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Indiana Disproportionality Committee
Scope of Work
Indiana, like other states, has documented that children of color are overrepresented and often disproportionately represented in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Consequently the Indiana Commission on Abused and Neglected Children recommended that a solution focused committee be established to address the issue statewide. In November 2004 interested professionals from the state’s public and private child welfare and juvenile justice systems came together to work collaboratively in addressing the issue through the Indiana Disproportionality Committee (IDC). Since the initial committee’s beginning, other disciplines that touch the lives of Indiana’s children have joined IDC. Some tasks of the committee include studying the problem and recommending actions to eliminate disparities. The scope of our work starts with operational definitions of disproportionality, overrepresentation, and disproportionate minority contact. These definitions are essential to successfully focus the committee’s concerns and work.
Children of ALL races and ethnicities are equitably served by Indiana’s child welfare, juvenile justice, education and mental health systems.
Create equality within the Indiana child welfare, juvenile justice, education and mental health systems and equalize the proportion of children of color in the child welfare, juvenile justice education and mental health systems with their percentage of the overall population. Definitions for Disproportionality and Overrepresentation:
“…disproportionality refers to the situation where a particular racial and/or ethnic group of children are represented in a social system at a rate that is not proportionate to their representation in the general population.
“Overrepresentation—Refers to the situation where a particular racial/ethnic group is represented within a social system (i.e. child welfare, juvenile justice, education, mental health, etc.) at a higher rate or percentage than their representation in the general population. Disproportionate Minority Contact address the overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system at all points in the juvenile justice process (Disproportionate Minority Contact, n.d., OJJDP).
“Disproportionate Minority Contact has far-reaching consequences not only for these young offenders but for society as a whole. The challenges are complex and not easily resolved…”
(Disproportionate Minority Confinement 2002 Update, OJJDP)
The Work of the Indiana Disproportionality Committee will focus on five (5) areas: Community Awareness, Public Policy, Research, Resource Development and Training. Sub-committees work to achieve the overall mission of IDC.