OPM: Just START: Trainings Office of Policy and Management OPM: Just START: Trainings

minority contact

Training curriculum


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DMC and Connecticut
The Color of Justice

Color of Justice website on CTJJA.org

State Statutory Report on DMC

DMC studies

Effective police interactions with youth training

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Programs & Grants


An important learning from Connecticut’s DMC studies is that too many minority youth are entering the juvenile justice system compared with White juveniles.

Since police officers act as “gatekeepers” to the juvenile justice system, DMC at this point and disparate handling of juveniles by police significantly affect subsequent handling of those juveniles. The JJAC charged a task group of police officers to identify strategies to help eliminate DMC. The result was the development of a new training curriculum targeting patrol officers.

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The “Effective Police Interactions with Youth” training curriculum provides patrol officers with information to better understand youth behavior and with practical strategies for interacting with young people in positive ways. The goal of the training is to reduce the likelihood that interactions between police officers and young people will have negative outcomes and/or result in police action, particularly for minority youth. Certified police trainers teach officers about DMC and adolescent development through a variety of training strategies including videos, class discussions, small group activities, and role playing.

In the training, participants learn:

  • The role of patrol officers in helping to eliminate the problem of disproportionate minority contact with Connecticut’s juvenile justice system.
  • Why adolescents tend to test boundaries, challenge authority, and have difficulty controlling impulses and making sound decisions.
  • Strategies for communicating more effectively with young people and improving police/youth relations.

A formal evaluation of the training program’s effectiveness has been completed by the University of Connecticut Center for Applied Research in Human Development. Results show that the training program significantly increased patrol officer knowledge about how to interact effectively with youth and improved officer attitudes toward youth. To view the full evaluation report, use the link below.

Acrobat Reader is required to view the following document. If you cannot view it, please contact our office.

Effective Police Interactions with Youth: Training Evaluation (PDF, 46 pages; File size: 794 KB)

View this video for a description of the Effective Police Interactions with Youth training curriculum.

The following video is in Windows Media format. If you cannot view it, please contact our office.

Effective Police Interactions with Youth Video, September 2008. (Length: 4½ Minutes, File size: 11.7 MB)

To request a more detailed video and written material describing this training program, contact the JJAC staff person, Valerie LaMotte, at valerie.lamotte@ct.gov. Be sure to include your name, organization, and mailing address in the e-mail message.

Visit the Training & Events page for dates of upcoming training sessions and registration information.

Content Last Modified on 4/12/2016 2:03:02 PM