Division of Criminal Justice Services

Disproportionate Minority Contact


New York State is required to address the disproportionate representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system (i.e. disproportionate minority contact or “DMC”) as a condition of its receipt of federal Juvenile Justice Title II Formula funding.  The federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) specifically requires that states address DMC on an ongoing basis by utilizing the Five Phase DMC-Reduction Model which requires that a statewide assessment be completed at least once every three years. Additionally, a plan for compliance with the DMC core requirement is developed, annually. 

Based on findings from activities facilitated throughout 2011 to address DMC, a number of issues were identified and recommendations developed to drive efforts to reduce racial/ethnic disparities within the New York State's juvenile justice system.

Statewide Assessment

In order to meet the federal requirement, the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is working with Spectrum Associates Market Research, an independent research firm, to conduct an Assessment of Disproportionate Minority Contact in the New York Juvenile Justice System.  The planned study will focus on three geographic regions within the state.   The main goal of the DMC Assessment Study is to answer the following question:  Does the New York juvenile justice system make different decisions for Black, Hispanic and White juveniles?  While DCJS will be providing guidance and support to Spectrum Associates Market Research, Inc., cooperation and support from local and county juvenile justice agencies will be needed to successfully conduct this assessment (in Oneida, Westchester and New York City), examining data for individual decision points to make this determination. It is anticipated that a report of this research will be complete in December, 2012.

Local Projects

New York State has been engaged in a number of local juvenile justice projects aimed at reducing DMC in target communities.  Through the support of local DMC Coordinators in each locality and technical assistance from theW. Haywood Burns Institute, these projects have been rooted in data driven methodology to develop plans to meaningfully reduce racial and ethnic disparity at the local level. 

Beginning this Spring (2013), DCJS and the Burns Institute will work closely with local juvenile justice stakeholders in Albany County to support data driven efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities.

It is anticipated that local efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities will also continue throughout 2013 with additional sites in partnership with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) efforts being coordinated by the Office of Children and Family Services.

Additionally, basic DMC staff development training is available to juvenile justice professionals (law enforcement, probation, detention staff, members of local juvenile justice reform committees, etc.)   at no cost to jurisdictions  throughout the state.  Training materials can be accessed here.  

Monroe County:

- This project served to fund one senior probation officer to act as a local coordinator for disproportionate minority contact reduction efforts.  The coordinator established a work group of local juvenile justice stakeholders from existing interagency councils whom developed a method for capturing relevant juvenile justice data, and analyzed the data with the purpose of developing a local DMC reduction plan.

Final Narrative Report

Presentation to the JJAG

Onondaga County:

- This project expanded the Juvenile Justice Detention Reform Steering Committee (JJDRSC) in Onondaga County to include representation of youth, working with the Burns Institute (BI) to develop data and community-driven strategies to reduce DMC.  A local coordinator for Disproportionate Minority Contact reduction efforts was hired in Onondaga County, who also served as Onondaga County's link with statewide DMC reduction efforts. Click on the following PowerPoint presentations to access additional Onondaga County materials: Advocacy SkillsKnow Your RightsDMC Community Education and Understanding DMC.

Final Narrartive Report

Presentation to the JJAG

New York (NYC):

- Through this project, the Vera Institute of Justice, in partnership with the NYC Criminal Justice Coordinator's Office and with technical assistance from the Haywood Burns Institute, coordinated the development of a strategic plan to reduce the overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.  A local DMC coordinator was hired in NYC and served as New York City’s link with statewide DMC reduction efforts.

Final Narrative Report

Presentation to the JJAG

Additional Information

Previous DMC presentations:


Trista Deame
Statewide DMC Coordinator