Equal Protection

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Welcome to the Juvenile Court’s Equal Protection Compliance page. On this page you will be able to read reports that have been published by Professor Michael Leiber, the person selected by the Department of Justice to serve as the Equal Protection monitor.

Professor Leiber’s bio

The equal protection reforms in the agreement require that the court administer juvenile justice in a manner that is consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. These reforms require the juvenile court to:
  • Assess where and why disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in the juvenile justice system occurs, including analysis of referrals and the court’s decisions at key stages of a child’s court case.
  • Prohibit pre-adjudication detention for reasons that are not related to public safety or future appearance in court.
  • Hire a DMC coordinator, who will be charged with gathering data, working with the court and other county agencies to develop alternatives to detention, and ensuring that children are not referred to juvenile court based on their race.
  • Establish a pilot program allowing law enforcement to phone in information about a recently arrested youth and get guidance on whether the child should be immediately released and provided with an appearance summons or transported to juvenile court.
  • Strategic Planning Final Document
  • Shelby County - Department of Justice MOA
  • Department of Justice Announcement on Juvenile Court Reform