Dana Swayze and Danette Buskovick of the Minnesota SAC (housed in the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs) recently completed On The Level: Disproportionate Minority Contact in Minnesota's Juvenile Justice System. This report provides detailed information regarding the phenomenon of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in Minnesota's juvenile justice system. Included in the report is a description of how racial disparities are calculated, how disparity data are to be interpreted, and how they inform justice system practices. This report also describes factors known to contribute to racial disparities in the justice system as well as recommended aspects of DMC reduction strategies. In closing, the report summarizes Minnesota's response to evidence of racial disparities in the system and makes suggestions for strengthening the state response to DMC. It is the hope that data such as these will ideally incite communities, practitioners, and policy makers to collect additional information, identify underlying causes of disparity, and dedicate resources to DMC abatement.
The SAC also just published No Wrong Door: A Comprehensive Approach to Providing Safe Harbor for Minnesota's Sexually Exploited Youth. This model is designed to ensure that youth who are being sexually exploited or are at risk for sexual exploitation are properly identified, receive effective services, and are housed safely. Over the past year, the MNSAC led a group of approximately 65 stakeholders to develop this model in response to the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth legislation that was passed in 2011. Several other states have also passed Safe Harbor legislation, but Minnesota is the first state to have such a staged, comprehensive response to sex trafficking.