January | February 2012

News in Brief

OJJDP Observes AMBER Alert Awareness Day

AMBER Alert logo. On January 13, 2012, OJJDP and communities across the country observed National AMBER Alert Awareness Day in recognition of the collaborative efforts and successes of the AMBER Alert program to assist in the recovery of abducted children. To date, AMBER Alerts have helped rescue 554 abducted children.

The AMBER Alert program, created after the 1996 abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and transportation agencies. In serious child abduction cases, partners coordinate to send out an urgent bulletin that describes the abducted child and the suspect. This alert is broadcast to millions of media listeners and viewers.

OJJDP Launches Web Site To Improve Outcomes for At-Risk and Delinquent Girls

OJJDP's National Girls Institute has created a Web site to better meet the needs of at-risk and delinquent girls, their families, and the agencies and organizations that serve them. Established in 2010, NGI provides training, technical assistance, and resources to local, tribal, and private organizations that serve girls and young women in or at risk of entering the juvenile justice system.

"We have a responsibility to educate professionals and the public about what programs work to keep girls safe and out of trouble," said Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator of OJJDP. "This Web site is an important step forward in our efforts to improve the lives of girls across the country."

On the Web site, professionals can submit requests for training and technical assistance, as well as find current information about best practices, gender-responsive tools, research, and events in the field. Girls and their parents and caregivers will find helpful information on national hotlines and resources on issues that matter to them. More information about NGI and its new Web site will be available in the next issue of OJJDP News @ a Glance.

Statistical Briefing Book Updated

Image of Statistical Briefing Book home page. OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book (SBB), an online tool featuring current statistics about juvenile crime and victimization, was recently updated to provide the latest information available to practitioners, policymakers, the media, and the public. SBB is a major source of U.S. juvenile crime and juvenile justice data: during fiscal year (FY) 2011, there were more than 465,000 visits to the SBB site.

The site uses Easy Access, a family of Web-based data analysis tools that the National Center for Juvenile Justice developed for OJJDP to expand access to recent, detailed information on juvenile crime and the juvenile justice system. The latest updates to Easy Access include Juvenile Populations, the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports, State and County Juvenile Court Case Counts, and the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. SBB's Frequently Asked Questions section also has been updated.

OJJDP Co-Sponsors Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Forum

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America logo.More than 2,500 people attended the OJJDP-supported 2012 Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Leadership Forum, held on February 6–9, 2012, in Maryland. The conference provided information on the latest strategies to combat substance abuse and offered an opportunity for attendees to hear from nationally known experts and policymakers. The event brought together members of community antidrug coalitions from across the country, government leaders, addiction treatment professionals, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals, faith-based leaders, and youth.

Since 1992, CADCA has been training local grassroots groups, known as community antidrug coalitions, in effective community problem-solving strategies, teaching them how to assess their local substance abuse-related problems and develop a comprehensive plan to address them. Today, CADCA is the nation's leading drug abuse prevention organization, representing the interests of more than 5,000 community antidrug coalitions in the country.

National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center Launches Bulletin

In 2010, OJJDP funded the National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC) to assist state, local, and tribal entities with the evaluation of juvenile justice programs and implementation of evidence-based initiatives. The center provides a range of practitioner-friendly resources to guide juvenile justice agencies and practitioners in selecting, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining programs supported by research evidence.

As part of that effort, NJJEC recently released the first issue of its bimonthly online newsletter, NJJEC Bulletin. The newsletter provides information on NJJEC project activities, evaluation-related activities of OJJDP grantees, helpful resources, and upcoming trainings, conferences, and other events. To subscribe to this free resource, visit the NJJEC Web site. NJJEC is a project of the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA).

Office of Justice Programs Releases 2010 Annual Report

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has released 2010 OJP Annual Report: Mapping a Course. The report discusses OJP's commitment to outreach and collaboration with the criminal and juvenile justice fields, and describes OJP's innovative programs and technology, evidence-based programs and practices, and funds management. The report is available online.