OJJDP FY2014 Smart on Juvenile Justice: Technical Assistance to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System

OJJDP FY2014 Smart on Juvenile Justice: Technical Assistance to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System – Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) exists if the rate with which a specific minority group comes into contact with the juvenile justice system significantly differs from the rate of contact for non-Hispanic whites or other minority groups. Research indicates that various contributing factors cause DMC including, but not limited to, implicit bias and racial stereotyping and laws, policies, and procedures that can have a disparate impact.  As a result, racial and ethnic disparities throughout the juvenile justice system can occur. Although the contributing factors vary, OJJDP’s National Disproportionate Minority Contact Databook states that African-American youth are arrested more than twice as often and diverted from the juvenile justice system less often compared to white non-Hispanic youth. Similarly, Native American/Alaska Native youth are diverted less often and are transferred to adult court more than 1.5 times the rate of white youth. National estimates from states’ data show that Hispanic and Latino youth are placed in secure detention more than 1.5 times as often compared to white non-Hispanic youth and had similar rates of transfers to adult court as Native American youth. OJJDP is committed to promoting reform through the adoption of evidence-based practices (see OJJDP’s Model Program Guide) and a developmentally appropriate approach to juvenile justice (see the National Research Council’s Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach). In addition, OJJDP is increasingly aware of the growing body of research on effective community-based approaches to juvenile crime and the limited effect that secure placement has on reducing juvenile offending and recidivism. OJJDP has incorporated this research into the development of a Smart on Juvenile Justice Strategy that focuses on implementing juvenile justice reforms to enhance public safety, hold youth appropriately accountable, reduce re-offending, maximize cost savings, and support strategic reinvestment of some of the savings, while supporting systemic statewide system change. As part of this strategy, OJJDP will also focus on reducing pre-adjudicatory detention and out-of-home placements as a way to reduce overall costs while improving out comes for youth. In addition, OJJDP believes that the administration of justice must be fair and unbiased. To that end, this program will work in concert with the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice project to enhance procedural justice, reduce bias, and support racial reconciliation work in communities nationwide. Furthermore, OJJDP is committed to reducing children’s exposure to violence and the traumatic effects of violence by promoting recovery and the well-being of children, youth, and families who have been exposed to violence. (see the Report of the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence). Under this program, the successful applicant will develop and implement the OJJDP Technical Assistance to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System. This technical assistance project will provide education, training and technical assistance, and resources for state, local, and tribal governments and private organizations on the most promising systemic and programmatic techniques to address disproportionate minority contact and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system. The resource center will build upon the most recent research on effective systems change strategies and programmatic interventions that address minority youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

OJJDP invites nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations) and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education) to submit applications in response to this solicitation. For-profit organizations must agree to forgo any profit or management fee. OJJDP welcomes applications that involve two or more entities; however, one eligible entity must be the applicant and the others must be proposed as subrecipients. The applicant must be the entity with primary responsibility for conducting and leading the program. Current Closing Date for Applications: July 14, 2014.

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