and Fatalities. The Results of the 1997 Annual Fifty State Survey" (1998)

8. See Generally, Phoenix Violence Prevention Initiative Report (1997)

9. See Generally, Child Welfare League of America. Sacramento County. California Study, 1997

10. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, Vol.41 P.39(1998)

11. Ibid

12. Ibid

Making a Difference:   Learn How to Shape Juvenile Justice

This session was presented by a panel including Dennis Pickering, Arizona Youth Associates; Rep. John Loredo, Arizona House of Representatives; David Doi, Executive Director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice; Beth Rosenburg, Children’s Action Alliance; Rep. John Verkamp, Arizona House of Representatives; and Heidi Hsia, Ph.D., Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

  Embedded within a solutions-based conference, this session was designed to help participants develop strategies to effect change in their communities. To serve this end, a diverse panel was assembled representing public figures and advocates from the local, state and federal levels.

The discussion began with a look at policies affecting disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) at both the state and federal levels. On the national scene, where legislation exists that explicitly directs states to address DMC, Heidi Hsai outlined the accomplishments made over the past decade and David Doi discussed potential legislative changes and their effects on DMC. At the state level, Arizona has no legislation that specifically addresses the issue of minority confinement and minority over-representation (MOR). Despite this however, state statutes do have an impact on the issue. Rep. John Verkamp discussed the existence of lingering institutional racism that, although not present in statute, still periodically appears in the practices of the juvenile justice system. Rep. John Loredo illustrated some examples of unintended consequences of

  statutes and ordinances that have deleterious effects on minority communities.

With the current state of DMC in the State and around the nation well defined, Beth Rosenberg spoke on how best to effect policy changes. She indicated that by doing nothing, communities actually endorse the status quo. For those who want to promote change, it is important to know who makes policy, to feel empowered to call on them and to hold them accountable for their actions. The panel supplied participants with information on how to contact their representatives in the Legislature and Congress, as well as strategies to use when talking to them. The audience was then divided into working groups to develop questions to present to the panel.

While information sharing was a priority, more important was the panelists’ attempt to empower participants. Repeatedly, several panelists emphasized that local input is necessary to make policy makers aware of DMC and MOR issues. Participants left with the tools necessary to make a difference in minority over-representation.

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