Minority youth and children are disproportionately represented in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and frequently become involved in both systems; significant health disparities are also prevalent. The Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Resource Center, coordinated by Brad Richardson, PhD, serves efforts to reduce disproportionality and over-representation of minority youth and children in the juvenile justice, child welfare and related systems by providing evaluation, data analysis, information, training and technical assistance. The DMC Resource Center has most recently focused on understanding and preventing “crossover,” or the tendency for children and youth involved in the child welfare system to become involved in the juvenile justice system and improving the methods for racial impact statements. 

The DMC Resource Center has provided information through public speaking at meetings and conferences throughout the country, including hosting annual and regional conferences from 2002 through 2012. DMC staff also presented to the National Research Council which presented findings from its 2-year independent study examining behavioral and neuroscience research, adolescent development and offending, and recommending scientific knowledge be incorporated into juvenile justice reform efforts nationwide (see "Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach."). 

The DMC Resource Center has contributed to the literature on disproportionality and crossover. Additional reports are listed below and are available by request.

  • “Getting Beyond the Failure: Promising Approaches for Reducing DMC” in the Journal of Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice;
  • "Comparative Analysis of Two Community-Based Efforts Designed to Impact Disproportionality" and "Evaluating Multi-systemic Efforts to Impact Disproportionality through Key Decision Points" in the in the Journal of Child Welfare;
  • “Juvenile Detention and Alternatives: Perspectives From Three Counties: Report to the Governor’s Task Force,”
  • “Disproportionality: Developing a Public Agency Strategy” in the Journal of Health and Human Services;
  • “Collaborating Across Systems to Build Effective Schools,”
  • “Community Interventions: Reducing Over-Representation in Iowa’s Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems,” and
  • “Eradicating Disparities: Iowa’s Efforts to Eliminate Over-Representation in Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare and the Education Systems.” 
  • Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach

The DMC Center also keeps a repository of relative rate matrices which highlight disproportionality in juvenile justice. 

For more information about the DMC Resource Center or questions related to disproportionality and disparities, contact Brad Richardson, PhD, at brad-richardson@uiowa.edu