$581,205 Committed to Make Criminal Justice System More Equitable - Southern Maryland Headline News

$581,205 Committed to Make Criminal Justice System More Equitable

Disproportionate Minority Contact Among Juveniles is the Focus of New Grants

ANNAPOLIS (June 21, 2011)—The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention has awarded a total of $581,205 to local governments and state agencies to reduce Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) in the juvenile justice system.

Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) occurs when a racial or ethnic group's representation at any point of contact in the criminal justice system exceeds its representation in the general population. Juveniles experience it throughout the criminal justice process, ranging from arrest to sentencing and detention, and dealing with it poses different challenges at every step.

"Public safety is our most solemn obligation," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "These grants will help provide our local partners with the tools they need to reduce discrimination within our criminal justice system - moving us closer to our goal to create safe neighborhoods and communities for every family and child in our State."

The grants announced today will approach the problem of DMC among juveniles from a number of different directions:

-- Anne Arundel County will focus on determining where DMC is occurring and work with law enforcement and schools to address the problem. ($70,866)

-- Prince George's County will focus on preventing juvenile delinquency and analyzing where DMC occurs in County systems. ($46,083)

-- Maryland Dept. of Juvenile Services will fund highly structured, supervised activities in a supportive environment as an alternative to secure detention. ($133,226)

-- The Family League of Baltimore City will focus on community based alternatives to detention, parent empowerment, and a school-based, arrest diversion strategy. ($74,200)

-- Baltimore Mayor's Office of Employment Development combines close supervision, evening reporting and youth focused services for transition to the community. ($118,830)

-- Baltimore County will coordinate activities of law enforcement, the courts, the Dept. of Juvenile Services and the community to reduce DMC. ($60,000)

These Funds come from Formula Grants Program of the US Dept. of Justice, which addresses efforts to prevent juvenile delinquency and reduce the number of minority youth affected by DMC.

Source: Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention

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