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Children of color are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system in the United States. They are more likely to be arrested, charged, and incarcerated than their white counterparts, even for the same behaviors. Involvement in the juvenile justice system has numerous negative consequences for young people, including educational disruptions, reduced employment rates, and increased likelihood of criminal justice involvement as an adult. Disparate treatment for youth of color in the juvenile justice system can lead to disparities in other arenas, and contribute to an intergenerational cycle of justice system involvement and other poor outcomes for people of color.

The Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program is an intensive training designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems. The program is operated jointly by the Georgetown Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Center for Children's Law and Policy.

The three primary goals of the certificate program are to help jurisdictions reduce:

  1. Overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system;
  2. Disparate treatment of youth of color as compared to white youth within the juvenile justice system; and
  3. Unnecessary entry and movement deeper into the juvenile justice system for youth of color.

While the program will primarily address disparities in the juvenile justice system, it will also include a focus on the relationship between disproportionality in the juvenile justice system and disparate treatment in other child serving systems, including child welfare and education.

After completing the program, participants will be responsible for the development of a capstone project – a set of actions each participant will design and undertake within their organization or community to initiate or continue collaborative efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. After the capstone project is developed and approved by Georgetown University, participants receive an Executive Certificate from the university and are offered technical assistance from instructors to aid in the implementation of their project. Additionally, alumni of the certificate program become part of the CJJR Fellows Network.

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Center for Juvenile Justice Reform • McCourt School of Public PolicyGeorgetown University • 3300 Whitehaven St NW Suite 5000 • Box 571444 • Washington, DC 20057
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