March | April 2016

News in Brief

Smart on Juvenile Justice Meeting Focuses on Best Practices, Information Sharing, and Implementation

On March 24–25, 2016, OJJDP convened 34 representatives from Smart on Juvenile Justice states—Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Following a welcome from Administrator Listenbee, staff from the Crime & Justice Institute (CJI) at Community Resources for Justice conducted a survey to assess attendees’ experience in myriad areas, as well as their training and technical assistance (TTA) needs. CJI provides TTA to participating states as part of the initiative’s comprehensive strategy for juvenile justice reform.

Attendees were brought together to participate in peer-to-peer exchanges and to share lessons learned and innovative solutions to obstacles and challenges. In her closing remarks to the group on March 25, the Office of Justice Programs' Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason lauded the state representatives for leading the way on statewide juvenile justice reform.

OJJDP Welcomes Three Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program Detailees

OJJDP is pleased to host three new detailees on 4-month assignments under the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program.

DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility Program Analyst Shamelle Lyles is working with the State and Community Development team in the area of youth violence prevention, specifically helping to plan the June summit of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

Subha Chennubhotla, a Quality Assurance Program Manager in DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review is supporting the work of the Juvenile Justice System Improvement division. In addition to other activities, she will help to develop resources and tools for the Juvenile Reentry Subcommittee.

Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Assistant General Counsel C. Darnell Stroble currently serves as BOP’s Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act litigation attorney and public liaison. He is supporting OJJDP’s youth violence prevention work via the State and Community Development team, specifically focusing on planning the June summit of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

OJJDP-Funded Publication Reports on the Needs of LGBTQ Youth Engaged in Survival Sex

The Urban Institute has released Access to Safety: Health Outcomes, Substance Use and Abuse, and Service Provision for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Who Engage in Survival Sex. The OJJDP-funded report focuses on youth who engage in survival sex and are self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ); young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW).

The report describes their health issues, substance use, and treatment service experiences. This is the third and final report from a study on LGBTQ youth, YMSM, and YWSW who engage in survival sex in New York City.

Access previous reports in the OJJDP-funded series—Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex and Locked In: Interactions With the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Systems for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Who Engage in Survival Sex.

Model Indian Juvenile Code Available for Public Comment

Bureau of Indian Affairs SealThe Department of the Interior has announced a May 27, 2016, deadline for public comment on the proposed 2016 Model Indian Juvenile Code.

“The code provides federal guidance for tribal governments to help protect the rights of Indian juveniles and their parents, guardians, or custodians while also respecting tribal governments’ need to modify juvenile codes to fit each unique tribal community,” said Lawrence Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Affairs. “The 2016 Model Indian Juvenile Code improves decades-old guidance to aid tribes in developing their own codes that will serve and protect those who end up in the juvenile justice system.”

The code was initially created by the National Indian Justice Center in 1988. A memorandum of understanding between the Departments of Justice, the Interior, and Health and Human Services to address alcohol and substance abuse issues for Native American youth requires updates to the code.

OJJDP has provided significant insight into the new draft provisions. “We support a developmental and trauma-informed approach to reform that better meets the needs of tribal youth at risk or involved in the juvenile justice system,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert Listenbee. “The updated code reflects such an approach.”

A listening session and four tribal consultations have been held to garner public comments. Written comments may be submitted by May 27, 2016, via e-mail to bia_tribal_courts@bia.gov or mailed to:

Natasha Anderson, Deputy Associate Director
Tribal Justice Support Directorate
Office of Justice Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs
1849 C Street NW, MS-2603-MIB
Washington, DC 20240

Justice Department Welcomes Eddie Martin, Jr., as Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Eddie Martin, Jr., former Special Assistant for the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has joined the Justice Department (DOJ) as Director of DOJ’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP). CFBNP creates and strengthens partnerships with nonprofit organizations engaged in justice-related issues that correspond to several OJJDP-related program areas. They include preventing youth violence, promoting responsible fatherhood, providing effective reentry programs for incarcerated individuals, and advancing support services for the children of incarcerated parents. It also collaborates with 12 other Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships coordinated by the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (OFBNP).

Mr. Martin is an ordained minister and chaplain for the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Eastern University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program, and serves as youth minister at the Washington, DC-based Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. Mr. Martin has participated in the Religious and Foreign Policy Working Group at the State Department and is a former White House OFBNP intern.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Reports Rise in Allegations of Sexual Victimization at Juvenile Correctional Facilities

Thumbnail of BJS Report Sexual Victimization Reported by Juvenile Correctional Authorities, 2007–12Two recently released Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) companion reports, Sexual Victimization Reported by Juvenile Correctional Authorities, 2007–12 and Survey of Sexual Violence in Juvenile Correctional Facilities, 2007–12–Statistical Tables, show rises in allegations of sexual victimization in both state facilities and local and private facilities between 2011 and 2012. These figures further emphasize the importance of OJJDP’s efforts related to diversion, alternatives to incarceration, and juvenile justice system reform.

According to BJS data, in 2012, juvenile correctional administrators reported 865 allegations of sexual victimization in state facilities, up from 735 in 2011, and 613 allegations in local and private facilities, up from 382 in 2011. From 2007 to 2012, juvenile correctional administrators in state systems, facilities in Indian country, and locally or privately operated facilities reported nearly 9,500 allegations of sexual victimization. Of the total allegations reported, 2,750 were of nonconsensual sexual acts, 2,463 were of abusive sexual contact, 3,617 involved staff sexual misconduct, and 664 were of staff sexual harassment. More than half of the allegations involved youth-on-youth sexual victimization, and 45 percent involved staff-on-youth victimization.

Data used in the reports are compiled from BJS's Survey of Sexual Victimization, which has been conducted annually since 2004.

Read a press release about the reports.