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SAMHSA Seeks Applicants for Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts Program

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity for Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts.

The purpose of this program is to expand and enhance substance abuse treatment services in problem-solving courts that use the juvenile drug court model to provide alcohol and drug treatment, recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination to juvenile defendants and offenders. Priority should be given to addressing gaps in the existing continuum of treatment.

Eligibility is restricted to current juvenile treatment drug courts or tribal, state, and local governmental proxies that may apply on their behalf. Grantees from the 2009 cohort of this program are ineligible. Applications must be received by February 23, 2010.

Resources:
For additional information about this funding opportunity, visit www.samhsa.gov/Grants/2010/TI-10-004.aspx.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 at 4:05 AM

Applicants Sought for Reentry Demonstration Projects

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) invite applicants from state and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribes under their joint Second Chance Act Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects solicitation.

The Second Chance Act is intended to support the reentry of adult and juvenile offenders from prison, jail, or juvenile residential facilities into their communities.

The application deadline is March 4, 2010.

Resources:
For further information about this solicitation, see the Program Announcement at ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/grants/solicitations/FY2010/SecondChanceMentoring.pdf.

Questions regarding the juvenile-related requirements of this solicitation should be addressed to Thomas Murphy, Grants Program Specialist, at thomas.murphy@usdoj.gov or 202-353-8734.

Questions regarding any other requirement of this solicitation, contact Dr. Gary L. Dennis, Senior Policy Advisor for Corrections, at gary.dennis@usdoj.gov or 202-305-9059.

Monday, December 28, 2009 at 4:55 AM

CJCA White Paper on Recidivism

 

CJCA is pleased to announce completion of the most recent white paper, Defining and Measuring Recidivism, which was reviewed and agreed upon at the 2nd Annual Leadership Conference in Chicago. The paper is a product of the proceedings of the Recidivism Committee created by CJCA President Bernard Warner and chaired by CJCA Vice President Barry Stoodley. The paper contains recommended national standards for measuring recidivism in the juvenile justice system.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 at 7:12 AM

OJJDP Invites Comments on Proposed FY 2010 Program Plan

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published a Notice of its Proposed Plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 in the December 1, 2009, Federal Register. The Proposed Plan describes discretionary program activities that OJJDP proposes to carry out during FY 2010.

Taking into consideration comments received and its final FY 2010 appropriation, OJJDP will develop a Final Plan describing program activities that the Office intends to fund during FY 2010. The Final Plan will be published in the Federal Register.

Comments on the Proposed Plan must be received by January 15, 2010, and may be submitted online or mailed to OJJDP. As security protocols can significantly delay OJJDP's receipt of mail, online submission of comments is recommended to ensure their consideration.

Resources:
To view OJJDP's Proposed Plan and detailed guidance on submitting comments, visit ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/funding/FY10OJJDPProposedPlan.pdf.

Comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480a61626.

A copy of the Proposed Plan is also accessible from this page.

Thursday, December 03, 2009 at 3:46 AM

Vincent N. Schiraldi Appointed as NYC Commissioner of the Department of Probation

 

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Vincent N. Schiraldi as Commissioner of the Department of Probation. Commissioner Schiraldi is a national leader in the field of rehabilitation, with more than 25 years of experience and a record of reform and success. He most recently led Washington, DC's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, where he turned a troubled agency that was on the verge of being placed under court supervision into a national model.

His reforms were recently recognized by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government "Innovations in American Government" awards program for being among the "Top 50" most innovative programs in the country. He will replace Acting Commissioner Patricia Brennan, who has served ably as Acting Commissioner since the departure of Commissioner Martin Horn last summer and will return to her role as Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Operations. The Mayor announced the appointment in the Blue Room of City Hall, where he was joined by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs. Commissioner Schiraldi is expected to begin work at the Department of Probation in February.

"For nearly five years Vinny Schiraldi has been a tremendous asset to the District, aggressively reforming the city's juvenile justice system," said District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. "He's created and implemented innovative programs that will serve as national best practice models for years to come. Some of the District's most troubled youth have greatly benefited from his work and commitment during my Administration as well as the previous Williams Administration. I wish Schiraldi much success, and congratulate Mayor Bloomberg on an excellent choice for probation commissioner."

Commissioner Schiraldi founded the Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice, a non-profit dedicated to reducing society's reliance on imprisonment as a solution to social problems. He has published more than 30 articles and has served on 10 boards and commissions in the field. His professional experience includes work as Director of the District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Founder and Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, DC, Western Regional Director of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives in San Francisco, California, Case Developer at the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives in New York City, Houseparent/Recreation Coordinator at the New York State Division for Youth, Foster Parent at the San Francisco Department of Social Service and lecturer on juvenile justice reform at San Francisco State and Georgetown Universities.

The Department of Probation gives adult and juvenile offenders the tools they need to redirect their lives and holding them accountable if they fail to lead a law-abiding life. Probation works to strengthen families and reduce the number of juveniles removed from their homes. The department works with community groups and other criminal justice agencies, providing information and services to the courts and giving victims a voice in the justice system.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 at 7:36 AM

W. Haywood Burns Institute Releases New Report

 

The W. Haywood Burns Institute, a leading organization in the field of juvenile justice and ethnic and racial disparities reduction, released The Keeper and the Kept, a report that examines local obstacles to reducing disparities in juvenile justice systems. The publication is the second in a series, following Adoration of the Question: Reflections on the Failure to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Desparities in Juvenile Justice Systems.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 at 5:57 AM

Online Courses Train Juvenile Justice Managers

 

The National Juvenile Court Services Association has designed an online training curriculum to train juvenile justice managers. Sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Professional Juvenile Justice Manager (PJMM) certificate program includes a series of online courses. Students will spend two weeks on each course, working on basic lecture material, specialized readings, and self-assessment questions.

The program is designed to train staff and to provide certification for supervisors currently in the field. Those who successfully complete the program will receive certification from the American Probation and Parole Association.

Resources:

To access a list of PJMM courses and register online, visit www.njcsacertification.org/course/ca tegory.php?id=29.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 at 5:56 AM

SAMHSA Will Provide $39.6 Million To Support Juvenile and Adult Reentry and Recovery Services

 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is currently accepting applications for the Offender Reentry Program. The purpose of the program is to expand or enhance substance abuse treatment and related recovery and reentry services to sentenced juvenile and adult offenders returning to the community from incarceration for criminal/juvenile offenses. Programs should help those who have been incarcerated make a stable transition back to the community, provide treatment for drug and alcohol abusers, and reduce future offending.

Grants will be awarded through SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, for fiscal year 2010. The deadline for submitting applications is January 19. The full grant announcement is available online.

Resources:

Read the full grant announcement online at www.samhsa.gov/Grants/2010/TI-10-006.aspx.

For more information about SAMHSA, go to www.samhsa.gov.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 at 5:55 AM

Briefing Advises House and Senate Members on Juvenile Justice Reentry Issues

 

On November 16, 2009, the Youth Reentry Task Force of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, along with the Sentencing Project and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, organized an educational panel to brief House and Senate members on the importance of meeting the needs of juveniles who reenter a community after a period of incarceration — a population consisting of about 100,000 youth a year. OJJDP Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski, who spoke at the briefing, emphasized the agency's commitment to supporting these youth, citing several OJJDP-sponsored programs and initiatives that have helped ex-offender youth find employment, complete education programs, and keep from reoffending.

Speakers reviewed best practices for service providers, federal laws that support reentry services, studies of reentry services that reduce recidivism, and current perspectives from the field. The speakers also made recommendations on how to bolster national policy to better support juveniles' reentry needs.

The task force also released a research report that outlines current findings on juvenile reentry issues.

Resources:

Read the research report online at www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/CC_youthreentryfall09report.pdf.

For more information about the Sentencing Project, visit www.sentencingproject.org.

For more information about the National Alliance to End Homelessness, visit www.naeh.org.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 at 5:54 AM

Evaluation Finds that Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative Significantly Improves Student Safety

 

On November 3, 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued the following press release:

Rockville, MD - In the wake of several recent highly-publicized stories about violence among school-aged children, a new report shows that school districts participating in the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative substantially improved the safety of their students. According to the report by SAMHSA, over a three-year period, school districts participating in the Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant program reported fewer students involved in violent incidents, decreased levels of experienced and witnessed violence, and improvements in overall school safety and violence prevention.

"Every child deserves to learn in a safe and healthy environment, and now through the results of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative we know that we can take real steps to help them," said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. "The positive impact for children, families and communities is unprecedented: lower rates of school violence, more mental health services for more children, better attendance, and improved academic performance."

Key findings from the Safe Schools/Healthy Students National Evaluation include:

  • A 15 percent decrease in the number of students involved in violent incidents during the grant period (from 17, 800 in year 1 to 15,163 in year 3).
  • A 12 percent decrease in the number of students reporting that they had experienced or witnessed violence from year 1 of the grant period to year 3.
  • Most staff at grantee schools reported that the Initiative had made their schools safer. By year 3 of the grant, 84 percent said the Initiative had improved school safety, 77 percent said it had reduced violence on campus, and 75 percent said it had reduced violence in the community.

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students program supports the implementation and enhancement of integrated, comprehensive community-wide plans that create safe and drug-free schools and promote healthy childhood development. Under the initiative, school districts, in partnership with local public mental-health agencies, law-enforcement and juvenile justice entities, must implement a comprehensive, community-wide plan that focuses on the following elements:

  • Safe school environments and violence prevention activities
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention activities
  • Student behavioral, social and emotional supports
  • Mental health services
  • Early childhood social and emotional learning programs.

Since 1999, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Justice have implemented the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, which has provided more than $2.1 billion to local educational, mental health, law enforcement and juvenile justice partnerships. For more information on the Safe Schools/Healthy Students visit www.sshs.samhsa.gov/apply/default.aspx.

Resources:

Read the press release on SAMHSA's Web site at www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/0911033535.aspx.

Click here to read a data brief that describes the evaluation's findings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 5:00 AM

OJJDP Acting Administrator Slowikowski Invites Juvenile Justice Professionals to Complete a Needs Assessment

 

On October 26th, 2009, OJJDP's National Training and Technical Assistance Center launched the Training and Technical Assistance Needs Assessment, an online survey that asks participants to describe their training and technical assistance needs and preferences. OJJDP will use the information to better provide the juvenile justice community with the tools and resources they require to enhance their organizational capacity, and to develop new curricula and training programs that are timely and responsive.

OJJDP Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski has issued an open invitation to the juvenile justice community to complete the needs assessment. He remarked, "This is an exciting opportunity to hear the voice of the field."

It is OJJDP's hope that the needs assessment will foster greater awareness and understanding of the current issues in the field. A systematic, nationwide assessment such as this provides a rich dataset that can inform federal understanding of local needs and help community stakeholders build capacity and sustainability among juvenile justice organizations.

Resources:

The OJJDP Needs Assessment is available online at: www.nttac.org/JJNeedsAssessment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 2:39 AM

Attorney General Holder Welcomes Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson

 

On November 9, 2009, the Office of Justice Programs issued the following press release:

Washington, DC - Laurie O. Robinson was sworn in today as Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

"Laurie's commitment, leadership, experience, and knowledge of criminal justice issues will ensure that the Department of Justice works in partnership with the justice community to develop innovative, evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce crime," Attorney General Holder said. "I look forward to once again working with Laurie."

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART).

Ms. Robinson, who was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 5, 2009, previously served as the Assistant Attorney General of OJP from 1993 to February, 2000. Since 2004, Ms. Robinson has been the director of the Master of Science Program in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Criminology. Also, since 2001, she has served as a Distinguished Senior Scholar in the University's Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, and as Executive Director of its Forum on Crime and Justice.

She has published numerous articles in criminal justice and legal periodicals, and has spoken at hundreds of criminal justice-related conferences and forums. Ms. Robinson is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Resources:

Read the full announcement at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2009/ojp10017.htm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 9:24 AM

OJJDP Recognizes Baltimore City as Leader in DMC Reduction Programs

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recognized Baltimore City's Pre-Adjudication Coordination & Transition Center (PACT Center) as one of its best practices for DMC reduction in 2009. Baltimore City is a DMC Action Network Partner Site. Officials and advocates in Baltimore City have something to celebrate: the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) recognized the city's Pre-Adjudication Coordination and Transition Center (PACT Center) with its 2009 Best Practices Award for DMC reduction. The program was one of three to receive the honor from OJJDP this year.



The PACT Center emerged from the recommendations of the city's DMC Advisory Board, which highlighted the need for additional community-based alternatives to secure detention. The program focuses on those youth who would otherwise be detained because of a lack of success in less intensive alternatives to detention.



Located in West Baltimore, the program provides support services to youth to ensure that they attend scheduled court hearings, avoid re-arrest, and appear in court with a comprehensive needs assessment and individualized plan that is designed to identify community resources that will help the youth avoid future delinquency. The PACT Center has successfully diverted over 300 African-American males from secure detention in the past two years.

Thursday, November 05, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Keeping Reforms on Track While Cutting Back: The Kansas Story

 

In the face of budget cuts, the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority has managed to preserve its community-level services by reducing the number of secure correctional facilities throughout the state while also reducing the number of youth in correctional facilities system-wide. Some recent signs point to economic recovery, but state and local governments are still feeling the pinch of the recession. This past July, the New York Times reported that juvenile justice reform efforts were suffering, as “[a]cross the country, depleted coffers . . . prompted state and local officials to pare programs intended as alternatives to the mere incarceration of juvenile lawbreakers.”



Across Kansas, the state’s Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) has an entirely different story to tell. Faced withbudget cuts, the JJA has not sacrificed its community-level programs, but has instead closed two secure correctional facilities to make ends meet.



Earlier projections estimated that approximately 700 youth would be in the state’s correctional facilities at this time. Today, the number is less than half that, and new estimates predict that the population will continue to fall below 300. According to Commissioner Jennings, “the reduced number is an indication of how we’ve strengthened community-level services and how community corrections partners have implemented evidence- and research-based practices. We’re demonstrating that believing, following, and selling research to key decision makers works.”



Reforms in Sedgwick County, the largest county in Kansas, have helped drive these results. In 2008, the county's use of objective detention screening, alternatives to detention and other strategies led to a 45% reduction in secure detention days. According to Mark Masterson, director of the county's Department of Corrections, the gains stem from "state and local partnerships, sustained leadership, commitment to the use of research-based practices, and making continuous improvements. Sustained commitment by the Legislature to fund prevention, intervention and graduated sanctions programming and shared decision-making and funding by local governing bodies has resulted in effective early assessment and intervention to reduce delinquency."



The budget crunch has also prompted officials to think creatively about uses for the two closed correctional facilities. After closing the Atchison Juvenile Correctional Facility, the JJA quickly contracted to convert the facility into a Youth Residential Center II, which provides treatment and programming to youth in a highly structured setting. Within seven months, the agency opened the doors to a non-secure 54-bed facility. Additionally, the JJA plans to introduce legislation in January to convey the land on which the Beloit Juvenile Correctional Facility is situated, which had been a gift from the city, back to the community. The JJA is also working with local officials on potential uses of the vacated facility.

In Kansas, JJA officials have responded to the financial crisis by reducing reliance on secure correctional facilities and prioritizing community-level programs. According to Commissioner Jennings, “This was a balancing that needed to occur. The positive side of the economic downturn is that it created the political will to do what should have been done before.”



Tell us how you’ve sustained DMC reduction efforts in light of budgetary challenges: email jszanyi@cclp.org.

Thursday, November 05, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Report on OJJDP's Tribal Youth Program Released at Capitol Hill Forum

 

On October 23, 2009, in Washington, DC, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) hosted a forum featuring the report "Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth Programs."

Speakers included Jeff Slowikowski, Acting Administrator, OJJDP; Sarah Pearson, author, "Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth Programs;" David Fullerton, Cultural Resource Manager, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; Laura Ansera, Tribal Programs Coordinator; and Patrick Dunckhorst, Program Manager, OJJDP.

In describing the activities of five diverse sites, the report examines how the Tribal Youth Program is improving the lives of tribal youth and strengthening their families.

Resources:

For additional information about the forum, visit www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2009/fb102309.htm.

To access the report, visit www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2009/documents/TYPReportfinal.pdf.

A more comprehensive report will be issued later, as will be announced on JUVJUST.

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 5:57 AM

Web Forum To Discuss How To Help Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

 

On October 26, 2009, at 2 p.m. E.T., the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), in collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, will host a Web Forum to discuss best practices for helping children exposed to domestic violence.

The 1-hour session, which is cosponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), will be led by Sherry Hamby, Ph.D., coauthor of the OJJDP Bulletin "Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey," and Miriam Berkman, J.D., M.S.W., coordinator of the Child Development-Community Policing Program's Domestic Violence Intervention Project.

Resources:

Further information about this OVC Web Forum, including instructions on how to participate, is available at ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum.

For additional information about children's exposure to violence, visit OJJDP's Safe Start Center at www.safestartcenter.org/.

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 5:56 AM

Vera Announces Creation of Cost-Benefit "Knowledge Bank"

 

NEW YORK – The Vera Institute of Justice today announced the development of a national Knowledge Bank for Cost-Benefit Analysis in Criminal Justice to inform practitioners and policymakers about the budgetary impacts of criminal justice policy choices. The Knowledge Bank, a project of Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit (CBAU), will provide decision makers with tools to help incorporate cost-benefit analysis into policy development.

“Cost-benefit analysis is quickly becoming an integral part of how policymakers evaluate programs and policy initiatives,” said Mike Jacobson, director of the Vera Institute of Justice. “Governments are trying to improve outcomes while facing chronic budget pressures and limited resources. The Knowledge Bank will provide tools to do that, improving the return on investment that state and local governments receive from their justice system expenditures.”

The Knowledge Bank project is funded by an innovation grant awarded to Vera by the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice. Over the next 18 months, Vera will create a web site to act as an information clearinghouse and center of a community of practice, providing access to rigorous examinations of the benefits and costs of policy choices.

As part of the Knowledge Bank project, CBAU will also facilitate roundtable discussions on criminal justice and cost-benefit analysis with policymakers, practitioners, and cost-benefit experts; will develop a toolkit of cost-benefit analytical instruments; and will provide general education and training on cost-benefit analysis, including webinars and podcasts.

Vera established its Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit in response to the growing need for cost-benefit capacity in the criminal justice field. In addition to building the Knowledge Bank, CBAU performs cost-benefit analyses and other cost-related studies, provides assistance to jurisdictions conducting their own studies, and carries out research to advance the knowledge and application of cost-benefit analysis in the justice system. CBAU will release its first cost-benefit analysis report this fall, supported by a series of educational podcasts explaining Vera’s approach to cost-benefit analysis.

The Vera Institute of Justice is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice. Vera combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.

Listen to a podcast about Vera's Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit.

 

Friday, October 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

OJJDP Bulletin Reports on Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published "Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey."

Understanding the nature and extent of children's exposure to violence is essential to mitigating its effects. To this end, OJJDP, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sponsored the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, whose findings are reported in this bulletin, the first in a series.

The survey, the first to measure children's exposure to violence in homes, schools, and communities across all age groups, found that more than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly (e.g., as a witness to a violent act; by learning of a violent act against a family member, neighbor, or close friend; or from a threat against their home or school).

Resources:

"Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey" (NCJ 227744) is available at ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=249751.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Capitol Hill Forum Will Feature Tribal Youth Program Report

 

On October 23, 2009, in Washington, DC, the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will host a forum on OJJDP's Tribal Youth Program, which provides funds to federally recognized American Indian tribes to support and enhance tribal efforts to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system for American Indian and Alaska Native youth ages 10-17.

Tribal Youth Program: Empowering Youth in Indian Country will showcase the release of the joint AYPF and OJJDP report "Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth Programs."

The report examines how the Tribal Youth Program is improving the lives of youth and strengthening families via case studies of five program sites. Speakers will include OJJDP staff and tribal officials.

Resources:

For further information about this forum, visit www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2009/fb10230 9.htm.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Girls Study Group Reviews Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls

 

To guide decisions within the juvenile justice system, judges, case managers, probation staff, and related professionals often rely on standardized instruments to assess the risks and needs of youth.

With the increased prevalence of girls in the juvenile justice system, some have questioned whether the instruments currently in use are appropriate for girls. However, research that has systematically examined the extent to which instruments used in the juvenile justice system are valid for girls is lacking.

The Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Delinquency Prevention's Girls Study Group has reviewed 143 assessment instruments, and information about each instrument may be accessed by searching the Study Group's online database.

Resources:

To obtain further information about the Girls Study Group’s assessment instruments review, visit http://girlsstudygroup.rti.org/dspinstrumentlist.cfm.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at 9:30 AM

OJJDP Bulletin Examines Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published "Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls."

Risk assessment instruments are often used to determine the programs and services that best serve the needs of youth within the juvenile justice system. Part of OJJDP's Girls Study Group series, the bulletin provides a comprehensive guide for juvenile justice practitioners to assist them in selecting an instrument which is suitable for assessing the needs of delinquent girls.

Resources:

"Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls" is available online at ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=248526.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Updated National Youth Gang Survey Analysis Now Available

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's National Youth Gang Center has posted updated findings and analyses from OJJDP's National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) on its Web site.

Conducted annually since 1995, NYGS is a systematic survey of law enforcement agencies across the nation that assesses the presence, extent, and characteristics of local gang problems.

The National Youth Gang Center Web site provides survey data from 1996 through 2007. Available data include annual numbers of gangs and gang members from 1996 through 2007, the change in the number of gang-problem jurisdictions from 2002 to 2007, and gang member demographics.

Resources:

To access this youth gang resource, visit www.iir.com/nygc/nygsa/.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 4:12 AM

OJJDP Bulletin Provides Strategies To Reduce Disproportionate Minority Contact

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published "Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact: Preparation at the Local Level."

The bulletin, the first in OJJDP's new DMC series, describes strategies that states and communities can use to reduce disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system. A companion to OJJDP's Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, the bulletin includes guidance drawn from the manual and provides useful information on the context in which local preparation to address disproportionate minority contact takes place.

Resources:

"Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact: Preparation at the Local Level" (NCJ 218861) is available online at ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=240604.

Print copies may be ordered online.

The DMC Technical Assistance Manual may be accessed at www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/dmctamanual/index.html.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 4:11 AM

ABC Primetime Documentary on Missouri DYS Airing September 9

 

The ABC Primetime documentary featuring the Missouri Division of Youth Services is scheduled to air on Wednesday, September 9 from 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Central Time).  It will be broadcast by your local ABC affiliate stations.

The documentary was filmed and produced over a period of about 14 months.  It is expected to provide an in-depth look at the Missouri approach to treatment and education of juvenile offenders. 

http://i.abcnews.com/GMA/missouris-juvenile-justice-system/Story?id=8511600&page=1

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 at 5:50 AM

OJJDP Seeks Information on DSO Promising Practices

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) seeks information on initiatives that help states achieve or maintain the deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO). To that end, OJJDP invites state agencies and others to nominate programs and strategies that have shown promise in keeping status offenders out of jail or removing status offenders from juvenile or adult detention, regardless of funding source.

Nominated programs will be reviewed for inclusion in a database of promising DSO initiatives. To be eligible for nomination, programs and strategies must have been in operation for at least 2 years and data documenting their impact must show improvement over one or more periods of time.

Resources:

The DSO Promising Practices Nomination Form may be accessed at ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/programs/ DSOpromisingpractices2009.pdf.

Thursday, September 03, 2009 at 8:35 AM

Attorney General Holder Announces $129 Million in Awards To Support Youth Mentoring

 

On September 2, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office of Justice Programs issued the following press release:

Washington – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced more than $129 million in Recovery Act and Fiscal Year 2009 funds have been awarded for mentoring services to help prevent at-risk youth from becoming involved in delinquency. The grants will also preserve and create jobs throughout the United States.

"The Recovery Act has allowed us to invest further in the future of today's youth by providing mentoring opportunities to help children reach their full potential," said Attorney General Holder. "These grants will help steer young people away from criminal activities by providing them with healthy life alternatives, positive role models and direct contact with caring adults."

The Recovery Act, signed into law by President Obama, provides the Office of Justice Programs' Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) with more than $85 million for national mentoring programs to reduce juvenile delinquency, violence, gang participation, school failure and dropout rates. The Recovery Act National Mentoring award recipients are:

  • The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Atlanta, GA ($44,400,000)
  • Goodwill Industries International, Rockville, MD ($19,160,337)
  • Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, PA ($17,829,110)
  • National Association of Police Athletic Activities Leagues, Inc., Jupiter, FL ($3,700,000).

The statutes appropriating funds for Fiscal Year 2009 authorize OJJDP's National Mentoring Programs initiative. The awards of more than $44 million were made to programs that target underserved and at-risk youth. The Fiscal Year 2009 National Mentoring award recipients are:

  • Home Builders Institute, Washington, DC ($9,949,890)
  • The Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, Washington, DC ($9,093,440)
  • YouthBuild USA, Somerville, MA ($8,840,914)
  • Young Men's Christian Association, San Francisco, CA ($7,129,327)
  • The Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC ($3,496,766)
  • Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Inc., Lenexa, KS ($3,251,170)
  • The Experience Corps, Washington, DC ($2,762,022).

 

Thursday, September 03, 2009 at 4:25 AM

Attorney General Holder Addresses White House Conference on Gang Violence Prevention

 

In remarks addressing the recent White Conference on Gang Violence Prevention and Crime Control, Attorney General Eric Holder commended Los Angeles' Summer Nights Light program, an initiative of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Gang Reduction Program, as a "different innovative approach to crime fighting."

"Summer Night Lights, in partnership with community organizations, offers safe and healthy alternatives to crime and delinquency at night," the Attorney General reported. "It literally turns the lights on in parks where crimes often occur, and offers recreational, educational, and artistic activities instead. The program is an example of innovation upon innovation. The Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention helped fund a pilot "Gang Reduction and Youth Development Zone" in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles reported that this program helped reduce gang violence in that area by 40 percent. Now the city runs 'zones' across the city and Summer Night Lights in 15 sites."

Resources:

Attorney General Holder's remarks may be viewed at www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/2 009/ag-speech-090824.html.

For additional information about OJJDP's efforts to prevent gang involvement, visit ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/programs/antigang/i ndex.html.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 at 4:28 AM

Report Assesses YouthBuild Youth Offender Grants

 

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) Employment and Training Administration has released the report "Evaluation of the YouthBuild Youth Offender Grants". The report summarizes findings from an implementation and outcomes evaluation of DOL's YouthBuild Youth Offender grants.

The evaluation consisted of two rounds of site visits in 2007 to each of the 34 grantees to examine their program designs and implementation, the characteristics of the participants they served, and the outcomes that they obtained.

Resources:

"Evaluation of the YouthBuild Youth Offender Grants" is available online at: http://wdr.doleta.gov/research/FullText_Documents/Evaluation%20of%20the%20YouthBuild%20Youth%20Offender%20Grants%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf

 

Monday, August 24, 2009 at 10:32 AM

OJJDP Joins Initiative to Promote Afterschool Programs

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is pleased to announce its support of the annual Lights On Afterschool initiative. Scheduled for October 22, 2009, this nationwide effort calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the resources needed to keep their lights on and doors open. More than 7,500 events will be held across America in schools, malls, and other venues.

Studies have shown that children participating in afterschool programs demonstrate increased school attendance and enhanced academic achievement. Afterschool programs also reduce juvenile offending, while promoting public safety and positive child development. Yet while millions of children take part in afterschool programs, millions more have no place to go after school.

Resources:

To learn more about Lights On Afterschool, access planning tools, and register or attend your community's event, visit ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/lightson.

Monday, August 24, 2009 at 10:31 AM

OJJDP's National Youth Gang Center To Merge With National Gang Center

 

Since 1995, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) National Youth Gang Center has addressed issues involving juvenile gang members, featuring prevention and intervention efforts and promoting a comprehensive strategy to combat gangs.

On October 1, 2009, the National Youth Gang Center will merge with the National Gang Center, currently funded by the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance. The functions performed by the National Youth Gang Center will continue, but its incorporation into an expanded National Gang Center will leverage resources more efficiently, while enhancing OJJDP's response to the needs of researchers, practitioners, and the other concerned citizens.

Resources:

Visit the National Gang Center Web site at www.nationalgangcenter.gov.

Monday, August 17, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Guide Seeks To Heal the Wounds of Children Exposed to Violence

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Safe Start Center has published "Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence."

The guide, which is available in English and Spanish, offers informative tips on how to recognize the signs of children's exposure to violence and helpful advice on helping children thus exposed.

Exposure to violence is a pervasive problem that crosses all ages, and the guide provides specifc information pertaining to children of various ages, as well as a list of useful resources.

Resources:

"Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence" and related resources, including a Quick Reference Guide, are available at www.safestartcenter.org.

Monday, August 03, 2009 at 3:31 AM

Manual Provides Assistance on Disproportionate Minority Contact

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has released a new edition of its Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual.

This fourth edition presents methods for calculating and analyzing disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and describes how jurisdictions may use data to facilitate informed decision making, multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches and partnerships, promising intervention strategies, performance measurement and evaluation.

The updated edition features new chapters on DMC data and intervention strategies for serving Hispanic youth in the juvenile justice system and the role of State DMC coordinators.

Resources:

The latest edition of the Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual is available at www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/dmctamanual/index.html.

Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 4:05 AM

2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book Now Available

 

CJCA is pleased to partner with the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a 2009 KIDS COUNT Outreach Partner. The 20th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book calls for improvements to the nation's ability to design and evaluate programs and policies aimed at the needs of children and families living in poverty. The 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book is complemented by a new online and mobile-friendly Data Center (http://datacenter.kidscount.org) that contains hundreds of measures of child well-being covering national, state, county, and city informations. Visitors to the website can access customizable graphs and geographic profiles on education, economin well-being, the number of children in immigrant families, health, and many more topics.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 6:33 AM

Kansas JJA Launches New Statistical Performance Application

 

The Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) recently launched a new application for enhanced viewing of juvenile justice data and performance indicators for each of the state's judicial districts. JJA MAPS (Managed Administrative Performance Stats) includes data on 12 specific performance indicators that visitors can use to observe trends in local juvenile justice systems, make comparisons among judicial districts and assess the effectiveness of the system.

JJA MAPS allows visitors to create reports that include rankings, charts and the ability to export data to Excel. The new application creates a healthy competitive environment among community corrections partners and facilitates exchange of strategies and solutions for challenges shared by local systems.

Visit www.jja.ks.gov to explore JJA MAPS.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 3:49 AM

Workshop Will Equip Participants To Evaluate Gender Responsive Programs

 

On October 28-30, 2009, in Chapel Hill, NC, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Girls Study Group will conduct an Evaluation Technical Assistance Workshop. The workshop is designed to equip organizations to carry out rigorous evaluations of their gender responsive delinquency prevention and intervention programs designed specifically to meet the unique needs of girls.

The workshop will tailor instruction specifically to the needs of the participating programs. Each participant will leave the workshop with a customized practical plan with next steps for their program’s evaluation.

Programs that provide gender responsive delinquency prevention or interventions for girls and have some level of evaluation experience are eligible to apply for participation. Selected programs must commit to sending two staff members to the workshop. The Girls Study Group will cover the cost of lodging and meals. All other costs, including transportation, will be the responsibility of the participating programs.

The application deadline is August 17, 2009.

Resources:

To obtain further information and apply online, visit girlsstudygroup.rti.org/dsp_workshop.cfm.


 The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:54 AM

New National Report: 1 in 11 Prisoners Serving a Life Sentence

 

   A new report released by The Sentencing Project finds a record 140,610 individuals are now serving life sentences in state and federal prisons, 6,807 of whom were juveniles at the time of the crime. In addition, 29% of persons serving a life sentence (41,095) have no possibility of parole, and 1,755 were juveniles at the time of the crime.
 
   No Exit: The Expanding Use of Life Sentences in America represents the first nationwide collection of life sentence data documenting race, ethnicity and gender. The report's findings reveal overwhelming racial and ethnic disparities in the allocation of life sentences: 66% of all persons sentenced to life are non-white, and 77% of juveniles serving life sentences are non-white.

Friday, July 24, 2009 at 4:25 AM

OMB Announces Recovery Act Reporting Webinars

 

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Recovery, Accountability, and Transparency Board have announced that Webinars will be held the week of July 20, 2009, to provide information on implementing the guidance set forth in OMB Memorandum M-09-21, Implementing Guidance for the Reports on Use of Funds Pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, released on June 22, 2009. If you are unable to attend the sessions listed below, the Webinars will be posted on the Recovery.gov website to view at your convenience.

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) encourages its grantees receiving funding under the Recovery Act to participate in these Webinars. Also, please note that DOJ/OJP is developing a Webinar scheduled to be held in August 2009 that will address agency-specific issues related to Recovery Act reporting requirements. Further details on the DOJ/OJP-sponsored Webinar will be provided to our grantees in the near future.

Each OMB Webinar will focus on a major section of the guidance and the technology solution for central reporting. To register for an OMB Webinar session, please visit the Recovery Act Web site at http://www.recovery.gov/?q=node/658. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance for the live sessions as space will be limited.

Webinar Schedule

July 20, 2009

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Section 1 - General Information
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Section 2 - Basic Principles and Requirements of Recovery Act Recipient Reporting 
Section 5 - Reporting on Jobs Creation Estimates by Recipients
 
July 21, 2009

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Section 3 - Recipient Reporting Process
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Technology Solution from an Agency Perspective
 
July 22, 2009

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Technology Solution from a Prime Recipient Perspective
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Technology Solution from a Sub-Recipient Perspective
 
July 23, 2009

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Section 4 - Data Quality Requirements

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 6:44 AM

OMB Issues Guidance for Recovery Act Reports

 

On June 22, 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued "Implementing Guidance for the Reports on Use of Funds Pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." The guidance consists of 39 pages of questions and answers and two supplements. The first supplement is a list of programs subject to recipient reporting. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is working with OMB to correct inaccurate DOJ program listings. The second supplement is the Recipient Reporting Data Model. Questions regarding the requirements provided in the guidance should be addressed to OMB at recovery@omb.eop.gov.

OMB anticipates holding a series of Webinars in July concerning the reporting guidance. Staff from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will participate in these Webinars, and OJJDP will keep JUVJUST subscribers informed as additional information becomes available. News will also be posted on OJJDP's Recovery Act page.

Resources:

The three documents referenced above are available at the following links:

Access OJJDP's Recovery Act page at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/recoveryact.html.

 

Thursday, July 02, 2009 at 8:26 AM

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission to Release Final Report Tomorrow

 

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission releases its report and standards tomorrow, June 23.  Please log on to www.nprec.us Tuesday to view the report and standards.


Press Conference:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 10 a.m.
National Press Club
Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045
To RSVP, please email your name and affiliation to abosquez@rabengroup.com.

 

Organizational Teleconference:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 3 p.m.
To RSVP, please email your name and affiliation to hgriffin@rabengroup.com.  Space is limited.  Call in details will be distributed to registered participants prior to the event.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 6:40 AM

OJJDP Fact Sheets Provide Data on Juveniles in Court

 

OJJDP Fact Sheets Provide Data on Juveniles in Court

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released four fact sheets providing data derived from the report "Juvenile Court Statistics 2005."

In 2005, U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled 1.7 million delinquency cases. One third of these cases received probation as the most serious disposition, and 25 percent of these cases involved personal offenses. For every 1,000 petitioned juvenile cases, 8 were waived to criminal court.

Resources:

"Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2005" is available online at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=246504.

"Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2005" is available online at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=246505.

"Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2005" is available online at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=246502.

"Person Offense Cases in Juvenile Court, 2005" is available online at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=246503.

Friday, June 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Local Solicitation Deadline Extended

 

The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Formula Program:  Local Solicitation deadline has been extended.  The new application deadline is 8:00 pm ET on June 17, 2009. 

 

The Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), established the previous deadline of May 18 to encourage early submission of applications in an effort to provide economic stimulus as soon as possible.  Because this is a non-competitive formula grant program, the extension of this deadline does not impact either eligibility or funding determinations.

 

 For information about this solicitation or other OJP programs, please visit www.ojp.gov or call OJP’s Office of Communications at 202-307-0703.

 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:22 AM

OJJDP Announces FY 2009 Mentoring Initiatives

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced the following funding opportunities related to mentoring:

Resources:

To obtain further information about the above and other current OJJDP solicitations, including eligibility criteria and application deadlines, visit http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/funding/FundingList.asp.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 6:34 AM

OJJDP Bulletin Provides Juvenile Arrest Data for 2007

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published "Juvenile Arrests 2007." The 12-page bulletin draws on data from the FBI's "Crime in the United States 2007" to analyze trends in juvenile arrests.

In 2007, U.S. law enforcement agencies made an estimated 2.18 million arrests of persons under age 18. There were 2 percent fewer juvenile arrests in 2007 than in 2006, and juvenile violent crime arrests declined 3 percent, reversing the modest upward trend over the previous two years.

Resources:

"Juvenile Arrests 2007" (NCJ 225344) is available at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=247324.

Print copies may be ordered online.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Coordinating Council Supports Shakespeare Projects for At-Risk Youth

 

The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has awarded grants to six theater companies to support performances and educational activities targeted to at-risk youth and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The awardees are among 37 recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 2009-2010 Shakespeare for a New Generation grants, which introduce middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare.

Through a partnership between the Coordinating Council and the NEA, the following six theater companies were selected from among the NEA awardees to receive additional grants of $10,000-20,000:

  • Actors' Shakespeare Project (Somerville, MA)
  • California Shakespeare Theater (Berkeley, CA)
  • Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Cold Spring, NY)
  • Kentucky Shakespeare Festival (Louisville, KY)
  • San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (San Francisco, CA)
  • Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA)

The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is an independent body within the executive branch of the federal government that coordinates federal juvenile delinquency prevention programs, federal programs, and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles, and federal programs relating to missing and exploited children. The Attorney General serves as chair and the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention serves as vice chair.

Resources:

To view the complete press release, visit http://www.nea.gov/news/news09/shakespeare-for-a-new-generation.html.

For more information about the Coordinating Council, visit http://www.juvenilecouncil.gov/.

Friday, April 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM

OJJDP Announces FY 2009 Funding Opportunities

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced the following funding opportunities:

Resources:

To obtain further information about the above and other current OJJDP solicitations, including eligibility criteria and application deadlines, visit http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/funding/FundingList.asp.

Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Fact Sheet Highlights Youth Gang Survey

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announces the availability of "Highlights of the 2007 National Youth Gang Survey." This 2-page fact sheet was prepared by OJJDP's National Youth Gang Center.

The fact sheet summarizes findings from the National Youth Gang Survey for 2007 and provides data on the number of gangs, gang members, and gang-related crime. Based on survey results, it is estimated that approximately 27,000 gangs and 788,000 gang members were active in the United States in 2007.

Resources:

"Highlights of the 2007 National Youth Gang Survey" (NCJ 225185) is available online at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=247164.

Monday, April 20, 2009 at 4:13 AM

New York Times editorial highlights JJDPA reauthorization

 

Click here to read the editorial.

Monday, April 13, 2009 at 6:40 AM

Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation to expand diversion program in Illinois

 

Click here to read the press release.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 at 6:26 AM

APA Condemns Trying Juveniles in Adult Courts

 

Aaron Levin

APA's president insists that pre-teens charged with murder should not be handled by the adult criminal justice system, pointing out that many juveniles are too young to understand the consequences of their actions.

Children are not just short adults, even when they are accused of violent crimes. The question of whether young children should be tried as adults in capital cases arose again recently in cases from two states, prompting APA to issue a statement reiterating its opposition to trying juveniles in adult criminal courts.

In one case, a 9-year-old Arizona boy was charged with shooting his father and his father's housemate to death. In Pennsylvania, an 11-year-old boy stands accused of shooting his father's pregnant girlfriend, and prosecutors are weighing whether to try him as an adult.

The younger boy, who was 8 at the time of the crime in November 2008, avoided trial as an adult by pleading guilty to negligent homicide. Sentencing is pending, but the boy will remain under court supervision, and possibly in detention, until he turns 18.

"I was appalled by the fact that this child was allowed by his attorney and the judge to plead guilty in this case," said APA President Nada Stotland, M.D., in an interview with Psychiatric News. "Anyone can understand that a 9-year-old doesn't understand enough to make that decision."

Many juveniles do not comprehend the consequences of their actions, either when committing a crime or in entering a plea, nor do they understand their legal rights and the lasting impact of criminal conviction on their lives, said Stotland. In fact, the Arizona boy's plea has been criticized by some, including his mother, for just that reason. He had also been interrogated alone by police, violating another of Stotland's points, that young children should not be questioned by police or courts unless a parent or guardian is present.

"We need to be clear that not all bad behavior is related to a psychiatric disorder, but an accused child should be evaluated to rule it out," she said. Children who commit crimes are often the victims of neglect and abuse, said Stotland. In each case of young children accused of a violent crime, there should be an inquiry into the child's history and circumstances to determine whether signs of abuse, neglect, and/or psychiatric problems were overlooked until the alleged crime occurred. Treating these children as adults, especially by processing them through a criminal justice system designed to deal with adults accused of crimes, makes it harder for them to rebuild their lives.

The status of the two boys exemplifies the conflict between the punitive, adversarial view of young defendants that typified juvenile courts in the 1980s and 1990s and research showing that the brains of teenagers and young adults are not fully developed, leading to more impulsivity.

Juveniles aged 15 and younger are significantly more likely than older adolescents and young adults to be impaired in ways that compromise their ability to serve as competent defendants in criminal proceedings, the APA statement pointed out. Also, they should never be allowed to waive their right to an attorney.

Both boys were held initially in isolation in adult detention centers because juvenile and adult prisoners are not supposed to be housed together. APA believes that children should not be subjected to such isolation, a form of punishment that is likely to produce lasting psychiatric symptoms.

"Those who are ultimately incarcerated in adult jails are often the victims of violent assault and suicide and are 34 percent more likely to be rearrested than those retained in the juvenile system," Stotland noted.

The APA news release "Incarcerated Juveniles Belong in Juvenile Facilities" is posted Here.

Friday, April 03, 2009 at 7:52 AM

New York Times article highlights Missouri's juvenile system

 

Click here to read Solomon Moore's article, "Missouri System Treats Juvenile Offenders With Lighter Hand."

Friday, March 27, 2009 at 5:06 AM