Almost 100 representatives of government, philanthropies, nonprofits, law enforcement and communities gathered on Wednesday, August 22 at the Forum on Youth & Police Engagement. Representatives of state agencies and commissions provided background that diagnosed the issue of disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system in Allegheny County.
FACT: Black youth are arrested 6x more and detained 3x more than white youth.
We need to productively search for solutions to the problem of Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) among black youth in Allegheny County. It is not a one-time fix. It requires ongoing, consistent attention and dedication.
This DMC 5-Phase Reduction Cycle–presented by Lenore D. Wyant, DMC coordinator for Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency–illustrates how our solutions can be both effective and sustainable.
Participants at the Forum on Youth & Police Engagement broke into four groups to begin the process of identifying strategies and resources, sustainability tactics, and who should be involved in the process. Feedback from those four groups is represented below:
Invigorating a Youth Justice & Equity Committee in Allegheny County is critically important. It also is a massive undertaking. We share the same goal–equitable and fair treatment of all youth in our community–we need to ensure that we have the infrastructure and adequate resources to sustain our efforts and effectuate systemic change. We are off to a good start based on the participation and passion exhibited at the August 22nd Forum on Youth & Police Engagement.
Over the coming months we will be organizing the extensive feedback from August into working group topics with three prioritized goals for each group. We will come back to you for your feedback on this information, as well as your interest in specific areas of participation. Our intention is to hold another general Forum after the first of the year with a plan, process, and preliminary participants already identified. We will continue communication until then.
In the meantime, please continue to explore viable strategies and stakeholders who should be involved with the Allegheny County Youth Justice & Equity Committee. Consider forwarding this email to them, or send us their contact information at YJE_Committee@amachipgh.org. We want to engage any and all people interested in this issue.