Chapter 2: Sharing Information Is an
OJJDP is using satellite videoconferencing as a cost-effective way to provide training to individuals who live and work in areas that may limit their access to up-to-date information. It is more efficient to train individuals where they live than to transport them to another area; it also reduces travel time for trainers and allows them to deliver a consistent message simultaneously to thousands of professionals. Videoconferencing also allows OJJDP to reach staff who otherwise might be excluded from national training opportunities. Finally, it acts as a catalyst for local, regional, and State examination of OJJDP initiatives and research findings.
During 1996 and 1997, OJJDP broadcasted 9 national videoconferences to more than 3,650 jurisdictions and approximately 100,000 viewers. The telecasts covered a variety of topics -- juvenile boot camps, conflict resolution for youth, reduction of youth gun violence, youth out of the education mainstream, juvenile court viability, youth gangs, drug abuse prevention programs for youth, mentoring, and drug treatment programs. Videos of all OJJDP-sponsored teleconferences are available for a fee from JJC.
Assessments of the satellite videoconferences indicate that OJJDP is doing a good job of providing timely information to juvenile justice professionals. On average, more than 90 percent of those responding to surveys said that the content of the teleconferences successfully addressed critical issues affecting their professional responsibilities; that the panelists provided useful, understandable information; and that they had used ideas presented during the teleconferences to modify or implement programs in their communities.
OJJDP has supported teleconferencing since 1992, when it funded the Juvenile Justice Telecommunications Assistance Project at Eastern Kentucky University. This technology has become an integral part of OJJDP's continuing efforts to disseminate information across the Nation in a timely manner.