Justice Policy

Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System


Research staff at the USM Muskie School work in partnership with Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) in support of the goal of producing information to enhance Maine’s understanding of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in the state. This  research documents the rate of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) for youth involved in Maine’s juvenile justice system, differences in pathways to detention for youth of color, and the  experiences of youth and families of color who have had contact with Maine’s juvenile justice system.  It uses a relative rate index (RRI) to demonstrate how youth of color are treated in comparison to their white counterparts throughout nine separate contact points in the juvenile justice system.  This Maine-focused research report aligns with several federal, state, and local efforts aimed at promoting equity for youth of color throughout the juvenile justice system. In part, this report fulfills a federal grant requirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to identify DMC within the juvenile justice system in Maine. In order to assist states in their efforts to comply with the DMC requirements of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), the OJJDP funds state-based advisory groups to understand and reduce DMC in their jurisdictions.  Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) has partnered with the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine to conduct this research to inform these efforts.

For more information, contact the authors.

Suggested Citation: Dumont, R., King, E., & Shaler, G. (2015). Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service.


Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
May 18, 2015


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