Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Jack Donnelly, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nancy Reichman

Third Advisor

Regina Huerter


Criminal justice, Disparity, Disproportionate minority contact, Ethnic disparity, Minority overrepresentation, Racial disparity


Overrepresentation in the criminal justice system of people who are marginalized by society has been researched for decades. Major challenges as they relate to overrepresentation of people of color in the system include a silo approach to research which leans towards analyzing system decision points in a vacuum, the misuse of official statistics to determine who is involved in crime, and the difficulty in translating solutions to the problem into practice. Disparate treatment of people of color in the American criminal justice system has also been reported by the United Nation's International Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as a significant human rights issue.

This thesis makes recommendations in three areas for local work on this issue: to ensure the buy-in and commitment of local government leadership to addressing the problem, ideally in a community-wide effort that includes entities and practices outside of the criminal justice system, to employ the methods as outlined in the OJJDP's Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual for identifying and reducing the overrepresentation of people of color in the local criminal justice system, and to tie funding when possible to involvement by local agencies in reducing disparities in the Denver criminal justice system.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Shelley Siman


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

85 p.


Criminology, Public administration, Public policy