What are some of the strategies to reduce youth and minority group unemployment rates?

Juvenile justice touchpoints or decision points are terms used to refer to different points where young people have “contact” with the juvenile justice system (e.g., researchers found that jurisdictions that managed to reduce disparities in their systems used nine main strategies, several of which were identified by Leiber and Fix (above). The BUILD Project (Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development, now called BUILD Violence Intervention Curriculum), is a violence prevention curriculum designed to help young detainees overcome problems they may face in their communities, such as gangs, drugs and crime. To assess the impact of gangs, it is important to know how the term a jurisdiction defines and if the “gang-related” question is only asked to young people in certain communities. Another study (Ogle, 201) examined whether there were racial and ethnic disparities in the use of solitary confinement among unsentenced youth in Florida juvenile detention centers, and found that black youth were 68.8 percent more likely to be held in solitary confinement than white youth, even after incorporating statistical controls for relevant factors, such as the risk of reoffending.

In addition to programs specifically designed for young people of color, conventional programs can also generate positive results. While research focused on exploring the link between implicit prejudice and racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice is limited (Glenn, 201), many of the interventions aimed at reducing discretion in judicial decision-making are based on the belief that this discretion is influenced by prejudice and, more specifically, by implicit bias. The differential treatment framework perspective, on the other hand, generally focuses on the structure of judicial decision-making acts that may disadvantage minority youth (for example, the differential crimes framework focuses on the individual and refers to the different rates at which young people from diverse racial and ethnic subgroups participate in criminal activities). For example, Protecting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) is designed to improve family functioning and improve youth development by focusing on parental relationships and parenting skills.

Third, greater investment in programs that reduce crime and violence among black youth, including summer jobs and others, such as Becoming a Man, that teach participating youth how to avoid violence in confrontational situations. Case studies from nine jurisdictions that reduced disproportionate contact with minorities in their juvenile justice systems. Some organizations continue to use the term overrepresentation of minorities, but have increasingly replaced it with the term disparity or disproportion, since minority youth are often underrepresented as they receive more lenient results, such as being diverted from the courts and being released on probation after being declared criminals.

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