Factors contributing to DMC (Disproportionate Minority Contact)
DMC refers to minority youths’ overrepresentation in particular criminal justice systems. There are various factors that are thought to be responsible for the overrepresentation. First, the child welfare that the youths enjoy as children exposes them to the systems substantially. Minority children are more represented in child welfare programs or placements than other children. In such placements, children are highly likely to suffer neglect as well as physical abuse (United States, 2009). As well, they are at a heightened threat of juvenile delinquency. The youthful population moving between juvenile justice and the placements makes a significant contribution to DMC, especially in the context of juvenile justice. The status of minority children as being foster care young people shapes judicial dispositions, consequently making significant contributions to DMC. That is especially so at the extreme ends of systems of juvenile justice. That means that child welfare especially in the West is a considerable pathway for introducing minority young people to the systems and increasing DMC consequently (Arifuku, Dhanoa & National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2008).
Second, the limited understanding between law enforcers and policing agencies on one hand and minority youths contributes to DMC considerably. The limitation of the understanding may occasion increase the involvement of the youths in the systems. Notably, in many jurisdictions, minority youths and police cadets do not share educational experiences, especially those related to youth culture as well as adolescent development (United States, 2009). The cadets get lots of information on the development of adolescents’ brains, youth culture, hyper-masculinity concepts, and hyper-vigilance concepts. They learn the typical attributes of the coping approaches adopted by adolescents. Besides, the cadets learn the biological, physical, as well as environmental, justifications of typical teenage behaviors, especially regarding response to adult authority. Away from the cadets, many minority youths learn how to make out how given environmental dynamics and adolescent development affect their conduct when engaging law enforcers. There are limited programs geared towards contributing to positive, as well as safe, interactions between minority adolescents and law enforcers.
Third, DMC is seen as stemming from the actuality that most minority communities do not sufficient resources that they can use to serve their youthful persons (United States, 2009). Especially, the communities have limited access to resources that are critical in the creation of employment opportunities for young people. That means that the youths from minority communities are more likely to suffer unemployment than the youths from majority populations. Unemployed youths have a heightened likelihood of engaging in criminal acts. That means that they as well as have a heightened possibility of being arrested and entering the criminal justice system.
Approaches for Decreasing DMC
Various approaches can be adopted to reduce DMC in any given system of criminal justice. First, DMC can be reduced significantly by putting in place affirmative actions aimed at allowing minority children increased access to opportunities for developing positive behaviors. The actions may include providing the children with opportunities for schooling, conflict resolution education and training, mentoring, and safety. The actions would be rather successful if they help the children engage own families, if they are integrated, and if they are based within minority populations (United States, 2009).
Second, DMC can be reduced significantly by putting place programs allowing for increased interactions between minority and police. As noted earlier, the limited understanding between law enforcers and policing agencies on one hand and minority youths contributes to DMC considerably. As well, as noted earlier, there are limited programs geared towards contributing to positive, as well as safe, interactions between minority adolescents and law enforcers. Notably, law enforcers are significant gatekeepers between systems of juvenile justice and minority youths (United States, 2009). Even then, the interactions between the youths and the enforcers are commonly negative. Minority youths are more likely to view police officers negatively than majority youths (Arifuku, Dhanoa & National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2008). There should be programs aimed at enhancing the interactions to reduce the negative attitudes, especially in non-policing environments.
Strategies that Future or Current Criminal Justice Experts Can Use to Prevent DMC
There are various strategies that I can employ as a criminal justice expert to reduce DMC to reduce DMC in the days ahead. First, I can propose the institution of programs for facilitating interactions between minority youths and police in non-policing environments. As noted earlier, such programs will enhance understanding between police and the youths. As well, they will contribute to positive, as well as safe, interactions between minority adolescents and law enforcers, who are re significant gatekeepers between systems of juvenile justice and minority youths (Parsons-Pollard, 2011; Stevenson & Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 2005).
Second, I can support the establishment of diversion committees in juvenile justice systems to facilitate the development structured pre-adjudication diversion schemes for juvenile delinquents. The schemes can be rather effective in making minority youths account for their delinquent deeds devoid of going to delinquency adjudication or even convictions in cases involving summary offenses.
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