Publication Date

Fall 10-22-2012

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White

Second Advisor

Tatsushi Arai

Abstract

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is considered the most segregated city in the country and has the most disproportionate rate of minorities in Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system. The State of Wisconsin recognizes disproportionate minority contact (DMC) is a product of both differential offending by minorities and the racist differential processing by the juvenile justice system. Milwaukee’s residents are locked in a conflict about the role of racism in the high rates of minority crime and whether to address DMC with more stringent punishment or increasing alternatives to incarceration. The entrenched segregation between African American and Caucasian neighborhoods and social groups reinforces polarization, increasing the stereotypes and racial inequity that affect DMC while simultaneously barring the communication between the groups necessary to reduce it. Although the state recognizes that low-income minorities are influenced by the high exposure to risk factors associated with crime, it does not comment on the structural violence and racism that perpetuate the inequitable system. Milwaukee is currently addressing DMC in the juvenile justice system, but no methods are in place to overcome segregation. Methods of conflict transformation and restorative justice can be utilized in Milwaukee at the individual, relationship, and community levels to transform Milwaukee’s race/crime conflict and reduce DMC.

Keywords: Disproportionate Minority Contact, Juvenile Justice, Segregation, Conflict Transformation, Restorative Justice, Racial Inequality, Racial Discrimination, Differential Involvement, Differential Offending, Differential Processing

Disciplines

African American Studies | Community Psychology | Ethnic Studies | Inequality and Stratification | International and Intercultural Communication | Peace and Conflict Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Social History | Social Policy | Social Psychology | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology of Culture | United States History | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning