November | December 2012

News in Brief

OJJDP Acting Administrator Testifies on School-to-Prison Pipeline Before Senate Judiciary Committee

On December 12, 2012, OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes testified on the school-to-prison pipeline before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Acting Administrator Hanes' testimony is available on the committee's Web site. To access a Webcast of the full hearing, visit the United States Committee Channel.

OJJDP Acting Administrator Addresses Over-Criminalization of Youth at ABA Meeting

On October 26, 2012, OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes offered remarks at a plenary panel, "Over-Criminalization and Over-Reliance on Incarceration," at the Fifth Annual Fall Institute of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, sponsored by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. "Thirty-eight years of research and experience at OJJDP have taught us that the minute a youth sets foot in detention or lockup, he or she has a 50-percent chance of entering the criminal justice system again when they are adults," Ms. Hanes said. "And that involvement with the juvenile system is the single greatest predictor of later criminality." Ms. Hanes provided an overview of several OJJDP-supported programs that aim to reduce the inappropriate detention and incarceration of youth, including the Supportive School Discipline Initiative and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

cover of Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons From the States.Report Highlights Strategies for Improving Juvenile Justice System for Girls

The Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy has released "Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons From the States." The report reviews the literature documenting girls' pathways into the juvenile justice system; examines recent gender-responsive, trauma-informed reform efforts; highlights reform efforts in three jurisdictions; and concludes with recommendations for future efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. The publication is a product of the policy series, Marginalized Girls: Creating Pathways to Opportunity hosted by the center, in partnership with The National Crittenton Foundation and the Human Rights Project for Girls.

Listening Sessions Held in Four New Forum Cities

In October and November, OJJDP and Office of Justice Programs leadership held listening sessions with stakeholders in four cities—Camden, NJ; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; and Philadelphia, PA—that were recently selected to join the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Officials from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor also participated in the sessions.

Stakeholders included youth, local and federal law enforcement professionals, educators, public health and social service providers, representatives of community and faith-based organizations, research partners, and officials from local businesses and foundations. Participants discussed their cities' challenges and solutions and were briefed on the forum's current activities.

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.

Google Joins the AMBER Alert Network

AMBER Alert logo.The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children recently announced a partnership with Google that will allow users to receive AMBER Alerts—urgent child-abduction bulletins—through Google Maps and Google Search features.

The AMBER Alert Program is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice and is a voluntary partnership of law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, Internet service providers, and the wireless industry. The AMBER Alert program was created in 1996 after the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman and is credited with the recovery of 595 abducted children.

Report Describes Best Practices for Responding to Child Trafficking

Report Describes Best Practices for Responding to Child Trafficking coverIn April 2012, OJJDP's AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program convened the Trafficking in Persons Symposium to examine child sex and labor trafficking in the United States. The purpose of the symposium was to gather first-hand knowledge from subject-matter experts to develop expert-informed training for first responders, juvenile justice personnel, and other child advocates. The symposium was attended by survivors and practitioners from law enforcement, the judicial system, social services, education, health care, tribal communities, and community and faith-based initiatives. This report summarizes best practices for responding to child trafficking, as identified by the 127 participants, as well as their recommendations for addressing current challenges. The "Resource Guide" section of the report includes an annotated bibliography; a list of media, educational, and legal resources; and links to organizations that work to combat human trafficking and/or offer victim services.

OJJDP Research Featured at ASC 2012 Conference

The American Society of Criminology's (ASC's) annual meeting took place November 14–17, 2012, in Chicago, IL. During the 4-day meeting, OJJDP staff led and/or participated in several sessions to expound on findings from OJJDP-sponsored juvenile justice and delinquency prevention research. Topics included developmental pathways to family violence; rates and trends of childhood exposure to crime, violence, and abuse; intragenerational and intergenerational similarity in offending; intragenerational and intergenerational antecedents of delinquency and crime; efficacy of juvenile justice interventions; teens, sex, and tech; and OJJDP mentoring research and findings. OJJDP staff also hosted two sessions that highlighted funding, publication, and data-gathering resources available to researchers through the agency.

Children Exposed to Violence Database Now Available on Reliable Research. Real Results.The Safe Start Center has announced that a children exposed to violence (CEV) evidence-based database is now available on, a searchable database of evidence-based programs. The CEV database provides professionals working in diverse systems with free and easy access to vital information about programs to prevent and reduce the negative impacts of children's exposure to violence. Each program has been reviewed and rated using a scientific rating scale to determine the level of evidence for effectiveness in reaching desired outcomes.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service Provides Greater Access to Records

In an effort to provide visitors to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) with useful information about justice programs and their effectiveness, the NCJRS topical pages now feature information about programs rated as part of the Office of Justice Programs' If you conduct a search on, you will now see a section dedicated to program results.

Newsletter Provides Online Mentoring Resources

The National Mentoring Program Logo.MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership has released The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring, a new online newsletter for mentoring professionals. The newsletter will highlight new research findings and ideas about youth mentoring and will provide practitioners a forum to share their experiences. The newsletter is available online. Access additional mentoring resources on OJJDP's mentoring resource page.

Online Training and Resources Available for Mentors

OJJDP's National Training and Technical Assistance Center now links to mentoring training and resources on The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring Web site. These resources, developed to assist OJJDP mentoring grantees, include a training series on how to mentor young people involved in the juvenile justice or foster care systems or who are at risk for gang involvement. More information about OJJDP's National Training and Technical Assistance Center is available online.

OJJDP Selects Sites, Evaluator for Reform and Reinvestment Program

OJJDP has selected three sites and a project evaluator for the Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Demonstration Program, a new OJJDP-administered initiative made possible through the Office of Management and Budget's Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation. Grantees include the Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning, the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Executive Office of the Governor of Delaware. The project evaluator will be the Urban Institute. The Georgetown Center for Juvenile Justice Reform will provide training and technical assistance to the sites. The sites received awards to develop and implement an integrated set of evidence-based and cost-measurement tools that will enable them to make informed decisions about resources and services for justice-involved youth.

OJJDP Seeks Nominations for National Missing Children's Day Awards

Each year the U.S. 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.
Winning artwork from 2012 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.