Youth Disparities Reduction Collaborative


New Member Protocol
The following are available to coach up new members:

  •  Interview by phone with the YDRC Coordinator to review the FAQ document on the Collaborative
  • Be sent the notes from prior YDRC-DMC Collaborative meetings
  • If desired and available, participate in “coach-up” session(s)


What is YDRC-DMC?

Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) refers to the over-representation of youth of color in the different steps of the juvenile justice system when compared to white youth. Youth of color in Humboldt County penetrate the juvenile justice system in disproportionate numbers at every step of the process. As one moves deeper into the system, the disproportionality grows. While youth of color represent approximately 25% of all youth in Humboldt County, they account for about 38% of all admissions to Juvenile Hall. While DMC exists in nearly every juvenile justice system jurisdiction in this country, it is particularly acute in Humboldt County for Native American Youth who are 7% of the youth population and 20% of admissions.

What is being done about DMC in Humboldt County?

In 2010, the Humboldt County Probation Department received a technical assistance grant from the State of California to analyze and address DMC in this county. As part of the 3-year grant, the Probation Department contracted with The Burns Institute (, a nationally-recognized leader in the field of juvenile justice and ethnic and racial disparities reduction, to provide guidance in this process. The Burns Institute’s strategy for reducing disparities is to concentrate on data, to identify a particular target population, to develop policy and/or practice changes to achieve reductions in disparities, and to engage with the communities from which youth in detention come from. The Probation Department has improved its capacity to collect and analyze data related to DMC, and has identified technical violations of probation and warrants as the target populations to address. The Department has reviewed its practices around decision-making for detention, and has instituted several policy changes to address DMC. Finally, the Department, in collaboration with The Burns Institute, has initiated the DMC Collaborative, an effort to work with partners and communities affected by DMC in Humboldt County to develop solutions. While the total number of youth booked into detention has dropped dramatically since this DMC effort was begun the benefits of that reduction has not been enjoyed equally across ethnicities. There has been progress in addressing DMC, but more work still needs to be done. The DMC Collaborative will be the primary forum for developing solutions to this issue.

What is the YDRC-DMC Collaborative and what does it mean to be a member of it?

The YDRC Collaborative is a collection of staff from County agencies, service providers and community members who are interested in improving services and outcomes for Humboldt County’s juvenile justice system. This group has the goal of impacting DMC in Humboldt County to ensure that the system is as fair and effective as it can be both in terms of ensuring public safety for the community at large and equity for all youth referred to the Probation Department. Before ideas to address DMC are considered, it is important that all members of the YDRC Collaborative have a common understanding of the juvenile justice system process, the services available for youth and families, and the importance of data analysis of to consider DMC. Some of the core principles for the YDRC Collaborative include:

  • An emphasis on data, as opposed to anecdotes or feeling, to drive the effort
  • A commitment to a form of participation that is constructive, inclusive,solutions focused, and avoids blame
  • A willingness to be open to change in the hopes of improving outcomes