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Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence Presents Recommendations to Attorney General
Clayton Old-Elk (Apsaalooke' Nation–Crow Nation) offers a traditional ceremonial opening at the November 18, 2014, meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Clayton Old-Elk (Apsaalooke’ Nation–Crow Nation) offers a traditional ceremonial opening at the November 18, 2014, meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

On November 18, 2014, the Advisory Committee of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence released a report with comprehensive policy recommendations to the U.S. Department of Justice. The report offers the committee’s vision for the development of effective, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate programs and services to protect American Indian and Alaska Native children exposed to violence. The committee recommends a significant rebuilding of the current services provided to Indian country, through increased partnering and coordination with tribes and increased funding for programs to support American Indian and Alaska Native children.

The recommendations were presented at a meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in Washington, DC. The council is chaired by Attorney General Eric Holder. OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee serves as vice-chair.

OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee (left) and Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery at the meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee (left) and Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery at the meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Attorney General created the task force in 2013. It 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 a federal advisory committee of experts on American Indian studies, child health and trauma, victim services, and child welfare. Former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan and Iroquois composer, singer, and child advocate Joanne Shenandoah co-chaired the 13-member committee.

These recommendations are a culmination of the research and information gathered through 4 public hearings held between December 2013 and June 2014 in Bismarck, ND; Scottsdale, AZ; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Anchorage, AK, and 5 listening sessions in Arizona, Minneapolis, and Alaska in which more than 600 people from more than 62 tribes and 15 states participated. More than 70 experts and 60 community members testified at the hearings, which addressed domestic and community violence in Indian country; the pathway from victimization to the juvenile justice system; the roles of juvenile courts, detention facilities, and the child welfare system; gang violence; and child sex trafficking.

The Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence is part of the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood initiative. The task force is also a component of the Justice Department’s ongoing collaboration with leaders in American Indian and Alaska Native communities to improve public safety.

On Wednesday, November 19, Administrator Listenbee testified at an oversight hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs regarding the disproportionately high rates of exposure to violence and trauma among American Indian and Alaska Native youth. Other experts offering testimony included Yvette Roubideaux, Acting Director, Indian Health Service; Kana Enomoto, Principal Deputy Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Dr. Rick Van den Pol, Director and Principal Investigator, Institute of Educational Research and Service, University of Montana National Native Children’s Trauma Center; and Verné Boerner, President and CEO, Alaska Native Health Board.

"OJJDP strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system’s efforts to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families," Administrator Listenbee said. "We are committed to working with American Indian and Alaskan Native communities, and our partner agencies within the Department of Justice and throughout federal and state governments, to implement evidence-based approaches to preventing and addressing child trauma."


To read the advisory committee’s report and for more information about the advisory committee and public hearings, visit the Justice Department’s Web site.

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OJJDP Awards $262.6 Million in Grants in Fiscal Year 2014

In fiscal year (FY) 2014, OJJDP awarded $262.6 million to help at-risk youth, protect children, and improve juvenile justice systems nationwide. The 353 awards were made through discretionary and formula grant funding.

More than $223.6 million in discretionary grants was awarded in FY 2014. OJJDP awarded $75.2 million to support youth mentoring programs. More than $32 million was awarded under the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children program, which offers critical intervention and prevention services to families and supports law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels in cases involving missing and exploited children. In addition, the Office distributed $22 million to state and local law enforcement agencies under its Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program to support joint federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children and to keep children safe from Internet predators.

Discretionary grants were awarded in a range of other areas, including children’s exposure to violence, juvenile justice reform and reinvestment, disproportionate minority contact, training of juvenile prosecutors, law enforcement interactions with youth and communities, indigent defense, supportive school discipline, reentry, youth and family drug courts, youth violence prevention, tribal youth, and girls in the juvenile justice system.

Funding through formula grants is available to states and territories through the state agency designated by the Governor. Juvenile Justice Specialists in each state administer the funding through subgrants to units of local government, local private agencies, and federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native jurisdictions for programs in accordance with legislative requirements. In FY 2014, OJJDP awarded $38.9 million under the following formula grants programs:


For more information about the Office’s awards, visit OJJDP’s Funding Web page.

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National Organizations and Federal Officials Discuss Strategies for Strengthening Infrastructure To Support Mentoring

On November 10, 2014, OJJDP convened the roundtable "Enhancing the Infrastructure to Support, Sustain, and Expand Mentoring Programs," in Washington, DC. More than 55 attendees representing community-based social service programs from around the country and a dozen social scientists and representatives from the federal government, including officials from the White House and federal interagency youth initiatives, participated in the daylong session. Youth representatives were also in attendance.

The discussion centered on strengthening, expanding, and implementing youth mentoring activities and training and technical assistance that advance evidence-based practices.

Commending the attendees on their work in support of the nation’s youth, Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs, asked, "How should we use our resources to benefit the wonderful work you do? We should have high expectations for all of our youth—not just that they are not in trouble, [but so] that they excel," she added.

"We intentionally organized this diverse representation because we want to draw out the widest and most representative spectrum of ideas and perspectives," said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee in his remarks.

Many of the roundtable attendees shared that they have benefited from mentors, sometimes several mentors at the same time, even as they mentored others.

"We all know that the influence of an older, caring mentor with adequate training and supervision—who is consistently involved in a child’s life over a significant amount of time—can make all the difference in the world. It can change lives for the better and forever set children on a new and more positive path," Administrator Listenbee said.

"Studies show conclusively that mentoring improves behavior and outcomes," David DuBois, Ph.D., Research Chair of OJJDP’s National Mentoring Resource Center, concurred. To be launched in January 2015, the online resource center will provide leadership in defining best practices; offer comprehensive information, tools, and training opportunities to help mentoring groups and their mentors; and unite a coalition of practitioners. The center will be managed by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

"We need to intervene with at-risk youth early on, at the front end. I want to cast the widest net to be more responsive," continued Assistant Attorney General Mason. "Money is limited but we have opportunities ... to leverage our resources for this very important endeavor."

The attendees stressed the need for more quality, trained, dedicated mentors. They agreed that using research on evidence-based practices is key to success and discussed the need to match reentering youth with mentors so youth feel connected and can thrive. Rev. Dr. Emilio Marrero, vice president of National Programs at Esperanza, cautioned against a one-size-fits-all approach to mentoring. He said, "We are not just one group, we have our own groups within our groups. [Others] need to adapt for our area, our culture, and to be more collaborative. We don’t need people to do for us, but to equip people within our community. We don’t need delivery of goods and people—we need partners."

Tammy Tai, chief program officer at MENTOR, volunteered that one of the benefits of the OJJDP–MENTOR National Mentoring Resource Center is its training and technical assistance portal, through which applications are currently being accepted for no-cost, specialized, local technical assistance. Examples of technical assistance that might be requested include development of new or revision of existing training materials, guidance and consultation on mentor recruitment plans, analysis of mentor screening processes, analysis of match support processes, and consultation on strategies for improvement.

Other ideas participants suggested that OJJDP and the mentoring community as a whole undertake to help strengthen and grow mentoring opportunities for youth discussed at the roundtable, include:

"There’s no word for ‘mentor’ in Indian country. We use ‘strong circle of relatives.’ We just buried two young people in Minnesota, both suicide victims, one an 11-year-old boy, one a 12-year-old boy," said Valerie Larsen, project director of OJJDP’s Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center. "That would not have happened if we had a network of mentors."

In moving forward and thinking through the sphere of great ideas and programs, Administrator Listenbee said that OJJDP is committed to emphasizing the importance of using trauma-informed care, a developmentally based approach, and evidence-based practices in working with youth, to understand their uniqueness, help those in need to heal, and help all young people blossom.


Register to attend the National Mentoring Summit, which takes place January 28–30, 2015, in Washington, DC.

Access OJJPP’s mentoring resources online.

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OJJDP Focuses on Law Enforcement Interactions With Youth at International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference

IACP 2014 October 25-28, Orlando, FL, Orange County Convention Center

Research has shown that the mind of a young person deals with trauma much differently than the mind of an adult. Exposure to violence can profoundly derail a child well into adulthood, a key reason why law enforcement can benefit from using developmentally based techniques in dealing with young people. Knowing how to communicate with a young person can help prevent violence and protect youth from unnecessary arrests because of what could have been a minor issue. Developmentally based practices were discussed in several sessions featuring OJJDP at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 121st Annual Conference, which took place October 25–28, 2014, in Orlando, FL.

Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason and OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee attended and delivered remarks at the IACP’s Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Committee meeting "Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Children Exposed to Violence," held on October 25, 2014. "Events have produced a perfect storm ... for changes in juvenile justice," said Assistant Attorney General Mason in her remarks.

This advisory working group meeting convened to share updates of a multiyear initiative to educate law enforcement personnel about the effects of children’s exposure to violence. Supported by OJJDP, IACP, in partnership with the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence/Childhood Violent Trauma Center at the Yale Child Study Center, the initiative will provide tools, resources, and training and technical assessment that can equip law enforcement agency operations, activities, policies and procedures to meaningfully address the issue. The discussion was led by Steven Marans, M.S.W., Ph.D., director, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence/Childhood Violent Trauma Center, Yale University, and Dean Esserman, chief of the New Haven (CT) Police Department and chair of the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Committee.

Attendees discussed the need for a juvenile justice cultural transformation during "Reducing the Trust Deficit With Communities of Color," an open forum attended by Assistant Attorney General Mason and Administrator Listenbee on October 26, and volunteered numerous recommendations for improving community–law enforcement relationships, including partnering with influential people and organizations within the community, creating positive incentives for front line officers, and emphasizing youth focus and experience with youth as incumbent skills for chief-of-police candidates.

On October 28, Administrator Listenbee moderated a panel entitled “Law Enforcement and Youth: A Police Chief’s Role, Responsibilities, and Abilities for Youth and Violence Prevention,” which took place as part of a chief executives’ workshop. Panelists provided practical tactics for serving youth who are or have been victims, have been exposed to violence or other trauma, and/or have been status offenders.

Howard Spivak, M.D., Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at the Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice and former director of the Division of Violence Prevention and Control within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention; Chief Esserman of the New Haven Police Department; Toney Armstrong, director of the Memphis (TN) Police Department; and La’Tonya Bey, Officer, Philadelphia (PA) Police Department, comprised the panel.

Dr. Spivak spoke about why young people think differently; the law officials each provided an overview of the models they are following in their cities.


Access tools, training and technical assistance, and other resources from IACP’s online Youth-Focused Policing Resource Center. Funded by OJJDP, the center is a clearinghouse of information and resources relating to youth crime, delinquency, and victimization.

Read about the IACP–MacArthur Foundation partnership to advance law enforcement’s leadership role in juvenile justice on the IACP Web site.

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Advocates Gather in Washington, DC, for OJJDP Listening Session on LGBTQ Youth Needs

Asking someone the preferred pronoun to use to describe that person instead of assuming that person is male or female is a small act that makes a big difference in building trust with the LGBTQ community, participants agreed at the OJJDP listening session "Creating and Sustaining Fair and Beneficial Environments of LGBTQ Youth," held on November 6–7, 2014, in Washington, DC.

Speaking at the convening about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning issues, Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason said, "Many [LGBTQ youth] end up in the juvenile justice system for no justifiable reason." The Assistant Attorney General told the estimated 40 participants that Attorney General Eric Holder has referred to the situation as "one of the most defining civil rights issues of our time."

The Honorable Anthony Capizzi, Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Dayton, OH, (left) with OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee, spoke about the training of judges he is involved with which helps develop sensitivity to LGBTQ issues
The Honorable Anthony Capizzi, Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Dayton, OH, (left) with OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee, spoke about enhancing judicial leadership for LGBTQ youth.

In his remarks, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee assured the estimated 40 participants—representatives from LGBTQ advocacy groups, including youth, judges, and the federal government—of the Office’s commitment to outreach and training to improve the relationship between law enforcement, correctional officers, judges, and others with the LGBTQ community. "I want what we do to touch the lives of our young people [so that] they know somebody cares about their issues," said Administrator Listenbee. "I want to discourage criminalization of adolescent behavior. We ought to be able to provide training and supervision to ensure our children are treated properly. Let’s stay on task until we get what we need done. Let’s work together."

The percentage of youth in detention facilities in recent years who identify as LGBTQ has risen sharply, according to a soon-to-be-released study by the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD). Dr. Angela Irvine, director of research at NCCD, shared that these youth are often mistreated, sometimes because officers do not know how to deal with their needs. Issues are compounded because of intersectionality, such as being LGBTQ and being African American, Latino, or another minority race or religion.

M. Currey Cook, Esq., director of the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, Lambda Legal, New York, NY, joined his copresenters to discuss a variety of successful programs. Se-ah-dom Edmo, director of the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR, spoke about the ways Indian country is developing a better understanding of their LGBTQ family and showed a short film about a woman’s journey toward self-acceptance with help from an elder relative.

Attendees volunteered suggestions for OJJDP and the LGBTQ community to engage in to better support LGBTQ youth. These include—

In her closing remarks, Assistant Attorney General Mason commended the youth participants for their bravery in advocating despite prejudice, violence, and threats.


The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, offers a toolkit "Responding to Transgender Victims of Assault," which can be downloaded from the OVC Web site.

The "Tribal Equity Toolkit 2.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes To Support Two Spirit & LGBT Justice In Indian Country," is available for download from the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program, Lewis & Clark College.

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Developmental Approaches to Juvenile Justice Reform Highlighted at OJJDP’s Training and Technical Assistance Provider Meeting
OJJDP hosted it’s Training and Technical Assistance Provider Network Meeting on October 23–24, 2014.
OJJDP Training and Technical Assistance Provider Network Meeting, October 23–24, 2014.

How can providers of juvenile delinquency and victimization services best benefit from OJJDP enhancing its training and technical assistance (TTA) services to transform and improve the lives of children, families, and communities? That is what an estimated 70 practitioners representing 50 organizations from across the country convened to discuss in Washington, DC, October 23–24, 2014, at OJJDP’s annual Training and Technical Assistance Provider Network Meeting.

Learning new methods for obtaining TTA through OJJDP, getting to know OJJDP staff, sharing information, and forming new partnerships were other goals of the meeting. "You are on the front lines for reforming juvenile justice; I need to know what you need," said Robert L. Listenbee, OJJDP Administrator, who opened the meeting, answered questions, and participated in sessions on both days.

Administrator Listenbee spoke to the attendees about how the adoption of a developmental approach when dealing with at-risk youth can transform the lives of the youth by preventing incarceration or, if incarceration occurs, by helping to prevent repeat offenses. Delinquency, Administrator Listenbee shared, oftentimes stops when a child receives support and counsel, such as from mentors. The Administrator also said that status offenses, such as truancy, can be addressed without throwing a minor in jail. The challenge, he said, is, "How are we going to have accountability for children without criminalization?" Administrator Listenbee said he wanted to hear from and partner more with prosecutors and law enforcement to find out.

Administrator Listenbee discussed the disproportionate number of minority youth in confinement. "When you’re a kid in the system and most of the kids you see are the same color as you," he said, "you know there’s something wrong. And it makes you angry."

Alex Piquero, Ph.D., professor of criminology, University of Texas at Dallas, and Cherie Townsend, consultant, presented results from surveys about the experiences of offenders. "The evidence on this is very clear. People want to be heard and they want to be treated fairly," said Dr. Piquero. According to Dr. Piquero, when adolescents in the system have "a fair experience with judges [or] police, they are less likely to offend again." Dr. Piquero and Ms. Townsend are among the co-authors of the OJJDP-sponsored report Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role, recently released by The National Academies.

During break-out sessions, attendees discussed the resources and supports TTA providers most need to transform the juvenile justice system. The participants suggested that the Office—

Highlights of "TTA 360," under development by OJJDP’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC), were unveiled at the meeting. Set to launch in 2015, this Web-based resource will allow providers to request and schedule an array of TTA and track their requests online.

OJJDP plans to convene more meetings to enable more opportunities for live feedback and networking. "I want to partner with you to transform our nation," said Administrator Listenbee.


Visit the NTTAC Web site to request training and technical assistance, register for Webinars and other events, and learn more about the latest in the field.

Learn more about the developmental approach to transforming juvenile justice by downloading the OJJDP-sponsored Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach from The National Academies Web site.

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Upcoming Events

22nd Annual Children’s Law Institute: January 7–9, 2015

The 22nd Annual Children's Law InstituteThe Children’s Law Institute, hosted by New Mexico State University’s Southwest Region National Child Protection Training Center, is a multidisciplinary conference that addresses important issues in child welfare and juvenile justice. Workshop topics include "Access to Services for Tribal Children and Families," "Why Use Restorative Justice?," "How Trauma Impacts Development," "Gangs 101–Understanding the Culture of Youth Violence," and "The Importance of Being Trauma Informed in Working with Cross Over Youth." The institute will take place in Albuquerque, NM. Registration information is available online.

29th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment: January 26–29, 2015

Multidisciplinary best-practice efforts to develop and enhance professional skills to prevent, or otherwise investigate, treat, and prosecute child and family maltreatment will be offered at this annual conference. Participants will also be able to learn to recognize and assess all forms of maltreatment. Indepth issues include support for families, leadership, and policymaking. How to translate the latest research into action will also be addressed. Sponsored by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital, the conference will be held in San Diego, CA. Registration information is available online.

National Mentoring Summit: January 28–30, 2015

National Mentoring Summit. Expanding the Mentoring EffectMENTOR, along with OJJDP and the Corporation for National and Community Service are organizing this summit. To be held in Washington, DC, the event will focus on how evidence-based, quality mentoring relationships help young people succeed at home, in school, and at work. Workshops and plenary sessions will demonstrate the many ways in which mentoring works to support positive youth outcomes by showcasing innovative program models, emerging research, and the nuances across diverse youth populations. Registration information is available online.

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Forum and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 11th Prevention Day: February 2–5, 2015

CADCA"Mission Impossible: Agents of Change," the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s National Leadership Forum, will take place in National Harbor, MD. The forum will provide opportunities for attendees to learn the latest strategies to fight substance abuse and hear from nationally known prevention experts, federal administrators, and policymakers. Sessions will focus on making positive systematic progress, learning from theory about what works, implementing those practices in a comprehensive manner, and resolving local substance abuse problems. Registration information is available online.

29th Annual Conference on the Prevention of Child Abuse: February 23–24, 2015

Prevent Child Abuse TexasSponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Texas, the theme of this conference is "Stop the Harm Before It Starts." The conference, which will take place in Las Colinas, TX, will offer training and information on topics and model programs of interest to leaders in child abuse prevention. Participants may attend their choice of a variety of workshops on child abuse and neglect prevention and educational programs or may select workshops for specialized training credits and professional development. Registration information is available online.

National Conference on Bullying: February 25–27, 2015

Evidence-based strategies, solutions, and best practices used nationally for preventing bullying and building safe, caring schools, and communities will be the subject of this year’s conference. Educators, law enforcement officials, practitioners, and community representatives will discuss other issues relevant to bullying, including depression, technology, and potential lawsuits. Sponsored by the School Safety Advocacy Council, in partnership with the Florida Association of School Resource Officers and the Florida Association of School Administrators, the event will be held in Orlando, FL. Registration information is available online.

31st National Symposium on Child Abuse: March 23–26, 2015

National Children's Advocacy CenterThe National Children’s Advocacy Center is holding this symposium in Huntsville, AL. The event will feature workshop tracks in the areas of administration, child protective services, interviewing, law enforcement, legal issues, medicine, mental health, prevention, victim advocacy, and wellness. Registration information is available online.

33rd Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect: April 19–22, 2015

National Indian Child Welfare AssociationTo be held in Portland, OR, this conference will highlight the latest research and policies concerning the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, reveal innovative child welfare and mental health practices, highlight effective strategies for financing and sustaining services that impact children, and showcase strategies for involving youth and families in the development of services and policies that lead to systems change. Registration information is available online.

15th Annual Family Justice Center Conference: April 21–23, 2015

Family Justice Center AllianceSponsored by the Family Justice Center Alliance, this conference will address a range of topics, including elder abuse awareness, prevention, intervention, accountability to survivors, and promising practices. The event, to be held in San Diego, CA, will also include practical, hands-on training for police officers, prosecutors, advocates, and medical professionals in the day-to-day handling of domestic violence and sexual assault cases. The conference faculty includes survivors, advocates, and nationally and internationally recognized subject matter experts. Registration information is available online.

7th Annual National Prisoner’s Family Conference: May 6–8, 2015

Prisoner's Family ConferenceThis event, to be held in Dallas, TX, is the largest national conference focused on how incarceration impacts prisoners and their families. Presenters will include professionals and advocates from the criminal justice, social service, academic, and faith-based arenas. The event is sponsored by Community Solutions of El Paso. Registration information is available online.

National Missing Children’s Day Ceremony: May 25, 2015

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will hold its annual National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in DOJ’s Great Hall. The ceremony honors the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children. National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated in the United States since 1984, when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. For more information about the ceremony, contact OJJDP.

National Court Appointed Special Advocates Conference: May 30–June 2, 2015

Court Appointed Special Advocate for ChildrenAt this event, sponsored by the National 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 offer workshops and institutes, general sessions, and an exhibit hall featuring information and resources for the field. The conference will take place in New Orleans, LA. More information about the conference is available online.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 78th Annual Conference: July 26–29, 2015

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court JudgesTo be held in Austin, TX, this conference will feature a 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 testifying in court, detention alternatives, substance abuse, and the adolescent brain. The event is hosted by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Registration information is available online.

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News in Brief

OJJDP Research Highlighted at American Society of Criminology Meeting

The American Society of Criminology’s (ASC’s) meeting on November 19–22, 2014, featured 20 sessions which highlighted recent developments in OJJDP-funded research. The session topics included supportive school discipline; Hispanics in the juvenile justice system; mentoring; and OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide, a resource for practitioners and communities about what works, what is promising, and what does not work in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety. ASC is an international organization that promotes scientific and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. This year’s meeting took place in San Francisco, CA.

OJJDP Invites Entries for the 2015 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

OJJDP invites fifth grade students, their parents, educators, and their local communities to participate in the 2015 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. This annual contest creates an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and other child advocates to promote child safety by discussing the issue of missing and/or exploited children with youth, parents, and guardians.

OJJDP will invite the winning child and his or her teacher, parents, and state contest manager to attend the National Missing Children’s Day commemoration in May 2015, at which the student will receive an award for his or her winning artwork.

Please contact your state contest manager for your state’s submission deadline. Visit the poster contest page for additional information, including contest rules. For questions related to the awards process or poster contest, please contact the Missing and Exploited Children’s Program.

Registration Open for Web-Based Training on Engaging Families in the Justice System

National Center for Youth in CustodyOJJDP, in collaboration with the National Center for Youth in Custody, is offering "Engaging Families in the Justice System." This Web-based training highlights practices to help juvenile justice professionals build partnerships with families. Participants will learn how to:

Register for the training at OJJDP Online University.

Legal Sector Guide Available on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking

Legal SectorThe Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have released a guide to the report Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. This OJJDP-funded guide is designed for law enforcement professionals, attorneys, and judges who interact with victims, survivors, and perpetrators of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. The guide includes key terms, risk factors and consequences, current practices, and recommendations. Learn more about OJJDP’s programs and resources addressing commercial sexual exploitation of children.

New Juvenile Court Statistics Released

National Juvenile Court Data ArchiveThe National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) has released Juvenile Court Statistics 2011. The report that draws on data from the OJJDP-sponsored National Juvenile Court Data Archive to profile more than 1.2 million delinquency cases and 116,000 petitioned status offense cases handled in 2011 by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The report also tracks trends in delinquency cases between 1985 and 2011 and in status offense cases processed between 1995 and 2011. Funded by OJJDP, the archive collects automated juvenile court data from around the nation in order to inform juvenile justice research and policymaking decisions. The data used in this report were contributed to the archive by more than 2,400 courts with jurisdiction over 85 percent of the juvenile population in 2011.

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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.

Cover of Highlights of the 2012 National Youth Gang SurveyHighlights of the 2012 National Youth Gang Survey (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 248025
Youth Gang Series

This fact sheet presents an overview of the nation’s gang problem. Since 1996, the National Gang Center’s National Youth Gang Survey has collected data annually from a large representative sample of local law enforcement agencies. The sample consists of two groups: police departments in cities with more than 50,000 residents along with suburban county police and sheriffs’ departments, and a random sample of police departments in cities with populations between 2,500 and 50,000 along with rural county sheriffs’ departments. Survey findings show that, in 2012, gangs were active in slightly less than 30 percent of the jurisdictions (the lowest point in nearly a decade), attributed partly to the decline in the prevalence rates of gang activity in smaller cities. Nearly 30 percent of responding law enforcement agencies reported gang activity for 2012, concentrated mostly in urban areas. Gang-related homicides increased overall nationally, partly on account of increased reporting by agencies.

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

Cover of Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2011Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2011 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 248409
National Report Series

This fact sheet presents the 1985–2011 estimates based on data from more than 2,400 courts with jurisdiction over 85 percent of the nation’s juvenile population (youth age 10 through the upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction in each state). U.S. juvenile courts saw more than 1.2 million delinquency cases of youth charged with criminal violations in 2011. From 1985 through 1997, delinquency cases climbed 62 percent before falling through 2011. In 2011, juvenile courts handled 7 percent more cases than in 1985. Person offense cases increased through 1997 by 131 percent and fell 27 percent between 2005 and 2011. Drug violation cases more than doubled between 1985 and 1997 and then declined, gradually, through 2011. Property offense cases were the only general offense category that declined, 36 percent, from 1985 through 2011. Juvenile courts in 2011 saw 345,000 cases involving females compared with 891,000 involving males.

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

Cover of Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2011Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2011 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 248410
National Report Series

Every state has established an upper age of original jurisdiction for juvenile courts, but states also have laws that allow juveniles younger than the upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction to be tried as adults. The National Juvenile Court Data Archive produces national estimates of the number of cases judicially waived to criminal court. This fact sheet presents the estimates for 1985 through 2011. For every 1,000 of the petitioned juvenile delinquency cases, four were waived to criminal court. The peak was in 1994, at 13,600 cases, more than double the number of cases waived in 1985. A decline in juvenile violent crime is credited with much of the decrease in waivers throughout the 1992. Part of the decline, however, is because of the simultaneous widespread expansion of nonjudicial transfer laws which likely resulted in cases bypassing juvenile court and being filed directly in criminal court.

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

Coming Soon—

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders (Bulletin)
Pathways to Desistance Series

This bulletin presents findings on the link between psychosocial maturity and desistance from crime as youth transition from mid-adolescence to early adulthood (ages 14–25). The research shows that youth experience protracted maturation of brain systems responsible for self-regulation into their mid-twenties. Youth whose antisocial behavior continued into early adulthood were found to have lower levels of psychosocial maturity as teenagers compared with other antisocial youth. Most juvenile offenders, including those who committed serious crimes, grow out of antisocial behavior as they transition to adults, the study found. The Pathways to Desistance study followed more than 1,300 serious juvenile offenders for 7 years after their conviction.

Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2012: Selected Findings (National Report Bulletin)
National Report Series

Conducted biennially by OJJDP, the Juvenile Residential Facility Census collects information about facilities in which juvenile offenders are held and reports the number of youth who were injured or died in custody during the past 12 months. Findings from the 2012 census shows that the juvenile offender population dropped 14 percent from 2010 to 2012 to 57,190 offenders younger than 21 on the census date, the lowest number since 1975. For the first time since 2000, more offenders were in local facilities on the census day in 2012 than were in state-operated facilities. The data also describe security features that are used in facilities. Overall, 43 percent of facilities lock youth in their sleeping rooms at least some of the time. Fourteen deaths were reported; five were suicides. Most of those deaths were white and African American non-Hispanic males. Most of the suicides occurred weeks after the youth’s detainment.

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News From the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Ending Violence So Children Can Thrive

Logo for the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency PreventionOn November 18, 2014, at the fall meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Advisory Committee of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence released a report "Ending Violence So Children Can Thrive," containing comprehensive policy recommendations for addressing the high rates of children’s exposure to violence in Indian country.

For more information on the task force recommendations, read the article, "Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence Presents Recommendations to Attorney General" in this issue.

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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