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Robert L. Listenbee Delivers Keynote Speech at Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development Conference
Blueprints 2014 Conference

On April 15, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee highlighted the importance of evidence-based policies, programs, and practices in juvenile justice reform during a keynote speech at the Blueprints Conference in Denver, CO.

The conference was attended by more than 1,000 child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and mental and behavioral health professionals; researchers and program developers; officials from state and federal agencies that serve youth; and representatives of foundations and community-based programs and advocacy organizations.

The United States incarcerates youth at a higher rate than any other developed country. The majority of these youth are nonviolent offenders. Administrator Listenbee pointed to OJJDP-supported research that shows incarceration does not promote healthy youth development and can often be harmful to youth; and that incarceration does not reduce recidivism but, in fact, can increase it in certain cases. For nonviolent offenders, community-based programs and services have proven more effective at promoting public safety and positive youth outcomes at a fraction of the cost of institutionalizing youth.

Administrator Listenbee described numerous jurisdictions that have used a comprehensive set of strategies to improve their juvenile justice systems, including:

"It's important to use these strategies together," he said. "For example, the closing of facilities must be accompanied by reinvestment in evidence-based community-based alternatives. We cannot use one strategy and not the others. They must all be working together."

OJJDP's Model Programs GuideHe cited OJJDP’s and the Office of Justice Programs’ commitment to promoting the use of evidence-based programs through the Evidence Integration Initiative, CrimeSolutions.gov, the Model Programs Guide, and the Diagnostic Center.

In addition, Administrator Listenbee discussed OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative, launched in 2010, which is currently being piloted in three sites. The initiative uses the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) as a roadmap for improvement. Beyond individual programs, SPEP also seeks justice system improvements by more appropriately matching youth risk levels to levels of supervision, and youth needs to high-quality and effective services.

“The goal all of us in this room share is to advance what is best for youth, families, and communities,” he said. “This is not an easy goal, but I believe we can get there if we continue to integrate research and evidence into our practice, expand on the important strides of individuals and jurisdictions, advance our understanding about what works and why, and use a balanced, multidisciplinary, and nuanced strategy in applying evidence.”


Information about the Office of Justice Programs’ Evidence Integration Initiative, CrimeSolutions.gov, and Diagnostic Center; and OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide may be accessed online. To learn more about the Blueprints Conference, visit the conference Web site.

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April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Photo of a girl.Child Abuse Prevention Month was first observed in 1983. Since then, each April our nation focuses on raising public awareness about the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children and on the importance of families and communities working together to prevent maltreatment.

According to the OJJDP-funded National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, 1 in 10 American children suffered from child maltreatment (including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or a family abduction) and 1 in 16 were victimized sexually in the year of the survey.

The challenge of protecting children has been made significantly more complex by ready access to the Internet. Parents, child protection agencies, and law enforcement are struggling to protect children from the threat of online victimization, which can include pornography, cyberbullying, abduction, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking.

OJJDP took the lead early on in addressing this serious problem. More than 15 years ago, the Office established the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force program, which helps state and local law enforcement agencies prevent, interdict, and investigate technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children.

Defending ChildhoodIn addition to ICAC, the Office supports a wide range of programs that promote evidence-based strategies to protect children against abuse, neglect, abduction, commercial sexual exploitation, and exposure to community and domestic violence. Following are a few examples of OJJDP’s work:

“We know that a young person's exposure to violence and trauma puts them at significantly higher risk of substance abuse, depression, failure at school and in the workplace, medical problems, and entry into the juvenile justice system,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee. “Our Office is working vigorously on all fronts to protect children and help children who have been hurt to heal and thrive.”


Visit the National Criminal Justice Reference Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Child Abuse Prevention Month Web site to find the latest resources and outreach materials on engaging communities in the prevention of child abuse.

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OJJDP Administrator's Remarks Highlight History of Trauma Among System-Involved Youth

In a speech delivered at the annual conference of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network on March 4, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee cited trauma-informed care as a key component in juvenile justice reform. Administrator Listenbee spoke during a plenary session attended by more than 400 child trauma researchers, clinicians and administrators, family members, youth advocates, and trauma survivors.

The OJJDP-supported Northwestern Juvenile Project revealed that 84 percent of youth in detention have experienced more than one trauma, and more than 56 percent have been exposed to trauma six or more times.

However, despite the development of evidence-based practices to identify and treat trauma during the past decade, screening for posttraumatic stress disorder is absent from the standard mental health screening process in most juvenile justice systems. “That has got to change,” Administrator Listenbee said. “The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is committed to making that change happen.”

Administrator Listenbee described the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative to prevent and reduce children’s trauma from experiencing violence as victims or witnesses. The initiative is administered by OJJDP. A key element of the initiative consists of eight demonstration sites, two of them in tribal areas, that are working to provide universal screening and assessment as well as evidence-based treatment and interventions to combat children’s exposure to violence across the child welfare, education, and juvenile justice systems.


More information about the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Northwestern Juvenile Project, and the Defending Childhood Initiative is available online.

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Task Force Holds Third Public Hearing on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence
Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to  Violence

On April 16–17, 2014, a task force advisory committee appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder held the third of four public hearings to examine the impact of violence on children in Indian country.

OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee offered opening remarks at the third public hearing of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence. The hearing was held in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee offered opening remarks at the third public hearing of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence. The hearing was held in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The hearing, which took place in Fort Lauderdale, FL, focused on tribal children’s exposure to violence in the community as well as promising approaches to address the problem. It included panel discussions on the Indian Child Welfare Act, gangs and sex trafficking in urban and rural American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and violence in tribal schools.

“American Indian and Alaska Native children encounter violence and trauma at unusually high rates, and the effects of this exposure can be devastating,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee in his opening remarks. “The information and ideas being gathered at this hearing will guide our efforts to help tribal leaders and families protect their kids.”

The Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence is composed of a federal working group that includes U.S. Attorneys and officials from the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Justice and an advisory committee of experts on American Indian/Alaska Native studies, child health and trauma, and child welfare. The 13-member advisory committee is co-chaired by former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan and Iroquois composer and singer Joanne Shenandoah. 

The Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence is a key component of Attorney General Holder’s Defending Childhood Initiative to prevent and reduce children’s trauma from experiencing violence as victims or witnesses.

The advisory committee held its first public hearing in Bismarck, ND, on December 9, 2013, and the second in Scottsdale, AZ, on February 11, 2014. The final public hearing will be held in Anchorage, AK, on June 11–12. 

Administrator Listenbee Addresses Tribal Children’s Exposure to Violence in Online Interview

On April 3, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee discussed the prevention of children's exposure to violence in American Indian and Alaska Native communities during an interview on Native America Calling, an online call-in program for Native communities. Listenbee described the work the advisory committee of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence has started through public hearings held across the country. He stated that the advisory committee’s charge is “to improve identification of and appropriate treatment and services for children who have been exposed to violence in Indian country” and “to involve American Indian and Alaska Native youth in the solution.”


A press release about the hearing and more information about the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative and the Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence are available on the U.S. Department of Justice Web site.

To learn more about OJJDP's tribal youth initiatives, visit the Office's Web site.

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DOJ Announces National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice Initiative

DOJ COPS logoOn April 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the creation of the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice grant initiative at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director’s Forum in New York, NY.

Associate Attorney General Tony West made the announcement during the forum, which was convened to respond to the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and discuss the disconnect between the justice system and communities of color, share promising strategies, and explore creative solutions. My Brother’s Keeper is a national call to invest in collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches to build resilience, empower, and foster community engagement and participation for young men and boys of color.

“There are still too many pockets of America where folks are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration; when negative contacts with the criminal justice system are disproportionately felt by communities of color—especially young men of color, half of whom, one recent study showed, will have at least one arrest by age 23,” said Associate Attorney General West.

COPS and OJJDP, along with other DOJ components, have partnered to administer the $4.75 million Community Trust initiative, which seeks five sites to implement and test strategies to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias, and support racial reconciliation in communities of color.

During the forum, Associate Attorney General Tony West and Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, Office of Justice Programs, met with civil rights and law enforcement leaders.


More information about the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice solicitation and about the COPS Resource Center is available online.

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OJJDP Holds Listening Session on Racial and Ethnic Disparities
On March 28, 2014, OJJDP convened a daylong listening session with some of the nation’s leading juvenile justice reform advocates to discuss recommendations for enhancing efforts to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the nation’s juvenile justice system.

States participating in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act’s Part B Formula Grants program are required to address juvenile delinquency prevention and system improvement efforts to reduce the overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system at all nine points of contact—arrest, referral, diversion, detention, petition, delinquency findings, probation, confinement in secure correctional facilities, and transfer to adult court.

Participants in the session included OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee; senior OJJDP staff; reform advocates from the W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness & Equity, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, Southwest Key Programs, the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University; DMC coordinators from several states and local jurisdictions, including Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Wisconsin, Baltimore City, MD, and Montgomery County, MD; and researchers associated with OJJDP’s Field Initiated Research and Evaluation Program study, “Expanding the Use of DMC Data: Analysis of Patterns to Identify Best Practices.”

The group reached a consensus that successful strategies for reducing DMC include engaging police, judges, and the community; ensuring that data are collected accurately and basing interventions on the data; implementing objective risk assessment instruments; creating alternatives to formal system involvement; providing leadership at the local and state levels; and making DMC reduction a long-term priority.

At the same time, participants cited the need to enhance the JJDP Act’s DMC core requirement to include accountability at the state and local levels for the achievement of measurable outcomes; strengthen the Relative Rate Index (RRI), the commonly used DMC measurement tool; ensure that training and technical assistance address not only the use of RRI but also the spectrum of other complex issues surrounding DMC; and include the growing Latino population more fully in DMC data and DMC reduction initiatives.


To access OJJDP's DMC Virtual Resource Center, DMC Reduction Best Practices Database, and National Disproportionate Minority Contact Databook, visit the Office's Web site.

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Upcoming Events

Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: May 8, 2014

Each year on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, our nation renews its commitment to promoting the well-being, mental health, and positive social development of all children and youth. Communities across the country organize public awareness events to mark the occasion, including youth rallies, social media campaigns, and activities with children that promote community conversations about the importance of caring adults in enhancing resilience in youth following traumatic experiences. To access resources for organizing an awareness day event and for more information on children’s mental health, visit the Web site of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Conference on Children, Youth, and Families: May 14–16, 2014

Organized by the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, this conference will bring together practitioners and researchers in the child protection, foster care, juvenile justice, and education systems. The event, which will be held in San Diego, CA, will feature sessions on a range of topics, including The Positive Youth Justice Initiative, Rape Is Not Part of Their Sentence: How the Prison Rape Elimination Act Addresses Sexual Violence in Juvenile Detention Settings, Introduction to Restorative Justice, Advancing Multi-Sector Collaboration To Prevent Violence and Injury, and Addressing the Links Between Multiple Forms of Violence. Registration information is available online.

National Conference for America’s Children: May 18–21, 2014

Sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse America, this conference will cover a range of topics, including healthy childhood development, public policy, what's working in the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and the latest on messaging and corporate responsibility. The conference will be held in Jacksonville, FL. Registration information is available online.

Child Sex Trafficking: Law Enforcement Response: May 19–21, 2014

Sponsored by OJJDP, the Office of Justice Programs, and the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program, this training is designed to provide law enforcement investigators, human trafficking task force members, and social service providers with the information necessary to properly understand, recognize, and investigate cases involving child sex trafficking and exploitation. The training will be held in Knoxville, TN. Registration information is available online.

Missing Children's Day logo Missing Children’s Day: May 25, 2014

May 25 was first proclaimed as Missing Children's Day by Ronald Reagan in 1983. Each year, OJJDP organizes the U.S. Department of Justice’s commemoration with a ceremony honoring the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children. This year’s event will take place in the department’s Great Hall on May 21. The OJJDP-supported National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) will participate in the ceremony. See NCMEC’s safety and prevention resources for families and professionals focusing on child abduction, child sexual exploitation, and Internet safety.

National Court Appointed Special Advocates Conference: June 7–10, 2014

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) logoAt this event, sponsored by the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, more than 1,200 CASA and guardian ad litem staff, board members, volunteers, judges, attorneys, and other child welfare professionals will gather to connect with peers and learn from leaders in the field. The conference will include more than 50 workshops and institutes, general sessions, and an exhibit hall featuring information and resources for the field. The conference will take place in Grapevine, TX. Registration information is available online.

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Annual Colloquium: June 11–14, 2014

This event will feature institutes and workshops that address aspects of child maltreatment, including prevention, assessment, intervention, and treatment. Seminars have been designed for professionals in the fields of mental health, medicine, nursing, law, law enforcement, education, prevention, research, advocacy, child protection, and allied fields. Organized by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the colloquium will be held in New Orleans, LA. Registration information is available online.

Global Youth Justice Training Institute: June 17–19, 2014

This training institute, hosted by Global Youth Justice, is primarily designed for adults who are enhancing, expanding, or establishing youth justice diversion programs, often referred to as teen court, peer court, youth court, student court, and youth peer jury. The event, to be held in Provincetown, MA, includes more than 20 peer-to-peer training sessions and a half-day grant-writing session. Registration information is available online.

Coalition for Juvenile Justice Annual Conference: June 18–21, 2014

logo of Coalition for Juvenile Justice Annual ConferenceThe conference, “Looking Back, Planning Ahead: A Vision for the Next 40 Years in Juvenile Justice,” will focus on lessons learned in the areas of practice, policy, and research since the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act on September 7, 1974; the implications of these lessons for the future of the juvenile justice field; and emerging issues. Hosted by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), the event will include thematic workshops and training tracks, informative general session plenaries, state juvenile justice specialist and disproportionate minority contact coordinator business meetings, the CJJ Council of State Advisory Groups' meeting and executive board elections, and regional and CJJ committee meetings. Registration information is available online.

International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference: July 13–15, 2014

Sponsored by the Family Research Laboratory and the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, this conference, to be held in Portsmouth, NH, will bring together researchers and scientist–practitioners from a broad array of disciplines for the purpose of sharing, integrating, and critiquing accumulated knowledge on family violence. Registration information is available online.

77th Annual NCJFCJ Conference: July 13–16, 2014

NCJFCJ logo This conference, to be held in Chicago, IL, will feature a wide range of juvenile and family law topics, including child abuse and neglect, trauma, custody and visitation, judicial leadership, juvenile justice, sex trafficking of minors, family violence, drug courts, psychotropic medications, children’s testimony in court, detention alternatives, substance abuse, and the adolescent brain. Registration information is available online.

Forensic Interview Training Clinic: July 14–18, 2014

APSAC logoThis 40-hour training, offered through the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, teaches a structured narrative interview approach that emphasizes best practices based on research. The training will provide practice in interviewing skills in a supportive environment with feedback from experienced and knowledgeable professionals; guidance on explaining and defending interview techniques in court; and information on state-of-the-art forensic interview theory, research, and techniques. The event will take place in Burien, WA. Registration information is available online.

9th Annual National School Safety Conference: July 28–August 1, 2014

To be held in Orlando, FL, this conference will offer 45 sessions led by recognized authorities in the fields of school safety, bullying, crisis management, mental health, and more. Individuals who work in school administration, school counseling, school-based policing, and college campus security should plan to attend this event. The conference is sponsored by the School Safety Advocacy Council. Registration information is available online.

Diversion Certificate Program: September 10–12, 2014

Organized by Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform in partnership with the Juvenile Law Center and the National League of Cities, this certificate program will bring together individuals and teams of prosecutors, law enforcement officers, probation staff, and other local leaders who are committed to strengthening their diversion efforts. It seeks to promote a juvenile justice system that is comprehensive and collaborative, trauma-informed, community-based, and outcome-driven. It also seeks to promote the use of the least restrictive options necessary for the safety of youth and the community, family engagement, and developmentally appropriate options for youth. Applications are due by May 30; more information is available online.

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News in Brief

"Kids for Cash" Screened at Office of Justice Programs

Kids for CashOn April 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs screened “Kids for Cash” at the Office's headquarters in Washington, DC. The documentary chronicles the stories of the children, families, and judges involved in a major corruption scandal in the juvenile courts of Luzerne County, PA. Judge Mark Ciavarella and another judge received approximately $2.6 million in kickbacks from the builder of two for-profit juvenile facilities. According to the Juvenile Law Center, from 2003 to 2008, the judicial corruption scandal involved more than 6,000 juvenile cases. More than 50 percent of the children who appeared before Judge Ciavarella lacked legal representation. Many were sent to the two for-profit juvenile facilities.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion that included two young people who were among the many children sent to juvenile facilities for minor, nonviolent offenses; Robert May, the film's director; and Emily Keller, a staff attorney with the Juvenile Law Center.

OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee, who is featured in the documentary, was then the Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Listenbee was selected to be part of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which was established in response to the scandal. In 2010, the commission issued a report recommending major reforms to the statewide system to ensure that a similar injustice did not occur again.

Girl inc. logoRobert L. Listenbee Highlights Needs of Girls in the Justice System

On April 8, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee addressed the Girls Inc. National Conference in Washington, DC. Girls Inc. is a national network of nonprofit organizations that deliver education programs to help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Administrator Listenbee reported that girls are the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice system. He cited key recommendations in the Report of the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence about the need to provide care and services to address the special circumstances and needs of girls in the juvenile justice system.

For the most part, girls enter the system for nonviolent offenses and do not pose a threat to public safety. “Many girls would be far better served in nonresidential treatment facilities close to their own homes,” Administrator Listenbee said. “For those who do pose a serious risk, our task force recommended the use of small, gender-responsive, culturally competent residential facilities that are staff secure.”

OJJDP Second Chance Act Reentry Program Grantee Honored at FBI Award Ceremony

Big Brothers Big SistersIn a ceremony at FBI headquarters on April 4, 2014, Director James B. Comey recognized the recipients of the 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award. The award honors individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to their local communities through service.

Included among the award recipients was the OJJDP-supported Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest Second Chance Act Program, which serves youth in Oregon's Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. Launched in 2010, the program offers mentoring to youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are currently involved in the juvenile justice system. Mentors encourage the development of positive behavior and provide guidance to young people on transitioning back into their communities and completing their education. Accepting the award on behalf of the organization was Tami Wallis, Second Chance Act Program Manager.

Attorney General and Education Secretary Announce Release of Civil Rights Data Collection From Public Schools

On March 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years.

The Civil Rights Data Collection from the 2011–12 school year was announced by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Washington, DC. In 2011, the two departments launched the Supportive School Discipline Initiative to reduce harsh and exclusionary disciplinary practices that send children into the juvenile justice system. OJJDP is coordinating the Justice Department’s work on the initiative.

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights recently released “Civil Rights Data Collection: Data Snapshot (School Discipline),” which provides an analysis of information from the Civil Rights Data Collection. The data reveal significant racial and ethnic disparities in school discipline. On average, 5 percent of white students are suspended, as compared with 16 percent of black students. The Civil Rights Data Collection was a focus of discussion at the most recent meeting of the Coordinating Council of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more, read “News From the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.”

OJJDP Offers Training in Implementation Science as a Tool To Assist Violence Prevention Efforts

In collaboration with Development Services Group, Inc., OJJDP hosted a Science of Implementation Training Institute in Washington, DC, on March 3–5, 2014. The training focused on how to ensure systemwide change in efforts to prevent and reduce youth violence and children’s exposure to violence. Allison Metz and Melissa Van Dyke, codirectors of the National Implementation Research Network, led the training.

The institute brought together teams from the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, Defending Childhood Initiative, Community-Based Violence Prevention demonstration program, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE). Training topics included building a supportive framework for violence prevention initiatives, creating community connections and identifying systems gaps and barriers, developing a sustainable infrastructure, and using data for continuous improvement. For more information on implementation science, visit the Web site of the National Implementation Research Network.

Tribal Youth Hone Leadership Skills at UNITY’s Mid-Year Conference

United  National Indian Tribal Youth'sAs part of OJJDP’s National Intertribal Youth Leadership Development Initiative, 200 youth leaders gathered at the United National Indian Tribal Youth’s (UNITY's) 2014 Mid-Year Conference for training designed to increase positive outcomes in their schools, communities, and family environments.

Held in Arlington, VA, on February 26 to March 2, the conference offered workshops and information sessions on public speaking, financial planning, fundraising, career readiness, tips for successful community service projects, bullying prevention, and healthy lifestyles. Youth also helped set priorities and plan the agenda for UNITY’s annual national conference for youth, scheduled for the summer of 2014 in Portland, OR. On February 27, youth leaders visited Capitol Hill to share information and communicate tribal youth priorities to members of Congress and their staff, including the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

On February 28, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee presented an overview of OJJDP’s tribal youth initiatives and afterwards opened up the floor for an informal discussion about the importance of mentors, the school-to-prison pipeline, exposure to violence and trauma, and other issues affecting youth.

OJJDP Holds Juvenile Drug Court Research-to-Practice Meeting

On February 26–27, 2014, OJJDP convened a meeting of juvenile drug court researchers and practitioners, technical assistance providers, and youth to review the current state of juvenile drug courts. Juvenile drug courts are a specially designed court calendar or docket within a juvenile court to which youth having problems with alcohol and other drugs are referred. The drug court judge closely oversees each case and both leads and works as a member of a team composed of representatives from treatment, juvenile justice, social services, school and vocational training programs, law enforcement, probation, the prosecution, and the defense. OJJDP supports juvenile drug court programs through financial grants and other assistance, including assessment tool development and state standards guidance.

The meeting focused on what works as well as the gaps in research, knowledge, and practice. The meeting served as a followup to an initial meeting with researchers on December 5. The two meetings are part of a wider OJJDP effort to examine approaches to implementing juvenile drug courts and to ensure that current practice keeps pace with the latest research developments.

“OJJDP is poised to advance the knowledge and effectiveness of juvenile drug courts and has been actively engaged in discussions and planning around national guidelines and better outcomes for youth involved in these specialized courts,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee. “Our goal is to help young people get the treatment they need and back on track to a successful future.”

OJJDP-Supported Report Examines Youth's Unsolicited Online Experiences and Sexting

The Crimes against Children Research Center has released Trends in Unwanted Online Experiences and Sexting: Final Report. The report, supported by funding from OJJDP, summarizes key findings from the Third Youth Internet Survey. Topics include youth reports of unwanted sexual solicitations, online harassment, unwanted exposure to sexual material, and sexting.

Institute of Medicine Releases Infographic on OJJDP-Funded CSEC Report

Confronting  Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United  StatesThe Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have released an infographic focusing on highlights of their OJJDP-funded report Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States.

The infographic illustrates how schools, police, victim services, businesses, the legal system, and health care providers can collaborate in preventing, identifying, and responding to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Professionals who interact regularly with youth may not recognize those who are at risk or who may be victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. The report offers strategies, legislative approaches, and a research agenda around this victimization.

Juvenile Justice Resource Hub Adds Racial-Ethnic Fairness Section

The Juvenile Justice Resource Hub provides timely research and information on juvenile justice issues and trends. The hub was developed by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the National Juvenile Justice Network with support from the MacArthur Foundation. In addition to sections on mental health and substance use disorders, community-based alternatives, and juvenile indigent defense, the hub recently added a section on racial-ethnic fairness. Youth of color are overrepresented at nearly every point of contact with the juvenile justice system. The new section covers the persistent problem of racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system (often referred to as disproportionate minority contact) and details some promising reforms aimed at addressing this inequity. Along with the resource hub section, there is also a story series on racial-ethnic fairness in the juvenile justice system and the overrepresentation of youth of color.

RFK Children's Action CorpsRobert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps Launches Juvenile Justice Resource Web Site

The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps has launched the online Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice. This Web site, funded by the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Resource Center Partnership, serves as a resource hub for state and local jurisdictions nationwide that seek to improve outcomes for youth and families involved in juvenile justice and youth-serving systems and to enhance system performance. This site provides models, tools, research, onsite consultation, technical assistance, and a newsletter.

Cover of A Roadmap for Collaborative and Effective Evaluation in Tribal  CommunitiesChildren's Bureau Releases Resource for Evaluating Tribal Child Welfare Programs

The Children’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released A Roadmap for Collaborative and Effective Evaluation in Tribal Communities. Developed by the Bureau’s Tribal Evaluation Workgroup, this guide outlines methods for conducting culturally and scientifically rigorous evaluations of child welfare programs in tribal communities. Two brief videos, to be released in spring 2014, will introduce concepts described in this publication.

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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.

OJJDP and the National Institute of Justice have released the first two bulletins in the Justice Research series. The series reports on findings from joint research by the two agencies on youth in the juvenile justice system.

The first two bulletins are:

Delays in Youth JusticeDelays in Youth Justice (Bulletin)
Justice Research Series
NCJ 237149

This bulletin describes research that draws from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive and from studies of three Midwestern county courts that have successfully reduced delays in processing youth through the juvenile justice system. All three sites employed different, tailored approaches to addressing delays. A commitment to case management and routine and shared communication were themes the sites had in common.

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

Young Offenders: What Happens and What  Should HappenYoung Offenders: What Happens and What Should Happen (Bulletin)
Justice Research Series
NCJ 242653

This bulletin examines policies that affect young offenders who cross over from the juvenile justice system to the criminal justice system. It focuses on adolescence and early adulthood, with an emphasis on juvenile delinquents ages 15–17 who are candidates for transitioning into the criminal justice system and young adults ages 18–24 who are already in the criminal justice system.

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

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News From the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency PreventionOn April 9, 2014, the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention convened in Washington, DC, to discuss the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education's Supportive School Discipline Initiative and other related efforts to reduce punitive and discriminatory school discipline practices and keep children in school and out of the justice system. Associate Attorney General Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Karol V. Mason, and OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee offered opening remarks.

The meeting included presentations by a panel of experts that included Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education; Marlyn Tillman, Cofounder, Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline; Russell Skiba, Director, Discipline Disparities Research to Practice Collaborative; James Bell, Founder and Executive Director, W. Haywood Burns Institute; and Chandlee Johnson Kuhn, Chief Judge, Family Court, Delaware.

Following are a few highlights of topics covered in the panel presentations:

Referring to the information contained in the Civil Rights Data Collection from the 2011–12 school year, Associate Attorney General West said: “We understand the need to address these disparities now, and we are working to ensure that our efforts to improve school climate and school discipline policy and practice are incorporated into pertinent grant programs and policy initiatives.”

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.

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