56 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 36: 1 2016]
reauthorization, the DMC requirement was broadened from disproportionate incarceration
(confinement) of minority youth to disproportionate contact, i.e., disproportionate
representation throughout the juvenile justice system.
Because the JJDPA is tied to the only sources for funding for state-level juvenile justice systems,
however, it is influential, and formal recognition of the issue creates a springboard for both
improvement and action.
65 While the DMC seeks to address these issues as well, there is still much
work to be done for its effective successful implementation. Some advancements are evidenced,
however, by the field of scholars, practitioners, and advocates who work to serve as change agents
in order to address race- and Indigeneity-based differences within youth justice systems, and use
the theories of DMI and DMC to expose issues and seek racial justice.
VI. CONCLUSION: WHY DOES THIS MATTER,
AND WHERE DO WE GO NEXT?
As is illustrated in the statistics stated at the beginning of this Article, the impact of
disparities and potential racism and bias is a complex but serious dilemma67 and one that cannot
be solved by one approach alone.
68 It is imperative to address racial disparities in the juvenile
64JJDPA Reauthorization, THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN’S LAW AND POLICY,
http://www.cclp.org/JJDPA_reauthorization.php (last visited Apr. 20, 2015). JJDPA, supra note 8.
65The JJDPA contains four “core protections.” JJDPA supra note 8. States must follow these as a condition of receiving
federal juvenile justice funding. Id. The four requirements are Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO), Jail
Removal, Sight and Sound Separation and Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC). Id. See Gary Gately, Senate
Judiciary Hearing to Focus on Whistleblower Claims, OJJDP Grants, JUV. JUST. INFO. EXCHANGE (Apr. 16, 2015),
http://jjie.org/senate-judiciary-hearing-to-focus-on-whistleblower-claims-ojjdp-grants/108584/ (discussing how
OJJDP grants grant states funding). But see JJDPA Reauthorization supra note 64 (explaining that while JJDPA
requires states to “address” DMC, the reality is that many states “have done little to address the issue” due to the fact
that the requirement is too vague).
66They are concerned with addressing disparities, reducing racism and promoting and encouraging equal treatment. In
other words, where racism creates disparities, racial justice is both a movement and approach that seeks to eliminate
them. See Faces of the Modern Movement for Racial Justice, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT,
http://www.advancementproject.org/pages/faces-of-the-modern-movement-for-racial-justice (last visited Mar. 31,
2015); Racial Justice, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE, https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/racial-justice (last
visited Apr. 25, 2015); Human Rights and Racial Justice, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION,
https://www.aclu.org/human-rights/racial-justice; Racial Justice, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION,
https://www.aclu.org/racial-justice (last visited Apr. 3, 2015). See also Moving The Race Conversation Forward,
RACE FORWARD (2014), https://www.raceforward.org/research/reports/moving-race-conversation-forward (defining
racial justice as “the systematic fair treatment of all races, resulting in equal opportunities and outcomes for all . . . .
which involves the creation and proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce
equitable power, access, treatment, opportunities and outcomes for all.”).
67This question is often covered under the umbrella theory of “critical race theory.” It is likely that no one solution
might resolve the issues at hand; however, that is why it is important to explore potential models and paradigms.
REILAND RABAKA, AFRICANA CRITICAL THEORY: RECONSTRUCTING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RADICAL TRADITION,
FROM W.E.B. DU BOIS AND C.L.R. JAMES TO FRANTZ FANON AND AMILCAR CABRAL1,
15 (2009). See, e.g., Racism,
NAT’L ASS’N OF SOCIAL WORKERS,
www.naswdc.org/pressroom/events/911/racism.asp (last visited Mar. 31, 2015)
(explaining that changes in laws and public policy can go but so far in ending racism).
68See, e.g., Cecelia M. Klingele et al., Reimagining Criminal Justice, WIS. L. REV. 953, 1 (2010) (arguing that the
criminal justice system needs more than just reform or one response).