July | August 2015

News in Brief

Economic Costs of Youth  Disadvantage and High-Return Opportunities for ChangeWhite House Report Highlights OJJDP Delinquency Prevention Models

The White House's Council of Economic Advisers has released Economic Costs of Youth Disadvantage and High-Return Opportunities for Change, a report on closing opportunity gaps for disadvantaged youth. The report highlights two promising programs—One Summer Plus (OSP) and Becoming a Man (BAM). The White House has recognized the BAM approach as an example of innovation in advancing the goals of the My Brother's Keeper initiative for minority males.

The University of Chicago Crime Lab is currently testing both youth-focused delinquency prevention models with the help of OJJDP evaluation grants. For more on the OSP evaluation findings, read Summer Jobs Reduce Youth Violence Among Disadvantaged Youth. For additional details about BAM, read Not Too Late: Improving Academic Outcomes for Disadvantaged Youth.

 

Administrator Listenbee Testifies Before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Indian Affairs logo“[J]uvenile justice reform is an urgent matter, and nowhere is the issue more pressing than in Indian Country,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee in his July 15, 2015, testimony before an oversight hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

The hearing—titled, “Juvenile Justice in Indian Country: Challenges and Promising Strategies”—focused on the need for legislation to assist victims of crime in Indian Country and featured additional testimony from Darren Cruzan, Director of the Office of Justice Services for the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Addie C. Rolnick, associate professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada; and Carla Knapp, national director of Native Services for the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Administrator Listenbee testified that unique challenges exist for native youth, including high rates of trauma and suicide, lack of resources for tribal-based and culturally specific services, and jurisdictional issues that complicate juvenile justice cases. However, he noted that OJJDP is “stepping up to try to meet these challenges” through the use of Tribal Youth Program funding and other OJJDP funds to support trauma-informed programs using traditional practices at tribal communities in South Dakota and Montana, connecting more native youth to positive adult influences through the Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, and collaborating with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on updating the Model Indian Juvenile Code.

View more information on the witnesses’ testimony and a video of the hearing online.

 

OJJDP Updates Statistical Briefing Book With National Disproportionate Minority Contact Data

Statistical Briefing Book

The OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) has added new features to its National Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Databook. The National DMC databook provides users with an understanding of the Relative Rate Index and an assessment of the levels of DMC at various stages of juvenile justice processing at the national level. This update provides data through 2013 and makes available new features, including DMC tables for combinations of gender and race for juvenile court stages, and tables comparing males to females for juvenile arrest and court stages.

Developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, SBB offers easy online access to statistics on a variety of juvenile justice topics.

Keep up with the OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book on Twitter and Facebook.Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014

 

Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases 2014 School Crime and Safety Report

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, in collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics, has released Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014. This annual report provides the most recent data on school crime and student safety. The indicators in this report are based on a variety of data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, principals, and postsecondary institutions. Topics covered include victimization at school, teacher injuries, bullying and cyberbullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, availability and student use of drugs and alcohol, student perceptions of personal safety at school, and crime at postsecondary institutions.

View and download the report.

 

Bulletin Examines Children Exposed to Violence, Trauma and Implications for PolicingNew Perspectives in Policing

The National Institute of Justice has released a new bulletin in its New Perspectives in Policing series. Childhood Trauma and Its Effects: Implications for Police summarizes the effects of ongoing trauma on young children, how these effects impair adolescent and young adult development and functioning, and the possible implications of this for policing. The author argues that although children from any neighborhood can be exposed to violent trauma, children from poor communities of color are particularly at risk for such exposure. Because these communities are often the focus of police attention, it is important that police be aware of the high prevalence of severe childhood trauma in such communities, appreciate its effects on the developing child, and understand its impact on adolescent and adult functioning.

View and download the bulletin.

 

Office for Victims of Crime Releases Status Report on Federal Efforts To Improve Services for Trafficking Victims

OJJDP is among the Office of Justice Programs' agencies working with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to ensure that victims of human trafficking in the United States have access to quality services. OVC has released the "Fiscal Years 2013–2014 Status Report for the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States." The strategic plan defines 4 goals and 8 objectives and contains more than 250 associated action items for victim service improvements. The report documents the progress that federal agencies made during fiscal years 2013 and 2014 on each of the action items listed in the plan.

View and download the status report.

 

SMART Releases Report on Prosecution, Registration Alternatives for Juvenile Sex Offenders

The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) has released Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders. This report examines the systems of charging, adjudication, disposition, transfer, and/or sentencing that might apply to a serious juvenile sex offender.

The landmark Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) set revised standards for states, territories, and certain federally recognized tribes to meet as they improved or established their sex offender registration and notification systems. One of the key changes in SORNA from previous federal legislation was the intentional inclusion of certain juveniles adjudicated delinquent of serious sex offenses in its registration and notification standards. This inclusion drew increased attention to the manner in which juveniles are adjudicated and sentenced for serious sex offenses in juvenile courts. What has not received as much attention, and is the focus of the report, is the full range of alternative approaches for prosecuting serious sex offenders in juvenile courts across the country.

View and download the report.