held.

Dick asked what if someone comes up with some program that may have other strategies to bring the issue forth, maybe a unique process. Mike suggested that it would take long term to get to grassroots locals. This was one of our long term goals to get grass roots local communities involved with the state level aspect. I think it's the ultimate goal. I think we start with the statewide and build up to it as a processing issue.

The subcommittee reviewed the criteria in the RFA for the sub subcommittee to review when it meets.

Allison emphasized the importance of including item J somewhere, programs for girls.
Kuker summarized what the subcommittee just reviewed.
As soon as the new RFA has been produced, Kuker will mail it to the subcommittee for its review and ask for immediate feedback.
Carl asked that a report be given to the Council on what action we will take today and some notion of what the plans are for the resource center RFA and give them enough detail where we could get some sense of support from the Council. Mike will put it in his report for the meeting on September 6.

The next meeting of the subcommittee is October 22 at the Drake Resource Center.

Dick thanked everybody for their work. Mike also thanked everyone
Meeting adjourned.