WRITER: SARAH AMRHEIN
CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 18, 2002
UI School of Social Work wins grant to study minority juvenile incarceration
The University of Iowa School of Social Work National Resource Center for
Family Centered Practice has been awarded a $95,000 grant to work with state
and community groups to reduce the overrepresentation of minorities in the
state's juvenile justice system. The grant, from the Iowa Department of Human
Rights, Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning, will be used to
establish a Disproportionate Minority Confinement Resource Center for the
state of Iowa.
The center, located on the UI Oakdale campus, will bring together a variety
of state and community leaders as well as police officers, parents, youth,
juvenile court staff, and social service employees to identify aspects of
the system that need to change and to develop and implement a plan to help
reduce the number of minorities in the most restrictive juvenile justice institutions.
The effort will be focused on up to six communities around the state.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities constitute approximately
8 percent of the total youth population in Iowa, yet nearly a third of all
juveniles held in Iowa detention centers are minorities.
"Our primary goal in establishing the center is to reduce the overrepresentation
of minorities in the most restrictive juvenile justice settings statewide
by working collaboratively at both the state and community level," said
Miriam Landsman, a UI assistant professor of social work.
Landsman is also the executive director of the school's National Resource
Center for Family Centered Practice, which provides technical assistance,
staff training and research on family based programs and issues with the goal
of strengthening human services in public and community programs. Brad Richardson,
Associate Research Scientist for the NRC, will be coordinating the Disproportionate
Minority Confinement Resource Center's technical assistance effort. The School
of Social Work is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.