September | October 2014

OJJDP’s Smart on Juvenile Justice Awards Promote Systemwide Reform and Reduction of Racial and Ethnic Disparities

On September 26, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced more than $2.2 million in awards through OJJDP’s new Smart on Juvenile Justice initiative to promote systemwide juvenile justice reform and bolster efforts to end racial and ethnic disparities. The Attorney General made the announcement during remarks delivered at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

Under the initiative’s Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform, three states—Georgia, Hawaii, and Kentucky—are working with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project to provide diversion alternatives, community-based options, and other reforms aimed at reducing recidivism, decreasing correctional spending, and improving public safety while reducing the number of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. To support this work, OJJDP is awarding funding to the Crime and Justice Institute of Community Resources for Justice to provide training and technical assistance that will help these states implement important policy changes.

OJJDP is awarding more than $1 million to the W. Haywood Burns Institute and the Development Services Group to implement Smart on Juvenile Justice’s Technical Assistance To End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System. Education, training and technical assistance, and other information resources will be provided to state, local, and tribal governments and private organizations on the most promising systemic and programmatic techniques for addressing disproportionate minority contact and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.

A third set of Smart on Juvenile Justice awards will support OJJDP’s Juvenile Prosecution Curriculum Development, Training, and Technical Assistance Program. Awards are being funded to Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform to provide comprehensive training for juvenile justice prosecutors to acquaint them with the latest information in forensic science, adolescent development, the neurosciences, and the prosecution of sexual assault cases.

"These are promising new steps that will help us to advance our important—and in many cases life-changing—work in the juvenile justice arena," Attorney General Holder said.

Resources:

The Attorney General’s remarks may be accessed online. For more information about the Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform, Technical Assistance To End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System, and the Juvenile Prosecution Curriculum Development, Training, and Technical Assistance Program solicitations, visit the OJJDP Web site.