This Report summarizing recent research sponsored by OJJDP's Research and Program Development Division emphasizes the importance of investing in research as a way of responding to the needs of children at risk of delinquency. During the past several years, much has been learned about the factors that put youth at greater risk for delinquency, their patterns of offending, strategies that work in responding to their needs and behavior, and community responses needed to ensure the safety of children and their families. Despite the knowledge gained, however, there is still much to learn.

The ultimate goal of the Research Division's work is to prevent youth at risk of pursuing a delinquent career from doing so and to assist youth already in the juvenile justice system in turning away from future delinquency and criminal behavior and becoming productive citizens. One of the most important points that this Report demonstrates is the need to use what has been learned to craft solutions and interventions to the problems of juvenile crime and violence. OJJDP is committed to using the knowledge gained through research to inform program initiatives. Together, OJJDP divisions and program units provide a continuum of activity that fully supports the efforts of researchers, policymakers, courts, schools, juvenile justice facilities, practitioners, parents, and juveniles.

Recognizing the critical needs of policymakers and practitioners, OJJDP will continue to partner with the many highly skilled researchers in the field conducting research studies, performing evaluations, and collecting and analyzing statistics on juvenile crime. OJJDP, with the help of these researchers, will use what is learned to develop programs and solutions that make a difference to juveniles, their families, and their communities.

OJJDP Research: Making a Difference for Juveniles August 1999