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What is the DMC Action Network?

The Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Action Network is a national platform designed to expand the work of state and local jurisdictions in their efforts to achieve sustainable reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. The Network offers a communications infrastructure for sites working to reduce racial and ethnic disparities, to share ideas, and to problem-solve and collaborate on DMC strategies. It also provides technical support in the development and implementation of DMC strategic innovations that can serve as best practices in reducing racial and ethnic disparities. Network members will also benefit from peer-to-peer support in navigating systemic barriers, stakeholder resistance, and attitudes of indifference by system and community leaders. 

Who's involved in the DMC Action Network?

In addition to local jurisdictions that are already active in the Models for Change initiative, DMC Action Network members include other sites selected for measurable accomplishments in reducing disproportionate minority contact. There are twelve local sites in eight states: Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin.

How were sites selected as Network members?

Sites were selected Network members through an application process that required the following information:

  • Availability of DMC data in the site;
  • Evidence of racial/ethnic disparities at one or more key decision-points in the system;
  • Effectiveness of current efforts to reduce DMC;
  • Availability of committed leadership by public officials and community leaders toward reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the site; 
  • Capacity of key stakeholders to make necessary changes to reduce DMC;
  • Evidence of state-level support for the work, and interest in its expansion, if successful;
  • Value of site’s experience to other Network members, and to the field;
  • Value of participation in the Network for the site;
  • Capacity to monitor progress;
  • Sustainability of reforms; and 
  • Geographic diversity of the sites.

What is the purpose of DMC strategic innovations?

Strategic innovations are actions that have proven effective in reducing DMC. They include innovations in the collection and utilization of data, creation of objective screening and detention admissions instruments, development of alternative programs and services, and process mapping to identify problematic decision points in the juvenile justice system. All DMC Network members will be expected to implement one or more new strategic innovations; members will select the strategic innovations on which they will work during annual meetings of the network. Center for Children's Law and Policy staff will provide technical support on each site’s development and implementation of strategic innovations.

What technical support can selected sites expect?

Local jurisdictions or states that are not already participating in Models for Change core states will benefit from technical support through the Network to address system barriers, challenges, and coordination needs to develop and successfully implement strategic innovations. Technical support may include teleconferences, development of peer support, one-on-one assistance at annual Network meetings, and referral to experts in the field (e.g., on development of a detention Risk Assessment Instrument). The local jurisdictions already working on DMC reduction as Models for Change core states will continue to receive site-based technical assistance from Center for Children's Law and Policy  staff.

What amount of funding is available for sites selected to participate in the Network?

New sites or states selected will receive up to $100,000 per year for a period of up to three years to support their Network participation. Local sites already working on DMC reduction in core Models for Change states will receive additional funding up to $30,000 per year for Network membership. 

What type of activities can Network funding support?

Funding can be utilized to expand resources dedicated to the DMC work. Funds can be used, for example, to hire staff to coordinate DMC activities; to work with experts to provide on-site consultation; and to visit other jurisdictions that have model programs (e.g., Evening Reporting Centers).  

If I'm not involved directly as a member of the action network, how can I/my organization/my state or local jurisdiction get involved in working on racial fairness/disproportionate minority contact?

Contact Lisa Garry with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy at (202) 637-0377, ext. 103 or to discuss how to get involved and resources that may be available to those beyond the network.

Supported by

Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.