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Juvenile Justice Racial and Ethnic Disparities

In response to the disproportionate and disparate outcomes for minority youth served by the juvenile justice system, the Department of Family and Juvenile Services has developed the Kentucky Juvenile Justice Data Analysis: Racial and Ethnic Disparities page. On this page users can interact with the data, and juvenile justice professionals, community members, policymakers and researchers can learn more about the young people we serve.

Data Source

Data related to juvenile complaints filed from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2018 was compiled from AOC CDWCMS, the case management and information system used by Court Designated Workers. The data was extracted on October 22, 2019.

Relative Rate Index figures (see below) are calculated using counts of complaints. An individual juvenile may have multiple complaints over a period of time, and any single complaint may have multiple charges.

Dashboard Definitions

  • Child/Juvenile: Any person who has not reached their 18th birthday, unless otherwise provided.

  • Racial Ethnic Disparity (RED): The inequitable representation of minority racial and ethnic groups in the juvenile justice system compared to their representation in the general population.

  • Juvenile Population: Refers to the general population of youth in Kentucky. Population data is used with permission courtesy of KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

  • Minority: A member of a race or ethnic background that makes up a smaller portion of the general population. In this dashboard any Hispanic youth as well as non-Hispanic African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and other non-Caucasian race categories not individually captured were included in the minority classification.

  • Caucasian: A child who self-identifies as being Caucasian or white. Caucasian youth make up the majority of the general youth population in Kentucky.

  • County Population: The number of youth living in each county. Derived from calendar year (CY) 2018 population estimates published by the Kids Count Data Center: Child population estimates by race and ethnicity.

  • School Related: A complaint is considered to be school-related if the filing of the complaint was initiated by a school.

  • Outcome Measure: Any step in the juvenile justice process in which Racial/Ethnic Disparity is measured in this dashboard, comparing the rate of that outcome compared to the larger population of which this outcome is a fraction in order to calculate the relative rate index.

    • Complaint: A verified statement that sets forth allegations regarding a child and contains sufficient facts supporting any subsequent petition that may be filed in court.

    • Public Complaint: A complaint containing only actions that would be crimes if committed by an adult, whether a felony, misdemeanor, or violation, other than an allegation that a child age 16 or older has committed a motor vehicle offense.

    • Status Complaint: A complaint containing actions that would not be a crime if committed by an adult. The behavior, which is unique to juvenile and is not to be considered criminal or delinquent, includes offenses such as beyond control of parents or school, habitual truant, habitual runaway, and various alcohol and tobacco offenses. Any complaint containing a status offense is considered to be a status complaint, even if public offenses are also included on the complaint.

    • Detention at Intake: When a complaint is first filed, this is referred to as intake. If a child is taken into custody by law enforcement during intake and subsequently detained by order of a judge, that is detention at intake.

    • Diversion Agreement: An agreement between a court designated worker and a child charged with committing a public or status offense. It is designed to hold the child accountable for his or her behavior and, if appropriate, to secure services for the child. The purpose of a diversion agreement is to serve the best interests of the child and provide redress for his or her behavior without court action and without the creation of a formal court record.

    • Successful Diversion: A child's successful completion of a diversion agreement.

    • Unsuccessful Diversion: A child's failure to complete a diversion agreement. In the event of an unsuccessful diversion, cases involving status offenses are referred to the FAIR Team and cases involving public offenses are referred to the county attorney.

    • Complaint Dismissed: A complaint where the county attorney has indicated that no further action be taken. This does not lead to the creation of a formal court record.

    • Formal Court Referral: A broad category referring to many different complaint outcomes which result in the filing of a formal court petition. Included in this category is judicial override, county attorney override, failure to appear, child requests court, and ineligible for diversion per CDW criteria.

    • Formal Court Referral – Judge: A complaint outcome in which the child was eligible for diversion but a judge requested the filing of a formal petition. This is referred to as a judicial override.

    • Formal Court Referral – County Attorney: A complaint outcome in which the child was eligible for diversion but a county attorney requested the filing of a formal petition. This is referred to as a county attorney override.

      • Formal Court Referral – CDW: A complaint outcome in which the child was not eligible for diversion per CDW criteria. A child may not be eligible because of the severity of their charge or due to their number of previous diversions. This is referred to as being ineligible for diversion per CDW criteria.

      • Formal Court Referral – Child Request: A complaint outcome in which the child was eligible for diversion but requested to participate in the formal court process. This is also the complaint outcome indicated when the child fails to appear to their diversion conference appointment. This is referred to as the child requesting court.

      • Formal Court Referral – FTA: A complaint outcome in which the child was eligible for diversion but failed to appear for their preliminary inquiry appointment. The acronym FTA is short for failure to appear.

      • Youthful Offender Referral: A child who meets the criteria outlined in KRS 635.020 and is eligible to be prosecuted as an adult in court. A child who meets youthful offender criteria will not necessarily be prosecuted as an adult, but they are ineligible for diversion and are referred to formal court.

      • Relative Rate Index (RRI): The relative rate index is a measure of racial/ethnic disparity. It expresses the degree to which a given outcome is more likely among minorities than among the majority.

Relative Rate Index

A Relative Rate Index of 1.0 would indicate that outcomes are equally likely for minorities and the majority. Numbers greater than 1 indicate that outcomes are more likely for minorities than the majority. For instance, an RRI of 2.0 would indicate that an outcome is twice as likely for minorities as for the majority. Numbers less than 1 indicate that outcomes are more likely for the majority than for minorities.

The relative rate index is found by dividing the rate of minority outcomes by their population by the rate of majority outcomes in order to get the relative rate:

RRI Diagram.png

In the example above, the minority rate of 25% relative to the majority rate of 8% suggests that minorities are a bit more than three times more likely to experience this particular outcome.

In this report, the rate for each outcome is calculated as the number of outcomes divided by the population in which these outcomes might occur as follows:

Outcome

Population

Complaints

CY 2018 County Population Estimates

Public Complaints

CY 2018 County Population Estimates

Status Complaints

CY 2018 County Population Estimates

Detention at Intake

Total Complaints

Diversion Agreements

Total Complaints

No Diversion Agreement

Total Complaints

Diversion Success

Diversion Agreements

Diversion Unsuccess

Diversion Agreements

Complaints Dismissed

Total Complaints

Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

Judge Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

County Attorney Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

CDW Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

Child Requested Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

Preliminary Inquiry FTA Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

Youthful Offender Formal Court Referrals

Total Complaints

Disclaimer for AOC CDWCMS Statistical Reporting

The data from this report is provided from the Court Designated Worker program. Information received from the Court Designated Worker Program electronic case management system (CDWCMS) is subject to change(s), reprogramming, modification(s) of format and availability at the direction of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and may not at any particular moment reflect the true status of court cases due to ordinary limitation(s), delay(s) or error(s) in the system's operation.



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