Assessment of Disproportionate Minority Contact within the Louisiana Juvenile Justice System
From 2012 to 2015 HZA analyzed disproportionate minority contact as defined by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 2002. Minority populations are defined as American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. HZA worked to analyze whether and where one or more of these populations exist in disproportionate numbers from the point of arrest to transfer to adult court. The project moved through the five phase DMC Reduction Model to determine the extent to which DMC exits, assess the reasons why it exists, develop and implement strategies to address the reasons, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of implemented strategies and adjust intervention strategies as needed. Following the model HZA worked with the parishes to identify where disproportionality exists within the nine contact points: arrest, referral, diversion, detention, petition/charge filed, delinquency findings, probation, confinement and transfer to adult court.
The federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention requires every state to collect data on disproportionate minority contact (DMC) within the juvenile justice system. HZA developed the Juvenile Justice Tracking Tool (JJ-Track) to allow states and localities to track youth at each contact point and measure the extent to which DMC exists. JJ-Track is comprised of a series of Excel worksheets, some of which are used for data input and others for summary. As youth enter the juvenile justice system, i.e., at the point of arrest, officials enter basic information which will then be used to quantify the population and summarize its racial/ethnic composition. The youth can then be tracked through subsequent contact points and the system automatically calculates the Relative Rate Index (RRI) which measures the extent of DMC. The system also offers states and localities the ability to identify other factors which may influence a youth’s involvement in the juvenile justice system (for example, household composition) and to monitor progress in addressing DMC where it exists.
Office of Juvenile Justice Rate Setting for Residential Care
From 2016-2017 HZA was contracted by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections, Youth Services to develop rates for the Office of Juvenile Justice's residential care facilities which would be defensible from both a state and federal auditor's perspective. As part of the project, HZA developed a methodology for establishing rates for all facilities in which Title IV-E was being claimed and provided tools used to develop the rates along with a user's guide on how to use the tools.
From 2016 to 2017 HZA was contracted by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services to conduct a rate time study to establish well documented rates for residential facilities, non-medical group homes and therapeutic foster care for DCFS to use to reimburse providers and maximize federal reimbursement. The study explored the components of each rate and alternative rate structures. Empirical cost and time study data was collected from the services providers. The results are used to justify rates for federal reimbursement.