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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 3, 2003

UI School Of Social Work Hosts Conference On Juvenile Minority Incarceration

A group concerned about the disproportionate numbers of minority youth in Iowa corrections facilities will gather for a two-day conference Thursday and Friday, Nov. 13 and 14 to explore the causes and potential solutions to this statewide social problem.

"Investing In Iowa's Youth, Investing In Iowa's Future" is the second annual conference of the Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) Resource Center, which is part of the University of Iowa School of Social Work's National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice. The conference will be at the Downtown Holiday Inn in Des Moines from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Nov 13 and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Roughly one-third of Iowa youth held in juvenile detention facilities are minority, yet minorities make up only nine percent of the state's youth population. This conference brings together judges, attorneys, juvenile court officers, social workers, police officers, case managers, educators, community members and youth to examine the issues, explore potential solutions, hear about current efforts to reduce disproportionate minority confinement, and provide resources to those interested in addressing this problem in their own communities.

Brad Richardson, an adjunct associate professor of social work and the state DMC coordinator, said conference participants will increase their knowledge about cultural competency and diversity as well as acquire tools for developing effective risk assessment and alternatives to confinement. He said the conference presentations feature national and state experts describing their successes and challenges.

The first conference on this topic in November 2002 drew 200 participants, and Richardson says he expects an even higher turnout for this year's expanded program of nationally known speakers.

Some of the notable speakers at this year's conference include: Heidi Hsia, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Planning, Washington, D.C.; the Honorable H. Ted Rubin (ret.) a national consultant and former Juvenile Court Judge, Boulder, Colo.; James Bell, Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity, San Francisco, Calif.; Judy Cox, Department of Juvenile Probation, Santa Cruz County, Calif.; Jennifer Holladay, Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, Ala.; and Jon McCaine, Youth Services International, Tucson, Ariz.

Persons with questions regarding the DMC Resource Center, the state's DMC effort or the conference should contact Richardson, 319-335-4965, brad-richardson@uiowa.edu. To register for the conference, go to: http://www.uiowa.edu/~nrcfcp/dmcrc/conference.htm.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: Brad Richardson, 319-335-4965, brad-richardson@uiowa.edu