In March 2008, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reformat the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago brought together policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and advocates for a symposium titled “The Overrepresentation of Children of Color in America’s Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems.” The symposium was designed to illuminate the work of juvenile justice and childwelfare systems in this area—and the degree to which the systems’ efforts are or are not integrated—and to focus on the ways in which the federal, state, and local government might support both systems in achieving better outcomes for children and youth and promote policies to better integrate their efforts.
This collection presents the content of that symposium. The program centered on a Chapin Hall paper (authoredby Bridgette Lery, Ada Skyles, Fred Wulczyn, and JeffreyButts) titled Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice, which set the stage for the day’s discussion. The goal of the paper is to stimulate discussion within the child welfare and juvenile justice fields about the role of race and ethnicity in both systems.The authors propose a shared language and framework for understanding racial disparity in the two systems, and describe ongoing initiatives to address disproportionateminority contact with both systems.
Also included are the two commentaries on the Chapin Hall paper—one by Dennette Derezotes, Executive Director of the Race Matters Consortium, and the other by Raquel Mariscal, Senior Consultant for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.