juvenile justice system
Policy Brief Assignment
Section 1-To Be Presented To
• This policy brief has its intentions to be presented to State Representative Shawn Thierry in part because of her involvement in the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee, among other achievements.
Section 2-Issue and Urgency
• Minority juveniles are significantly over-represented in the justice system in the state of Texas.
• African Americans make up 13% of the Texas population, yet they make up 32% of the detained population.
• Combined, juvenile minorities make up 55% of the general Texas population, while they make up an overwhelming 72% of the detained population. These statistics are staggering and alarming, especially in light of the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Provision in the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (Carmichael and Witten, 2005). Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
Section 3-Courses of Action
• In order to reduce institutional biases, which leads to disproportionate minority youth in the justice system, awareness must be spread to community representatives, leaders, and others. Sponsored seminars and training sessions must be conducted for judges, prosecutors, agency personal and any others who are involved in the juvenile justice process. Texas needs to implement such awareness programs.
• Creation of an oversight body composed of stakeholders to identify where disparities exist, monitory implementations of reforms, monitor implementation of reforms to address overrepresentation of minority youth, and identify unnecessary juvenile justice system involvement.
• Reduce unnecessary detention of youth who pose little to no risk, as well as adding the use of alternatives to confinement of juveniles in correction facilities, such as community based services and graduated parole violation sanctions can help to reduce overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system (Armour and Hammond, 2009).
Section 4-Preferred Course of Action
• The issue of disproportionate minority youth in the juvenile justice system is a complex, multi-faceted issue that requires not one, but many courses of action. It all begins, however, with addressing the root cause, which is inherent bias and institutional racism. Programs and trainings must be implemented to draw awareness of any conscious or subconscious bias and institutional racism, especially among judges, police officers, and others that come into contact with minority youth. We must reject any ideology that negates such biases and racism do not exist in our criminal justice system. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming (Hoytt, Schiraldi, Smith, and Ziedenberg, 2013).
Carmichael, D., Whitten, G., & Voloudakis, M. (2005). Study of Minority Over-Representation in the Texas Juvenile Justice System (Rep.). College Station, TX: The Public Policy Research Institute.
Armour, J., & Hammond, S. (2009). Minority Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Disproportionate Minority Contact (Rep.). Denver, CO: National Conference of State Legislatures.
Hoytt, E. H., Schiraldi,, V., Smith, B. V., & Ziedenberg, J. (n.d.). 8 Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform, Reducing Racial Disparities in Juvenile Detention (Publication). The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Representatives, T. H. (n.d.). Texas House of Representatives. Retrieved November 09, 2017, fromhttp://www.house.state.tx.us/members/memberpage/?district=146c
A policy brief is a document that discusses a specific issue and provides succinct, rigorous and accessible recommendations to policy makers. It draws on research, academic theory and practice. The brief is no more than 1 page single space in length and is derived from extensive research and analysis. The policy brief should be presented as bulleted points with the sections below as your subheadings. Be certain to review the various instructional videos on the course web site. The policy brief consists of the following six (6) sections:
Section I: Identify the issue or problem you will address
Section II: Identify the stakeholders who have an interest in address or solving your issue/ problem
Section III: Identify three (3) or four (4) points about the nature, salience and/ or urgency of your issue/ problem
Section IV: Identify policy options/ courses of action available for addressing your issue/ problem
Section V: Recommend a preferred policy solution/ course of action for addressing your issue/ problem
Section VI: List 4 -6 References you used in developing your policy brief
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