Another goal of OJJDP's Research Division is to identify and strategically support emerging research in areas of primary interest. OJJDP has identified the following fields in which research is unfolding. These are new projects sponsored by OJJDP.
Research on Very Young Offenders
Major findings of OJJDP-sponsored work on serious and violent juvenile offenders -- namely, that most chronic juvenile offenders begin their criminal careers prior to age 12, some as early as 10 years of age -- led the Research Division to support the development of the Study Group on Very Young Offenders in 1998. This Study Group is exploring what is known about the prevalence and frequency of very young offending under the age of 13. Specific areas being examined include whether such offending predicts future delinquent or criminal careers, how these juveniles are handled by various systems (juvenile justice, mental health, social services), and what the best methods are for preventing very young offending and persistence of offending. A report will be issued in 2000.