Youth of color are overrepresented at various points of contact in the juvenile justice system. How can we reduce these disparities? Strategies include using data to inform policy and practice, and changing our culture to focus less on punitive responses and more on what’s best for our youth and community.

Learn more about Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) and reduction strategies in the 2020 Juvenile Justice Report–RED supplement.

Juvenile Justice in Mecklenburg County

Every year, Council for Children’s Rights and Race Matters for Juvenile Justice collaborate on a report to provide information about our juvenile court system and highlight opportunities for action. We invite you to follow along over the next few weeks as we release supplements and the full report.


Jaimelee Behrendt-Mihalski, MA
Policy Advocate

Jaimelee Behrendt-Mihalski is the Policy Advocate at Council for Children’s Rights. A graduate of DePaul University with a B.A. in community psychology, she moved to Charlotte in 2013 where she completed a M.A. in community psychology and certificate in nonprofit management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is expected to complete her Ph.D. in health psychology/community psychology in December 2020.

She is drawn to this work because she sees herself and her childhood friends represented in the children served by the Council. A child of an incarcerated parent who attended an underfunded public school, she grew up alongside children who were in foster care, needed special education and mental health services, caught in the middle of custody battles, or were in youth detention facilities. Because of her background and because she was “fortunate enough to have supports and — as a white woman — a lot of unseen privilege” she feels it is her imperative to use her talents and knowledge to shine a light on injustice in systems that impact children.

Jaimelee lives in Charlotte with husband Alex and their dog Behr. 

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