OJJDP News @ A GlanceOJP Seal
Printer-Friendly Version
Coordinating Council Addresses Girls and the Juvenile Justice System

Correction: The original article contained an incorrectly cited statistic. The Survey of Youth in Residential Placement reported that 35 percent—not 44 percent—of girls in custody had a history of sexual abuse. The error has been corrected in the revised article below. Article Revised 11/1/12.

Photo of participants in a panel discussion on girls and the juvenile justice system at the September 2012 meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.Photo credit: Kaukab Jhumra Smith/Center for Sustainable Journalism

Youth advocates Danielle De Land and Withelma Ortiz Walker Pettigrew participated in panel discussions on the needs of at-risk girls at the September 14, 2012, meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The meeting also featured testimony from experts in the fields of juvenile justice, health, social services, public policy, and the law.
The daughter of drug-addicted parents, Withelma "T" Ortiz Walker Pettigrew spent her childhood in and out of 14 foster homes, until the age of 10, when she met a man who said he would care for her and love her. The opposite turned out to be the case.

For 7 years, she was sex trafficked in California, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Washington, and threatened with death if she did not comply. She was arrested on prostitution charges, incarcerated twice, and put into solitary confinement.

With the help of a court-appointed advocate, T was able to leave sex trafficking and the juvenile justice system behind. Today, at age 23, she is a nationally recognized youth advocate and member of the board of directors of the Human Rights Project for Girls.

T told her story at the fall meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, where council members from agencies across the federal government heard testimony from young women who survived abuse and then were caught up in the juvenile justice system, as well as a range of experts in the fields of juvenile justice, health, social services, public policy, and the law. The discussions focused on the risk factors that lead girls into the juvenile justice system, pathways to success, and policies and practices at the local, state, and federal levels in need of reform to better meet girls' needs. Lawanda Ravoira, director of OJJDP's National Girls Institute, moderated the discussions.

left quoteWe've done a good job of clarifying the school-to-prison pipeline. But the school-to-prison pipeline is really a boy's story. The story for girls is located more often in sexual and physical violence.right quote

—Malika Saar
Executive Director
Human Rights Project for Girls

OJJDP's Girls Study Group has found that, although a number of delinquency risk factors—such as family conflict, low academic achievement, disengagement from school, and a lack of community-based programs—affect both boys and girls, others are specifically associated with girls. These risk factors include a history of sexual abuse, early onset of puberty, depression, and anxiety. Studies of girls who are chronic runaways document significant levels of prior sexual and physical victimization. This makes them vulnerable to subsequent victimization, including being trafficked and sexually exploited, and may lead them to engage in illegal behaviors such as theft and drug use.

Photo of members of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.Photo credit: Kaukab Jhumra Smith/Center for Sustainable Journalism

Mary Lou Leary (left), Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs; Melodee Hanes, OJJDP Acting Administrator and vice-chair of the Coordinating Council (seated next to Leary); and other council members listen to a panel discussion on at-risk and delinquent girls. OJJDP administers the Coordinating Council.
"We've done a good job of clarifying the school-to-prison pipeline," said Malika Saar, executive director of the Human Rights Project for Girls. "But the school-to-prison pipeline is really a boy's story. The story for girls is located more often in sexual and physical violence. I hope that today marks the beginning of a better understanding of who girls are and what they need as girls."

OJJDP's Survey of Youth in Residential Placement shows that 42 percent of girls in custody have experienced past physical abuse, as compared with 22 percent for boys; 35 percent have a history of sexual abuse, as compared with 8 percent for boys.

"We need to better understand the full context of why girls end up in the juvenile justice system," said Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, president of the National Crittenton Foundation. "Many of them need support services—and intervention as early as possible."

left quoteIf we look at how girls move through the system, and how dollars move through the system, these two things are at odds.right quote

—Dr. Barbara Guthrie
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Associate Professor
Yale School of Nursing

If they enter the juvenile justice system, many girls are further marginalized by services and programs traditionally designed for boys. The juvenile justice system often lacks reproductive health, pregnancy, and parenting services as well as trauma-informed care for victims of sexual exploitation and other forms of child abuse.

"If we look at how girls move through the system, and how dollars move through the system, these two things are at odds," said Dr. Barbara Guthrie, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor, Yale School of Nursing.

Francine Sherman, clinical professor and director of Boston College Law School's Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project, emphasized the importance of comprehensive data collection and analysis to quantify gender bias in the juvenile justice system and urged the federal government to encourage and assist jurisdictions in this effort. "Local jurisdictions should be required to focus their data collection activities on those areas where we know there is gender bias; and this data should be cross-referenced with racial data," she said. Dr. Guthrie cited statistics showing that African American girls are three times more likely, Latinas one to two times more likely, and American Indian/Alaska Native girls four times more likely to be incarcerated than are white girls.

Ms. Ravoira recommended that the federal government develop standards and guidelines that encourage states and localities to fully expunge juvenile justice records, which often can hamper girls' ability to pursue vocational and educational opportunities once they leave the juvenile justice system.

With the appropriate supports and social services, many girls who are victims of trauma find their way to productive and fulfilling lives. At the Coordinating Council meeting, Danielle De Land, 36, shared her success story. As a child, Danielle experienced severe physical abuse at the hands of her father. "By age 14, my life was a prison," she said. "I did not want to be alive anymore." After being removed from her home, she went to live at a National Crittenton Foundation facility, where she was encouraged to build skills, break destructive cycles, and become a powerful agent of change in her life. "If it wasn't for the nonstop support I received, I would have ended up a statistic." Today, Danielle is proud to report that she is a fitness instructor, barista, and part-time DJ.

Information about OJJDP's National Girls Institute, Girls Study Group publication series, and Survey of Youth in Residential Placement is available online. To learn more about evidence-based gender-specific programming, visit OJJDP's Model Programs Guide.

To access the Coordinating Council's meeting materials on girls' risk factors and needs, visit the council's Web site.

Back to top

OJJDP Announces $1.5 Million Grant To Reduce Youth Violence in Philadelphia

Photo of Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator for OJJDP, announcing that the City of Philadelphia will receive a fiscal year 2012 Community-Based Violence Prevention grant.© City of Philadelphia. Photograph by Kait Privitera.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter (left) listens while Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator for OJJDP, announces that the city of Philadelphia will receive a Community-Based Violence Prevention grant of
$1.5 million.

On September 19, 2012, OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes announced a $1.5 million grant to enable Philadelphia to expand its efforts to reduce violence among youth. The grant, awarded through OJJDP's Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program, will support the Philadelphia CeaseFire project. Philadelphia CeaseFire combines statistical information and street knowledge to identify where to concentrate antiviolence efforts, intervene in violence, and change community norms regarding violence.

Philadelphia's homicide rate is more than double that of New York and Los Angeles. Between 2008 and 2010, more than half of Philadelphia's shooting victims were children and young adults. In 2011, three of four homicide victims were African American males.

Philadelphia CeaseFire logo.Hanes made the announcement during a press conference at Philadelphia's City Hall. Other speakers included Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Zane Memeger. The other cities receiving fiscal year 2012 Community-Based Violence Prevention grants are Baton Rouge, LA; Detroit, MI; and Los Angeles, CA.

Also on September 19, Attorney General Eric Holder and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary announced that Philadelphia and three other cities—Camden, NJ; Minneapolis, MN; and New Orleans, LA—had been selected to join the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

Established at the direction of President Obama in 2010, the forum brings together federal, state, and local partners in a collaborative effort to address youth violence. The other cities in the forum are Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Memphis, TN; Salinas, CA; and San Jose, CA.

The cities have rallied local stakeholders—police, educators, public health and other service providers, faith and community leaders, parents, and youth—to develop comprehensive strategic plans to combat local youth violence. The cities' plans are data driven and address youth violence through a range of strategies, including prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry.

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy are the forum's federal partners. The partners organized a working session and two summits in Washington, DC, where cities reported on their progress and shared promising strategies. Cities have also been provided with access to technical assistance in developing their plans and identifying and addressing implementation challenges.

A recent, independent, interim assessment of the forum's work in participating cities, conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Temple University's Department of Criminal Justice, indicated promising results and progress to date.


OJJDP's Model Programs Guide provides a detailed description of the Operation Ceasefire model, originally developed by the Boston Police Department's Youth Violence Strike Force.

Additional information about OJJDP's Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program is available online.

To learn more about the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, read About the Collaboration, review the Logic Model, and visit Forum in the News.

Back to top

A First Drink Before a First Breath: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

September 9 was International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day. OJJDP and its partnering agencies are working to increase public understanding about the physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges faced by youth with FASD.

FASD is an umbrella term for a range of disabilities of varying severity that affect children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy. The disabilities are irreversible, although early diagnosis and treatment can be of considerable help to children with this condition. FASD is the leading known cause of preventable cognitive impairment in the United States, and its prevalence has been estimated as high as 1 of every 100 live births.

OJJDP's Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center estimates that the cost to the United States in 2010 of babies born with FASD to mothers ages 15 to 20 was more than $1.3 billion.

Youth with FASD can be of average intelligence and have good verbal skills. However, they often have poor social skills, lack impulse control, and have difficulty managing conflict. This can lead to rejection from peer groups and association with other socially isolated children, which increases the risk of delinquent behavior. Children who are affected by FASD are at increased risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Children with FASD tend to come from unstable family environments, and many end up in foster care, a factor that further increases their chances of entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome reports that up to 70 percent of children in foster care have FASD.

Sixty-one percent of adolescents with FASD have been in legal trouble. Thirty-five percent of those with FASD who are older than age 12 have been incarcerated at some point in their lives.

Although a few juvenile court judges have helped their courts identify and aid children with FASD, standard juvenile justice interventions currently do not take FASD-related disabilities into account. Most attorneys and judges are unfamiliar with the effects of FASD and the special needs of this population. Thus, youth and adults with FASD often do not receive appropriate treatment and care in the justice system.

That is all beginning to change—thanks to the Justice Issues Working Group, a component of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (ICCFASD).

Created in 1996, ICCFASD seeks to improve communication and collaboration between agencies to address pressing issues related to FASD, including health, education, developmental disability, research, justice, and social services. OJJDP has been a member of ICCFASD since the late 1990s.

Over the past 15 months, the OJJDP-led Justice Issues Working Group has moved swiftly with the American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and other partners to raise awareness about FASD among legal and judicial professionals and begin developing strategies that more effectively meet the needs of FASD-affected individuals:

"It is so important that we open up a discussion about FASD, that we raise awareness, and that we all learn more about how we can better serve the needs of kids with FASD," said OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes. "We need to be better informed about the factors that dispose these kids to come into contact with the justice system, how to effectively represent these youth in court, and how to most appropriately handle these youth if they should enter the juvenile justice system."


To learn more about FASD, visit the Web sites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. For more information on legal issues associated with FASD, visit the Web site of the ABA Center on Children and the Law. Information about FASD initiatives at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is also available online.

Back to top

Update: OJJDP Green Reentry Program for Tribal Youth

Funded through a 4-year grant under OJJDP's Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration Program, three tribes are using agricultural and environmentally sustainable technologies as a platform to teach vocational skills, promote healthy lifestyles, and deepen pride in tribal traditions and culture. Services also include tutoring and online educational opportunities as well as substance abuse and individual and family counseling.

Photo of youth  from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw  Indians working in a community garden.
A youth from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians works in the community garden near the Youth Transitional Living Unit in Pearl River, MS.
The OJJDP-funded Education Development Center (EDC), Inc., facilitated the planning and implementation of the program. EDC staff, who live and work in Indian country, are intimately familiar with tribal communities, customs, and culture.

With the OJJDP green reentry grant, teens from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians created a community garden adjacent to the Youth Transitional Living Unit in Pearl River, MS. Mississippi State University, long known for its expertise in agriculture; the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service; and the tribe's Wildlife and Parks, Natural Resources, Choctaw Ways, and Cultural Departments assisted with the project.

In close consultation with tribal elders, youth prepare the soil and plant, nurture, and harvest collard greens, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and corn. They then use traditional recipes to prepare meals. Youth also sell the produce, with proceeds going to the green reentry program. Plans are in the works to create gardens in other Choctaw communities and to incorporate recycling and alternative forms of energy into the reentry program. Environmental education is a key component of the gardening project.

In addition, youth have assisted in the construction of an electrical fence to protect the garden from deer; participated in First Aid and CPR training to help their communities in the event of health crises, house fires, and natural disasters; and toured the Mississippi College of Law and the State Capitol to learn how better to have an impact on the state's legal and legislative systems.

left quoteThe project has allowed us to make significant positive changes in our entire juvenile offender process here at Choctaw, but it is an even greater force for positive change in the lives of the youth that it touches.right quote

—Kevin Briscoe, Youth Court Judge
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Photo of solar  power system under construction.
Youth gain valuable work experience in green technologies as they help build a new solar power system for the Hualapai Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Peach Springs, AZ.
Youth in the Hualapai Indian Tribe of Peach Springs, AZ, with guidance from the University of Arizona Agricultural Extension Office and community elders, have created garden beds and constructed greenhouses at the Hualapai Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Center and at the local Boys & Girls Club. They plant, attend to, and harvest the produce, which they deliver to elders in the community. The produce also serves as a staple in the detention center's kitchen, where youth learn how to prepare and cook healthy meals incorporating traditional fruits and vegetables.

In addition, youth assisted in the construction of a new solar power system at the detention center, funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant. These and other activities made possible through partnerships with the Hualapai Tribe's Department of Education and Training, Housing Department, and Apprenticeship Program have provided youth with valuable contacts, work experience, and employment opportunities.

left quotePartnerships between the Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Center and other tribal departments are extremely important because youth build a rapport with individuals and are able to continue working with these people after release.right quote

—Candida Hunter
Councilwoman, Hualapai Tribe

The benefits of the reentry program extend beyond detention. Youth who have been released from detention can work in the gardens and greenhouses, attend individual and family counseling sessions, participate in talking circles, and join in on Youth Council activities, including outdoor adventure expeditions.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe of Rosebud, SD, has incorporated green technologies into a comprehensive reentry program for adjudicated youth. The program includes gardening, beekeeping, raising chickens, recycling, environmental education, and participation in community service projects. The program also incorporates traditional healing, culturally based counseling, culturally relevant offsite excursions, and education in Lakota history.

Photo of apiary  on Rosebud Sioux Reservation.
Youth from the Wanbli Wiconi Tipi Youth Wellness and Renewal Center on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation (Rosebud, SD) assisted in the construction of an apiary. In addition to producing honey, bees are essential to the pollination of trees, crops, herbs, and vegetables.

In addition, youth from the tribe's detention center (Wanbli Wiconi Tipi Youth Wellness and Renewal Center) engaged in community service activities, including gathering wood and wood chips for the elderly to fuel their wood-burning stoves, launching a cleanup campaign to remove litter from one of the larger communities on the reservation, repairing 80 broken and discarded bicycles, and offering the bicycles for use by children in the community.

"One of the youth who helped repair bikes had been involved in a gang, had truancy problems, and had a history of intakes into detention," said Miskoo Petite, Sr., facility administrator, Rosebud Sioux Tribe Corrections Services. "You should have seen the expression on his face on the day the bikes were delivered to kids in the community. It made him happy to see young people in his community feel good."

Since then, the young man has been accepted into the Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, OK. He is excelling at academics and sports, has been selected as a dorm mediator, and continues to work toward his high school diploma.

"This is the kind of progress—one person at a time—that makes all of our work in juvenile justice and delinquency prevention so worthwhile," said Melodee Hanes, OJJDP's Acting Administrator. "The Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration Program was developed in close consultation with tribes. Ensuring that reentry programs are sensitive to tribal traditions and culture is an important ingredient in success."

RTI and American Indian Development Associates are conducting an evaluation of the Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration Program, with a final report scheduled for release in the coming months.

OJJDP Online Resource Center Supports Tribal Detention and Reentry Programs

Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Resource Center Web site screenshot
The Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Resource and Technical Assistance Center Web site.
OJJDP offers training and technical assistance to all grantees and federally recognized tribes to facilitate program planning, enhancement, implementation, and evaluation around juvenile tribal detention centers and juvenile justice services. The Office has created an online Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Resource and Technical Assistance Center, which contains information about training and technical assistance, events, and funding opportunities. The Web site also features a searchable database of resources and materials, including published works, peer-reviewed research, curriculums, and other resources that provide the latest information on topics relevant to juvenile detention and reentry and green job training.

Back to top

Staff News

OJJDP Staff Receive Attorney General Awards

Photo of Elissa Rumsey
OJJDP Compliance Monitoring Coordinator Elissa Rumsey.
Six Office of Justice Programs (OJP) staff—three of them from OJJDP—were recognized for distinguished public service at the 60th Annual Attorney General's Awards Ceremony on October 17, 2012. The event was held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

Photo of Brecht Donoghue
OJJDP Research Coordinator Brecht Donoghue.
OJJDP Compliance Monitoring Coordinator Elissa Rumsey, along with Allen Beck (Senior Statistical Advisor, Bureau of Justice Statistics) and Gary Dennis (Senior Policy Advisor for Corrections, Bureau of Justice Assistance), were recognized for their work in guiding the Justice Department's efforts to address sexual violence in prisons, jails, and lockups through the successful implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003.

Photo of Jennifer Tyson
OJJDP Program Manager Jennifer Tyson.
OJJDP Research Coordinator Brecht Donoghue and OJJDP Program Manager Jennifer Tyson were honored along with Phelan Wyrick (Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, OJP) for advancing the Attorney General's goal of increasing the use of science and evidence in the Department's work, and specifically for designing, planning, and implementing CrimeSolutions.gov, a searchable database of evidence-based programs covering a range of justice-related topics.

Back to top

Upcoming Events

Introduction to Juvenile Interview and Interrogation Techniques: November 14–15, 2012

International  Association of Chiefs of Police logo.OJJDP and the International Association of Chiefs of Police are sponsoring this free 2–day event in Norfolk, VA. The training session is designed to introduce newly assigned police officers (or those who have limited experience with youth) to the fundamental investigative skills, tactics, and procedures that result in an effective juvenile interview or interrogation. This course uses interactive exercises to develop skills in analyzing youth behavior, developing rapport, and understanding adolescent behavior. To register for this event, go to the conference Web site.

American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting: November 14–17, 2012

The American Society of Criminology's 2012 meeting, "Thinking About Context: Challenges for Crime and Justice," to be held in Chicago, IL, will offer a variety of sessions and roundtables on the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. Topics to be covered include juvenile detention alternatives, race and juvenile justice, juvenile risk assessment instrumentation, innovations in schools and juvenile facilities, family violence and youthful violent offenders, bullying and offending, blueprints for gang prevention, dating violence, drug and alcohol use among students, outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system, and the role of parents and the family in juvenile justice proceedings and outcomes. More information about the meeting, including the program, hotel arrangements, and registration, is available online.

27th National Training Institute: Leading Edge Early Childhood Science, Policy and Practice: November 28–December 1, 2012

ZERO TO THREE logo.The National Training Institute, to be held in Los Angeles, CA, is ZERO TO THREE's annual multidisciplinary training event for experienced early childhood professionals. The institute has been developed to meet the learning and networking needs of those working with infants and toddlers in child welfare, early childhood education, early intervention, mental health, parent education, and pediatrics. Registration is available online.

Global Youth Justice 6th International Training Institute: December 4–6, 2012

Global Youth Justice logo.Global Youth Justice will host "Establish/Enhance/Expand a Local Teen Court/Youth Court Diversion Program"on December 4–6 in Las Vegas, NV. Topics include training youth and adult volunteers, offering quality community services and programs, conducting mock family intake meetings, writing grants, identifying funding and resources, and more. Registration is available online.

14th Annual Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference: December 5–7, 2012

Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference logo.The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association will cohost this conference, to be held in Lexington, KY. This event will focus on topics such as human trafficking; trauma-informed care; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning issues; primary prevention; marginalized communities; workplace safety; and children. Registration is available online.

National Juvenile Justice Mentoring Forum: January 23, 2013

National Juvenile  Justice Mentoring Forum announcement. In recognition of National Mentoring Month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) will host a National Juvenile Justice Mentoring Forum in Washington, DC. The forum, "Mentoring Partners in Action: Successful Children and Safer Communities," will focus on building coalitions and sustaining successful mentoring programs that reduce juvenile delinquency, school dropout, and the incidence of disconnected youth. Leaders from government and from the corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors are expected to attend. For registration information, please contact BBBSA.

The forum will take place on the eve of the 2013 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC (see below for more information).

2013 National Mentoring Summit: January 24–25, 2013

National Mentoring Summit logo.MENTOR, along with OJJDP, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Harvard School of Public Health, and United Way, are organizing this summit, "Mentoring Works: Inspire. Achieve. Advocate." To be held in Washington, DC, the event will feature workshops on a range of topics, including best-practices programs, cutting-edge training tools and resources, innovations in financial sustainability and funding opportunities, and collaborative partnerships. The event will also include information on the latest trends and analysis on mentoring presented by the field's premier researchers. Registration is available online.

27th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment: January 28–31, 2013

The Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children's Hospital is hosting this conference, to be held in San Diego, CA. The conference is designed to develop and enhance professional skills and knowledge in the prevention, recognition, assessment, and treatment of all forms of maltreatment, including those related to family violence, as well as to enhance investigative and legal skills. Registration is available online.

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Forum: February 4–7, 2013

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America logo. The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's National Leadership Forum will take place in Baltimore, MD. The forum brings together more than 2,500 participants representing community anti-drug coalitions from all regions of the country, government leaders, youth, addiction treatment professionals, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals, and faith-based leaders. Registration is available online.

National Conference on Bullying: February 15–17, 2013

The School Safety Advocacy Council, the Florida Association of School Resource Officers, and Students Against Violence Everywhere are sponsoring this conference in Orlando, FL. Conference sessions will take an indepth look at the causation, prevention, and mitigation of bullying. Speakers will address topics that include using digital literacy to combat bullying, what the trends reveal, and cyberbullying. Registration is available online.

Judicial Institute: Family Law: February 24–27, 2013

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges logo.To be held in San Antonio, TX, this conference will feature a range of family law topics on challenging issues in divorce, custody and visitation, property distribution and finances, military service and families, and the role technology and social media play both in and out of the courtroom. The institute's goal is to provide the most current information and tools to family and domestic relations judges to improve case processing and outcomes for children, youth, families, victims, and the communities they work with. Registration is available online.

Back to top

News in Brief

OJJDP Mourns the Passing of Joe Fedeli

Photo of Joseph FedeliJoseph Fedeli.
Joseph Fedeli, Vice President for Administration for Development Services Group, Inc., and project director of OJJDP's National State Advisory Group Training Grant, passed away on September 4, 2012. Joe was a nationally recognized executive, manager, facilitator, and trainer in the juvenile justice and social services fields.

As a subject matter expert in institutional confinement and conditions, Joe advised the Department of Justice's Office of Civil Rights and members of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission as they collected data in preparation for recommending standards to enhance the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of inmate sexual assault.

Among many other achievements during his nearly 40-year career, Joe served as project director of the OJJDP Formula Grants Training and Technical Assistance Project for the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia. He also directed Court Services and Residential Services for the Fairfax County (VA) Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Virginia's largest court. In this capacity, he oversaw a $20 million budget. He designed and directed the first community residential treatment program for adolescent girls administered by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Joe also worked on behalf of youth and families as a psychotherapist, a management and program consultant for juvenile programs, a correctional officer for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, and a counselor for community drug-abuse treatment programs.

In addition to his consummate professionalism, Joe will be remembered for his easy laughter, quick wit, ever-present compassion, good counsel, and keen insight.

DOJ, United Way Partner To Assist Children Exposed to Violence

Defending Childhood logoOn September 28, 2012, in Cleveland, OH, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice and key stakeholders will partner with the United Way's 2–1–1 "call-for-service" line to identify and assist children exposed to violence. The 2–1–1 community access line, which connects the public with human services, will now give citizens access to screening, assessment, and treatment services for children who have been victims of or witnesses to violence. More information about the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative and about 2–1–1 is available online. OJJDP publications on children's exposure to violence are also available online.

October Is National Youth Justice Awareness Month

Poster promoting National Youth Justice Awareness Month.An estimated 250,000 youth under the age of 18 are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system every year. Most of these young people have committed nonviolent offenses. Youth in the adult system face a higher risk of violence and sexual assault, and a criminal record often makes it difficult for youth reentering their communities to access educational and vocational opportunities.

To raise awareness about the impact of prosecuting youth in the adult criminal justice system, the Campaign for Youth Justice offers a range of resources for communities to use as they advocate for reform, including guides to working with the media and legislators, talking points, and a free DVD and discussion guide designed to promote dialog about the issue. The DVD and discussion guide may be ordered from the Campaign for Youth Justice Web site.

National Report on System-Involved Youth and Their Families Released

On September 10, 2012, Justice for Families and the DataCenter released a new report, Families Unlocking Futures: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice, which details the challenges families face when their children come into contact with the juvenile justice system and offers policy and practice recommendations to address these challenges. The report is based on more than 1,000 surveys with parents and family members of incarcerated youth and 24 focus groups nationwide.

More than 80 percent of parents surveyed said they were not consulted by a judge during courtroom proceedings about what should happen to their child. Seventy-five percent of respondents with a child in residential placement said they faced serious impediments to visiting their children, and more than half of family members said it was difficult or impossible to contact staff to get information about their child's progress or safety. Only 32 percent of parents and families reported discussing release plans with justice system personnel before their child's release. The full report, including recommendations for juvenile justice reform, is available online.

Juvenile Justice, Law Enforcement, School, and Health Professionals Join Other Stakeholders To Forge Consensus on School Discipline Policies

On October 9, 2012, the Council of State Governments Justice Center convened a group of more than 100 policymakers, national experts, educators, law enforcement and court officials, health professionals, students, parents, and others committed to improving school disciplinary policies. The diverse, bipartisan national group commenced work on consensus-based recommendations for approaches to school discipline that keep children in school and out of the juvenile justice system while providing a safe, positive learning environment. More information about the event is available online.

OJJDP Seeks Nominations for Missing Children's Day Awards

Each year the Department of Justice recognizes the extraordinary efforts of individuals, organizations, and agencies that have made a significant contribution to protecting children during the prior calendar year. The awards are presented at OJJDP's annual Missing Children's Day Ceremony in May. Nominations must be received no later than January 18, 2013. Nomination forms and information about eligibility requirements and judging criteria are available online.

OJJDP Announces 2013 National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest

Photo of winning artwork from 2012 National Missing Children's Day poster contest.OJJDP encourages fifth grade students to participate in the National Missing Children's Day poster contest. The annual contest creates an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and other child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and/or exploited children with children, parents, and guardians and to promote child safety. OJJDP will invite the contest winner to Washington, DC, to participate in the National Missing Children's Day commemoration in May 2013, at which time he or she will receive an award for the winning artwork.

For additional information, including contest rules and submission deadlines, visit the poster contest resource page.

Safe Start Center logo.OJJDP's Safe Start Center Develops Toolkit on Children's Exposure to Violence

The Safe Start Center has released a toolkit focused on children's exposure to violence (CEV) and its impact on the child's educational environment. The toolkit defines CEV, discusses the impact of CEV in the school, and explains how the educational community can help. It also provides links to free Safe Start Center resources, including tip sheets, issue briefs, and guides.

Online Bullying Prevention Training Modules Available

stopbullying.govFree, online bullying prevention training modules are now available on stopbullying.gov. The training modules offer a PowerPoint presentation for community events, speaker notes with suggested talking points, a Community Action Toolkit, and a video for use in bullying prevention efforts in communities.

Research Briefs Examine Interventions Specifically for Girls and Boys

Child Trends has released two fact sheets: What Works for Female Children and Adolescents: Lessons From Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions and What Works for Male Children and Adolescents: Lessons From Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions. Each research brief synthesizes findings from more than 100 evaluations of interventions to reduce risk factors for children and youth, presenting what works—and what doesn't—for girls and boys.

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Released

On September 10, 2012, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, announced the release of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The strategy emphasizes the role all Americans can play in protecting their friends, family members, and colleagues from suicide. An archived video of the announcement is available online.

On September 14, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Mary Lou Leary posted a blog on OJP programs that address suicide prevention. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young Americans ages 15 to 24, and the second leading cause of death among adults ages 25 to 34.

BJS Report Summarizes Violent Crime Among Households With Children

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Prevalence of Violent Crime Among Households With Children, 1993–2010. The report describes nonfatal violent crime involving members of a household as victims and the annual prevalence of that violent crime among U.S. households with children from 1993 to 2010. To read the report, visit the BJS Web site.

Cover of Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001–2011.Report Highlights State Trends in Juvenile Justice Legislation

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001–2011, which examines state legislative activity over the past decade on a number of juvenile justice issues, including prevention and intervention, disproportionate minority contact, reentry/aftercare, and corrections reform. According to the report, during this period, legislatures have tended to realign fiscal resources from state institutions toward more effective community-based services. The report may be viewed and downloaded online.

OJJDP Updates Statistical Briefing Book

Statistical Briefing Book logo.OJJDP has updated its Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) to include 2011 data on juvenile populations, 2010 data on victims of domestic violence, and FBI supplementary homicide reports through 2010. Data from 2010 on homicide victims and perpetrators have also been added to the Frequently Asked Questions section.

The SBB offers easy access to a host of juvenile justice information. Its data analysis tools allow users to create custom analyses of juvenile populations, arrests, court cases, and residential placement. The National Center for Juvenile Justice developed the SBB for OJJDP.

Five Family Drug Courts Selected as Peer Learning Courts

On September 5, 2012, OJJDP and the Center for Children and Family Futures (CCFF) announced the selection of five family drug courts to serve as peer learning courts. The courts—Baltimore City (MD) Circuit Court/Juvenile Division, Chatham County (GA) Juvenile Court/Family Dependency Treatment Court, Hillsdale County (MI) Family Drug Court, Jackson County (MO) Family Drug Court/16th Judicial District, and Pima County (AZ) Juvenile Court—will highlight national best practice models and offer peer-to-peer technical assistance. The peer learning court program is part of the range of technical assistance opportunities available through CCFF. The announcement was made at Family Drug Courts: A National Symposium To Improve Family Recovery, Safety, and Stability, which was sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with OJJDP.

OJJDP Guide Assists Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities in Preparing for Emergencies

September was Emergency Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages everyone to learn how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. OJJDP's Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities is the first comprehensive planning guide to address the specific needs of facility staff and children, youth, and families involved in the justice system during an emergency. The publication may be viewed and downloaded online. To order a printed copy, visit the National Criminal Justice Reference Service Web site.

New Issue of NJJEC Bulletin Available

NJJEC logoThe National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC), funded by OJJDP, has released the September 2012 issue of its newsletter, the NJJEC Bulletin. This issue includes articles on risk assessment and screening tools, anecdotal evidence to supplement collected data, Arkansas' juvenile justice reform, and NJJEC activities and upcoming events.

Fall 2012 Issue of National Gang Center Newsletter Released

This issue features articles on the following topics: the Cure Violence program (formerly known as CeaseFire); Operation Hardcore, a specialized prosecution unit focused on violent gang crimes; street outreach and the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model; the Massachusetts Shannon Community Safety Initiative; and the report, "Gang Homicides From Five U.S. Cities." The National Gang Center is funded by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Back to top

New Publications

All OJJDP publications may be viewed and downloaded on the publications section of the OJJDP Web site. Print publications may be ordered online at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Web site.

Underage Drinking Bulletin Series

Cover of Effects and Consequences of Underage Drinking.Effects and Consequences of Underage Drinking (Bulletin)
NCJ 237145

This bulletin presents findings from a literature review that investigated how underage drinking can affect a youth's physical, emotional, and neurological health. It discusses the legal, neurological, economic, and personal consequences youth face when they make the decision to begin drinking. Among other findings, the bulletin shows that underage drinking cost society $68 billion in 2007, or $1 for every drink consumed.

To view and download this publication, or to order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Cover of Underage Drinking: Practice Guidelines for Community Corrections.Underage Drinking: Practice Guidelines for Community Corrections (Bulletin)
NCJ 237231

Guidelines incorporating evidence-based practices help direct the roles of community supervision professionals who work with underage drinkers. Adapting evidence-based practices when working with underage drinking offenders requires juvenile justice professionals to recognize existing legal, structural, procedural, and philosophical differences between communities. Community corrections professionals who use evidence-based practice standards in this way can provide a blueprint for communities to develop the most effective responses to this problem. This bulletin focuses on 10 practice guidelines based on the evidence-based practice literature.

To view and download this publication, or to order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Cover of Community Supervision of Underage Drinkers.Community Supervision of Underage Drinkers (Bulletin)
NCJ 237147

The authors of this bulletin describe the goals and principles successful communities use to guide their approach to underage drinking, discuss laws related to alcohol use and the rights of underage drinkers, and highlight the legal issues that professionals who work with these youth may encounter.

To view and download this publication, or to order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Juvenile Court Statistics Fact Sheets

These fact sheets are based on the report, Juvenile Court Statistics 2009. Visit OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book for more information about juvenile court cases.

Cover of Delinquency  Cases in Juvenile Court, 2009.Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2009 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 239081

This fact sheet presents statistics on delinquency cases processed between 1985 and 2009 by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction. From 1985 through 1997, the number of delinquency cases climbed steadily (63 percent) and, from 1997 through 2009, the delinquency caseload dropped 20 percent. The overall pattern of increase followed by decline is the result of the trends of various offense categories combined, including public order, person, and drug law violation cases.

To view and download this publication, or to order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Online Only—

Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2009 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 239080

This fact sheet presents estimates of the number of cases transferred from juvenile court to criminal court through the judicial waiver mechanism between 1985 and 2009. The number of delinquency cases judicially waived peaked in 1994 at 13,800 cases. This represented a 91-percent increase over the number of cases waived in 1985 (7,200). In 2009, juvenile courts waived an estimated 7,600 delinquency cases, 45 percent fewer than in 1994.

To view and download this publication, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2009 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 239082

This fact sheet presents statistics on delinquency cases resulting in probation between 1985 and 2009. Probation supervision was the most severe disposition in 36 percent of all delinquency cases. Between 1985 and 2009, the number of cases placed on probation increased 29 percent. During that time, the overall delinquency caseload increased 30 percent.

To view and download this publication, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Back to top

News From the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention

Logo for Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's meeting on September 14, 2012, featured two panel discussions—Girls at the Margin: Risk Factors and Needs, and Girls' Pathways to Success. Speakers included Barbara Guthrie, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and associate professor, Yale School of Nursing; Malika Saar, executive director, Human Rights Project for Girls; Terri Yellowhammer, Futures Without Violence; Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, president, National Crittenton Foundation; and Francine Sherman, clinical professor and director, Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project, Boston College Law School. The moderator for both discussions was Lawanda Ravoira, director, National Girls Institute. For more information, see the lead story, "Coordinating Council Addresses Girls and the Juvenile Justice System," in this issue.

Council members also heard updates on several agency initiatives, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, Above the Influence, and OJJDP's 2012 National Intertribal Youth Summit.

Meetings of the council are open to the public. Visit the Web site to register for the next meeting, learn more about the council, and read minutes from past meetings.

The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is an independent body within the executive branch of the federal government operated under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The council's primary functions are to coordinate 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 council is made up of 22 members—13 ex officio and affiliate members and 9 practitioners. The ex officio members are: the Attorney General; the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development, and Labor; the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Affiliate members are the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior, and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of HHS. The nine juvenile justice practitioner members are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Majority Leader, and the President of the United States.

Back to top

News From the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice logo. The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) held an in-person meeting on October 18–19, 2012, in Washington, DC. Highlights of the meeting will be provided in the November/December issue of OJJDP News @ a Glance.

Minutes of FACJJ's August 10, 2012, Web-facilitated meeting are now available online.

The committee's meetings are open to the public; anyone may register to attend and observe. Additional information is available on the committee's Web site.

The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice is a consultative body established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (Section 223), and is supported by OJJDP. Composed of members of state advisory groups on juvenile justice, the committee advises the President and Congress on matters related to juvenile justice, evaluates the progress and accomplishments of juvenile justice activities and projects, and advises the OJJDP Administrator on the work of OJJDP.

Back to top

Back to News @ a Glance Home

OJJDP Home | About OJJDP | E-News | Topics | Funding | Programs
State Contacts | Publications | Statistics | Events