Implicit Bias refers to the favorable and unfavorable attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Implicit is something that is unknown in the conscious mind. Bias is a judgment in favor or against a person or group compared with another. Implicit biases are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control and cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance. Such biases are develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages. Implicit biases can be learned through society, culture, religion, experiences, media and news programing.
Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality refers to unequal treatment of youth of color involved with the juvenile justice system that results in disparate outcomes for similarly situated youth. This phenomenon may also be referred to as disproportionate minority contact or DMC. For additional information regarding the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and corresponding mandates including DMC, please visit http://www.ojjdp.gov/dmc/index.html
Racial and Ethnic Disparity Grant
In October 2014, Santa Barbara County Probation applied for and received funding through the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to assess Santa Barbara County for Racial and Ethnic Disparity. The study assessed the three main county agencies working with youth, Juvenile Probation, Department of Behavioral Wellness, and the Department of Social Services. Additionally, the Santa Barbara Juvenile Probation department also sought to provide implicit bias training by contracting with Dr. Rita Cameraon-Wedding of California State University Sacramento and Dr. Carmel Saad and Dr. Tom Fikes of Westmont College.
Through the R.E.D. grant, Lizzie Rodriguez, M.A. of Fighting Back of Santa Maria Valley was trained in Implicit Bias as a facilitator for community workshops. The intention of these workshops are to inform and educate community members and youth & family service providers of the effects of Implicit Bias in our community.