A Recent History of New Hampshire Disproportionate Minority Contact

During the Fall Quarter of 2011 the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice (SAG) retained a Coordinator to address DMC in New Hampshire as part of our Federal Requirements to OJJDP.  At that time the racial and ethnic demographics of the state were perceived to be less than 5%.

With the 2010 Census Data confirmed and compared to the previous Census of 2000, the increase in racial and ethnic minorities increased by 62% and 71% respectively.  More significantly, the increase in the Black Juvenile Population from the 1990 Census compared to the 2010 Census was up 299% and the Ethnic Minority Juvenile Population for the same period increased by 345%.   That meant that the need to monitor and address DMC was confirmed.  It also meant that local committees needed to be formed to pay attention to the Relative Rate Index (RRI), since it was consistent with the national averages.  Black Juveniles in NH were 3 times more likely to be arrested than White Juveniles and for every 4 White Juveniles arrested there were 5 Hispanic/Latino Juveniles arrested at that time.  All of the above data was confirmed in our completed independent DMC Study by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy in September 2013.

While the original intention was to form County Committees to address DMC, we found that our best interests would be served by forming municipal committees.  Our two most populated and diverse municipalities, Manchester and Nashua are in the same county also.  The city of Rochester, NH was interested in forming a committee even though their total minority population was only 3% at that time.  We now have these 3 local DMC committees meeting at least bi-monthly and they meet with the State DMC Sub Committee monthly to provide updates on their activities and projects.

During the last three years each respective Police Department has conducted training classes on: Effective Police Interactions with Youth.  As a state we now have 20 Certified Police Officers to facilitate the training and over 120 Police officers have taken this class.  Each Committee has also conducted a DMC Symposium for their respective community in the evening to increase understanding and to gain more involvement from parents and service providers for all youths.

The Development Services Group of Bethesda, MD has confirmed in an independent study that Hillsborough County New Hampshire is the only county in the nation with a four year declining trend in RRI for any minority group (Hispanic/Latino)!  We need to appreciate our Police Chiefs from our local committees for their leadership and support for these dramatic results.  We also want to appreciate the teamwork of all of these committees and the SAG for their work and our Pro-Active DMC Strategy that is in alignment with National Juvenile Justice Reform Strategies.

Contact Andrew Smith, New Hampshire’s DMC Coordinator, with any questions.