The Minnesota Eliminating Structural Racism in Juvenile Justice Initiative is comprised of eight core strategies to address disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in the juvenile justice field by race, ethnicity, gender, geography and offense, with the addition of Minnesota-specific strategies that pay specific attention to culture and empowering community self-determination – having affected communities of color define the most effective approaches and success outcomes with youth rehabilitation efforts.
These strategies serve the purpose of building the balance of power in the partnership between juvenile justice systems and communities of color, creating inclusivity and equal authority of ‘voice’ in outcome deliveries. With these strategies currently at differing levels of application and development in Minnesota, the project seeks funding to complete development and application of the model, in particular, development of the “defining culturally based approaches and outcomes” strategy initiated for African American youth. A public awareness and education campaign for racial equity in juvenile justice, and developing model steps for aligning juvenile justice organizational culture and belief systems for racial equity is included in the work plan over the next 3 years. Applied to the juvenile justice system from entry through exit, these strategies will work to eliminate racial disparities through collaboration, and engagement of communities of color central to the process.