Nationwide, research shows that minority youth are disproportionately involved with the juvenile justice system. To reduce the overrepresentation, ICJI carries out strategies and administers funding to address juvenile delinquency and support improvements to the juvenile justice system. The funding also helps Indiana address the four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act – one of those being Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED).
What are racial and ethnic disparities (RED)?
Racial and ethnic disparities exist if a specific minority group’s rate of contact at a particular point in the juvenile justice system is different than the rate of contact for non-Hispanic whites or other minority groups. The different racial and ethnic groups are: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders, Hispanic or Latino (of any race), Mixed or Other, and White. Decision point/Contact refers to the different decision points along the juvenile justice system continuum: arrests, delinquent findings, diversion, petition filed, probation, referrals, secure confinement, secure detention, and waived to adult court.
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
JDAI is a national juvenile justice improvement initiative developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The initiative has been replicated across the country, proving to be successful in minimizing detention over-crowding, reducing the need to build more expensive facilities, improving efficiencies in the juvenile justice system operations, and producing better outcomes for youth and their families. Most importantly, JDAI has achieved successful outcomes while protecting community safety.
Indiana is one of over 300 jurisdictions in 40 states to implement the eight core strategies of JDAI to enhance and improve their juvenile justice systems. The JDAI process acknowledges the importance of having the family and communities of youth most affected by the juvenile justice system working in partnership with the juvenile justice system staff and community based organizations throughout the system improvement process. This engagement typically includes parents and other family members, community leaders, victims and youth. Additional information on the JDAI model and the Annie E. Casey Foundation can be found here.
Through JDAI, ICJI is currently working with a number of counties to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their communities. JDAI sites have received (or are currently receiving funds) to support local JDAI coordinator positions and other initiatives related to JDAI. A number of counties are also working with the W. Haywood Burns Institute, an organization that provides jurisdictions with guidance and technical assistance as they work to reduce racial equity in their juvenile justice systems. Each JDAI site has established or is in the process of establishing a Racial and Ethnic workgroup that will be charged with guiding the work in their respective jurisdiction. There is also a JDAI Statewide RED Workgroup that is tasked with addressing cross-cutting RED issues that arise from the county, as well as ensuring that the state maintains compliance with the JJDP Act.
To learn more about the Indiana Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, click the link below.
The Indiana Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative recently hosted a Race, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup office hour to discuss Racial Equity Impact Assessments (REIA). The session included conversations about what REIA are, when to use them and how they can be used to help center race equity in your youth justice work.