May | June 2013

News in Brief

Karol V. Mason Sworn In as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs

On June 3, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder welcomed Karol V. Mason as the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). As head of OJP, Mason oversees an annual budget of more than $2 billion dedicated to supporting state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies; an array of juvenile justice programs; a wide range of research, evaluation, and statistical efforts; and comprehensive services for crime victims. From 2009–12, Mason served at DOJ as Deputy Associate Attorney General with oversight responsibility for the Tax Division, the Office of Justice Programs, the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Reforming Juvenile JusticeJuvenile Justice Reform Report Discussed at Public Briefing

On June 10, 2013, the National Research Council's Committee on Law and Justice held a public briefing in Washington, DC, on its recently released report, Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. The report aims to consolidate the progress that has been made in both science and policymaking and to establish a strong platform for a 21st-century juvenile justice system. Key findings and messages of the report were presented at the briefing, and experts, including OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee, examined how the report’s recommendations can be used to reform juvenile justice systems. The audience included advocates, academics, government officials, and funders. The outgrowth of a 2-year independent study of the juvenile justice system commissioned by OJJDP, the report supports strategies that emphasize positive youth development rather than a reliance on detention and incarceration and other harsh forms of punishment to meet the juvenile justice system's goals of holding youth accountable for their actions, preventing further offending, and treating youth fairly. A Webcast of the briefing is accessible online.

Office of Justice Programs Officials Participate in Conference on Children Exposed to Violence

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Director Joye Frost, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General Phelan Wyrick, and National Institute of Justice Executive Senior Science Advisor Tom Feucht attended the conference, “Children Exposed to Violence: Strategies for Investigation, Prosecution and Treatment,” held at Catholic University on June 5–6, 2013. The conference was organized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with support from OVC. More than 200 victim services providers, law enforcement officers, and attorneys working with children and adolescents exposed to violence engaged with experts on topics such as child sexual abuse, investigating child porn cases, child advocacy centers, trafficking, trauma response, and the medical and legal implications of child abuse. Remarks delivered at the conference on June 6 by Administrator Listenbee may be accessed online. In 2011, Listenbee was appointed to the position of co-chair of the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, a central component of the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative.

Talk. They Hear You LogoSAMHSA Launches Underage Drinking Prevention Campaign

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has launched "Talk. They Hear You," a national campaign to provide parents, guardians, and communities with the information and resources they need to increase their awareness of the prevalence and risk of underage drinking and to address the issue of alcohol with youth. The campaign also features public service announcements in English and Spanish.

OJJDP Updates Statistical Briefing Book

SBB LogoOJJDP has updated its Statistical Briefing Book (SBB). Developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the SBB offers easy access to a host of juvenile justice resources. The following SBB resources have recently been updated:

In addition, FAQs in the Juvenile Justice System Structure and Process resource section have been reorganized and new FAQs have been added, including state comparisons on how probation and aftercare are administered.

Court Diversion Video Available Online

The Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs has posted a new online video that explains how Vermont’s court diversion program, an alternative to the traditional court system, works. The 9-minute video highlights how the program’s restorative justice approach benefits participants and the community. Approximately 10 percent of misdemeanor charges in Vermont are handled through diversion at significant savings to the state; participants who successfully complete the program avoid a criminal conviction.

NCMEC Issues New Standards for Protecting Child Athletes from Sex Abuse

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, has released Safe to Compete: An Introduction to Sound Practices for Keeping Children Safer in Youth-Serving Organizations. This document, published in the wake of the summit “Safe to Compete: Protecting Child Athletes from Sexual Abuse," sets precise guidelines and standards for youth-serving organizations that seek to eliminate occurrences of child sexual exploitation.

OJJDP Releases Spring 2013 Issue of Journal of Juvenile Justice

Journal of Juvenile Justice logo.The Spring 2013 issue of OJJDP’s Journal of Juvenile Justice is now available online. Articles in this issue of the journal include:

  • Family-Focused Juvenile Reentry Services: A Quasi-Experimental Design Evaluation of Recidivism Outcomes.
  • An Examination of the Early “Strains” of Imprisonment Among Young Offenders Incarcerated for Serious Crimes.
  • Parental Acceptance-Rejection Theory and Court-Involved Adolescent Females: An Exploration of Parent-Child Relationships and Student-Teacher Relationships.
  • One Family, One Judge Practice Effects on Children: Permanency Outcomes on Case Closure and Beyond.
  • An Outcome-Based Evaluation of Functional Family Therapy for Youth With Behavioral Problems.
  • Relating Resilience Factors and Decisionmaking in Two Groups of Underserved Adolescents: Implications for Intervention.

The Journal of Juvenile Justice is a semiannual, peer-reviewed journal sponsored by OJJDP. Articles address the full range of issues in juvenile justice, such as juvenile victimization, delinquency prevention, intervention, and treatment.

Campaign for Youth Justice Develops Family Engagement Workbook

The Campaign for Youth Justice has released FAMILY Comes First: A Workbook to Transform the Justice System by Partnering with Families, the first comprehensive analysis of current family engagement and family partnership practices in juvenile justice systems across the country. The workbook, which was funded in large part by a generous grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, provides practical tools and resources for juvenile justice system practitioners invested in undertaking a family-driven approach to juvenile justice, and provides a framework—The FAMILY Model—to guide efforts to create and sustain meaningful family-system partnerships.

Global Youth Justice Launches 250 Youth Justice Web Sites

Global Youth Justice logoOn May 1, 2013, Global Youth Justice, in conjunction with the American Bar Association and its celebration of Law Day, helped local youth courts in 41 states launch 250 Web sites to promote their juvenile justice diversion programs. More than 1,400 communities and tribes worldwide currently operate a youth justice program associated with their local peer, student, youth, or teen courts. These courts train teenagers to be judges, prosecutors, attorneys, and jurors who handle low-level offenses of their peers, promote accountability, provide access to youth resources, and model peer leadership. To learn more about volunteer opportunities in these youth justice programs for both adults and youth, visit the Global Youth Justice Web site.

Spring 2013 Issue of National Gang Center Newsletter Available Online

The Spring 2013 issue of the National Gang Center’s (NGC’s) online newsletter features a range of topics, including talking to youth about gangs, getting out of and staying out of gangs, information on The National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations, and NGC’s updated gang-related legislation page. NGC is jointly funded by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. NGC conducts research on street gangs and serves as a clearinghouse for individuals and agencies seeking information, technical assistance, and training in the areas of gang prevention, intervention, suppression, and reentry.

DOJ Web Site Features Public Service Announcements by Tribal Youth

At the National Intertribal Youth Summit, held in July 2012 outside Washington, DC, native youth worked with Buffalo Nickel Creative, a group that produces Web-based products for nonprofit organizations, to develop a public service announcement (PSA) video about youth as champions of change in Indian country. The PSA may be viewed online at the Web site of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The PSA represents the hopes, fears, expectations, and challenges that tribal youth experience on their reservations and in their communities. "That's My People," a PSA developed at the 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit, is also available online.