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Disproportionate Minority Contact

Funded through a grant from the California Standards Authority and under the guidance of The Children’s Initiative and the San Diego County Probation Department, the Criminal Justice Division of SANDAG randomly selected a large sample of youth who had a sustained petition in 2005, and conducted a thorough review of their backgrounds to understand those factors that were predictive of being detained pre-adjudication (after arrest) and/or receiving an institutional commitment.

Utilizing multivariate analyses, results indicate that Black and Hispanic youth were overrepresented at both pre-adjudication and institutional commitment, but the reasons for this differed. Race, along with other legal and social factors, increased the likelihood of a youth being detained following arrest. At institutional commitment, race was not found to be a predictor; rather, factors associated with the current offense (e.g., violent andfelony-level) and also non-legal factors, such as school performance, were significantly related to receipt of an institutional commitment. Recommendations based on these results and through the qualitative component of the research are included in the report and intended to inform the development of a Disproportionate Minority Contact reduction plan.

Project Manager

Sandy Keaton, Senior Criminal Justice Research Analyst
Phone: (619) 699-6933, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or