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OJJDP Awards Nearly $254 Million in Grants in Fiscal Year 2017

Racially diverse group of smiling teensSince its establishment in 1974, OJJDP has provided national leadership to support federal, state, tribal, and local efforts to prevent delinquency, strengthen the juvenile justice system, and protect children from violence, abuse, and exploitation.

 

OJJDP is the only federal agency with a specific mission to develop and disseminate knowledge about what works in the juvenile justice field. One of the ways the Office achieves this mission is by funding a broad array of evidence-based initiatives. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, OJJDP awarded nearly $254 million to help at-risk youth, protect children, reduce violence, and improve public safety nationwide. The 296 awards were made through discretionary and formula grant funding.


OJJDP awarded approximately $218.6 million in discretionary grants in FY 2017. Under its Mentoring Opportunities for Youth initiative, the Office awarded nearly $61 million to state and national organizations that engage youth through mentoring activities and youth development programs. OJJDP awarded an additional $1.87 million to mentoring project sites that provide programming for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic sex trafficking. Approximately $520,000 of that amount is funding training and technical assistance to the sites.


In FY 2017, OJJDP awarded more than $28 million to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The center 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. An additional $1.8 million was awarded for training and technical assistance to implement best practices related to the investigation and prosecution of such cases. The Office also distributed $22 million to state and local law enforcement agencies under its Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program. Those funds are supporting the investigation and prosecution of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children while an additional award of $5 million funds training and technical assistance for practitioners.

 

In support of the Justice Department’s priority of combating the abuse of opioids and other drugs, OJJDP awarded $9.5 million under the Family Drug Court Statewide System Reform Implementation program and the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Grant program. These programs help jurisdictions build effective family drug treatment courts and ensure juvenile drug treatment courts follow established guidelines.

 

Jointly funded by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Gang Center serves as a clearinghouse for individuals and agencies seeking information about gang prevention, intervention, and suppression. In fiscal year 2017, OJJDP awarded nearly $3.5 million to support the center’s work.

 

American Indian and Alaska Native youth experience violence and trauma at levels higher than any other racial or ethnic group. OJJDP awarded approximately $10.5 million to tribal initiatives to help youth recover from exposure to violence, gain life and leadership skills, address alcohol and drug abuse, and stay out of the juvenile justice system. The Office awarded discretionary grants in a range of other areas, including promising practices for juvenile justice system improvement, ending racial and ethnic disparities, juvenile prosecutor training, reentry, public education and training on the effects of children’s exposure to violence, and emergency preparedness for juvenile justice residential facilities.

 

OJJDP also provides formula grants to support state and local delinquency prevention and intervention efforts and juvenile justice system improvements. Funding through formula grants is available to states and territories through the state agency designated by the Governor. In fiscal year 2017, OJJDP awarded $35 million under the Title II Formula Grants and Prison Rape Elimination Act programs.

 

Through grant funding, research and demonstration programs, training and technical assistance, and the dissemination of information resources, OJJDP is working hand-in-hand with all of its partners in the juvenile justice field to build a better future for America’s youth.

Resources:

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


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Justice Department Officials Participate in Police Chiefs Conference

International Association of Chiefs of Police logoAttorney General Jeff Sessions, OJJDP staff, and other officials from the U.S. Department of Justice participated in the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual conference on October 21–24, 2017, in Philadelphia, PA. IACP is the world's largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with more than 30,000 members in 150 countries.

In his keynote remarks, Attorney General Sessions announced nearly $9 million in funding through the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to advance the practice of community policing and to provide critical training to help law enforcement officers prepare for active shooter situations. IACP received more than $200,000 for its Institute for Community and Police Relations.

“Community policing builds trust and mutual respect between communities and law enforcement, and that helps us reduce crime,” Attorney General Sessions said. “This investment will be put to good use: providing better training and safety for law enforcement officers and better relations with communities. That will benefit all of us.”

Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, joined David B. Muhlhausen, Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), to offer opening remarks preceding NIJ’s daylong session, “What Matters and What Works in Policing,” on October 21. The annual session presents the latest in policing research.

OJJDP Senior Policy Advisor Cynthia Pappas presented in a session titled “Child Sex Trafficking Indicators and Responses for Law Enforcement Officers.” The session provided information about key anti-trafficking laws as well as local efforts to help frontline officers better identify, investigate, and respond to child sex trafficking victims. Ms. Pappas highlighted how federal, state, and local agencies are addressing the needs of child sex trafficking victims through advocacy partnerships and innovative policies and practices. Other presenters included Maheen Kaleen, staff attorney, Rights4Girls; Chris Marks, Captain, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; and Derek Prestridge, Lieutenant, Texas Department of Public Safety.

OJJDP Special Assistant Amy Callaghan moderated “The Power of Action and Dialogue: Police and Youth Engagement,” a panel discussion that offered information to help police leaders improve their ability to address juvenile victimization and crime while building relationships between law enforcement agencies and the young people they protect and serve. Panelists included Kevin Bethel, former Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner and an expert in trauma-informed and community policing, and Michael Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Police in Louisville, KY, and a member of IACP’s Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Committee. In addition, youth who have been involved with the juvenile justice system shared their personal experiences and recommendations for improving justice system responses.

“The IACP conference provides the highest quality education on the most pressing law enforcement topics of the day,” said OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry. “OJJDP was proud to offer support to the law enforcement community by sharing information and resources to help them in their important work.”

Resources:

More information about the International Association of Chiefs of Police is available on its website.

Access the OJJDP–IACP resources, Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement and The Effects of Adolescent Development on Policing online.

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OJJDP Acting Administrator Addresses State Advisory Groups in Colorado and Iowa

In November, OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry participated in Colorado and Iowa’s state advisory group (SAG) meetings. There are 56 SAGs nationwide that are responsible for monitoring and supporting their respective state’s or territory’s progress in complying with the core protections of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The Act establishes federal standards for the safety and equitable treatment of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The visits are part of a focused effort by OJJDP to strengthen relationships with the SAGs.

On November 3, 2017, Acting Administrator Garry met with the Colorado Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council in Lakewood, CO. She heralded the SAG’s successful youth engagement activities that have resulted in seven youth members joining the group. These members, known as “Emerging Leaders,” are responsible for using a portion of Title II program funds for planning and programming. With these funds, Colorado's Emerging Leaders recently developed training for professionals working with the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning youth.

Approximately 30 SAG members, state agency staff, and guests attended the meeting to discuss recommendations for coordinating and maximizing the effectiveness of existing juvenile delinquency programs. Acting Administrator Garry praised the SAG for its resourcefulness and for its work on planning through 2020 to improve juvenile justice services and processes—including working to end the use of detention for truants. The meeting also allowed the SAG to advise Colorado’s Governor and Division of Criminal Justice on juvenile justice issues.

Iowa’s SAG, the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, hosted Acting Administrator Garry’s visit on November 6. Ms. Garry congratulated the group for being one of the few chaired by a youth member. Chair Jeralyn Westercamp works as a coordinator of clinical outreach and development at the University of Iowa while pursuing her master’s in business administration at the university. Acting Administrator Garry also lauded the SAG’s efforts to reduce recidivism and racial and ethnic disparities within the state’s juvenile justice system.

A statewide meeting followed the SAG convening. Approximately 100 juvenile justice practitioners—comprising judges, legislators, juvenile court administrators, SAG members, compliance monitors, and disproportionate minority contact coordinators—attended this event and listened to Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg speak about Iowa’s efforts to improve juvenile justice through coalition building and sharing information.

Officials from various boards, commissions, and state agencies discussed the national landscape of juvenile justice and system improvement efforts within the state. Iowa was one of three states to receive a Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (JJRRI) grant from OJJDP. JJRRI is a recently concluded 3-year demonstration program that aimed to reduce recidivism and enhance cost effectiveness by improving existing services for youth in the justice system. Aided by a subsequent $270,000 Statewide Juvenile Justice Reform Planning grant from OJJDP, Iowa has sustained and is working to expand juvenile justice improvements initiated under JJRRI.

Acting Administrator Garry’s visits are part of a multiyear plan by OJJDP leadership to meet with each of the 56 SAGs. This national outreach effort includes webinars and trainings for SAG members to increase collaboration and enhance compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act nationwide.

Resources:

Contact information for all SAG chairs is available on the OJJDP website. State Advisory Groups are welcome to contact OJJDP staff at the following e-mail addresses:

Robin Delany-Shabazz, Associate Administrator, State and Community Development Division: robin.delany-shabazz@usdoj.gov.

Jennifer Yeh, Deputy Associate Administrator, State and Community Development Division:
jennifer.yeh2@usdoj.gov.

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OJJDP Research Presented at American Society of Criminology Meeting

American Society of Criminology banner

Fourteen sessions highlighting OJJDP-funded research were featured at the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC’s) 73rd annual meeting on November 15–18, 2017. ASC is a leading forum for the dissemination of scientific and professional knowledge about crime and delinquency.

Members of OJJDP's research team—Deputy Associate Administrator Brecht Donoghue, Research Coordinator Jennifer Tyson, Social Science Analysts Barbara Tatem Kelley and Benjamin Adams, and Grants Management Specialist Keith Towery—provided an overview of the Office’s research grants and activities in a session titled “Research Funding, Data, and Dissemination Resources at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.” They discussed the OJJDP grant application process and provided updates on anticipated research funding opportunities in fiscal year 2018 and tips on submitting grant proposals. Staff also discussed OJJDP’s efforts to collect, analyze, and disseminate national statistics and initiatives to develop models for how data can serve the information needs of state and local justice agencies.

The presentation “How Research Was Synthesized and Translated Into Guidelines for Juvenile Courts” described how OJJDP, in partnership with researchers from across the country, developed the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines. The guidelines, released in late 2016, are based on the translation of syntheses of research about juvenile drug courts, youth and family programming, substance use treatment, and juvenile court processing into practical and actionable guidance for courts.

 

In the session “Where Are We Now? Current Progress and Future Work on Federal Repositories of Evidence-Based Justice Information,” staff from OJJDP, the National Institute of Justice, and the Development Services Group discussed recent changes to the Office of Justice Programs’ CrimeSolutions.gov site and OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide. These online resources have inventoried hundreds of program evaluations, rating the strength of evidence for what works, what doesn’t, and what’s promising in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

 

OJJDP staff joined representatives from the National Center for Juvenile Justice for the panel “Latest Findings From OJJDP’s Data Analysis Program.” OJJDP sponsors the National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Program, which serves as the Office’s statistical analysis center for responding to the research needs of the juvenile justice community. The panel presented recent research from the project in the following areas: Hispanic youth in juvenile court, girls in the juvenile justice system, and youth in residential placement.

 

The session “Examination of Developmental Life Course: Implications of Longitudinal Research for Juvenile Justice Policy and Practice,” included an overview of several OJJDP-supported longitudinal research initiatives on at-risk and delinquent youth. These include the Northwestern Juvenile Project, the Pathways to Desistance study, and the Pittsburgh Girls Study. In addition to presentation of findings on delinquency and life course outcomes, the panelists highlighted key policy and practice implications for the juvenile justice field.

Other sessions featuring OJJDP-supported research addressed the school-to-prison pipeline, restorative justice, juvenile diversion programs for girls, and protecting victims of commercial sexual exploitation, among other topics.

Resources:

 

For more information about this year’s ASC meeting and to access program information, visit the ASC website.

 

For timely and reliable statistics on a variety of juvenile justice topics, visit OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book and access 300 evidence-based prevention, intervention, and reentry programs by visiting OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide.

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Acting Administrator Garry Highlights OJJDP Resources at Gang Prevention Summit

On November 1, 2017, OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry joined state officials, community leaders, and law enforcement professionals at the Joint Summit on Gang Prevention and Intervention in Tacoma, WA, to share best practices for combating gang activity. The summit was hosted by the offices of Washington Governor Jay Robert Inslee and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, as well as numerous state juvenile justice, law enforcement, business, and other municipal organizations and agencies. Governor Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson offered introductory remarks.

In her remarks, Acting Administrator Garry emphasized that gang members cause a disproportionate amount of violence and crime. A survey of Seattle, WA, gang members, for example, found that these youth were three times more likely than nongang members to admit they had broken into homes and businesses and assaulted someone, and eight times more likely to have robbed someone.

Acting Administrator Garry shared information about OJJDP resources available to support Washington State’s campaign to reduce gang violence. Funded by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Gang Center offers an array of best-practice strategies, training, and strategic tools, including OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model. Evaluated and tested since the early 1990s, the model has been shown to be effective in reducing gang-related violence in multiple sites. It provides a framework for coordinated action to improve a community’s capacity to respond to youth gangs.

“The solution requires the contributions from everyone in the community,” Ms. Garry said. “Law enforcement, the courts and prosecutors, social services, the business community, educators, locally based organizations, the faith community, and parents and kids all must have a role in any community response to gangs.”

The summit featured an overview of the Comprehensive Gang Model by Meena Harris, Director of the National Gang Center, and Errika Fearbry Jones from The Pittsburgh Project. The model focuses on five essential strategies: community mobilization; the development of employment and educational opportunities for youth; intervention by schools, youth-serving agencies, and outreach workers to connect gang-involved youth to needed services; monitoring and suppression of violent activity; and policies and procedures to ensure the efficient use of resources across community agencies.

The event also featured a presentation by Dr. Phelan Wyrick, Director of the National Institute of Justice’s Crime and Crime Prevention Research Division. Among other topics, Dr. Wyrick discussed the importance of systematic data collection, research, and program evaluation; risk factors for joining a gang; and evidence-based solutions to gang activity.

In addition, the summit included a youth panel as well as information on the use of data and technology to inform policing strategies; police efforts in Washington State to combat gang-related crime through prevention, intervention, enforcement, and strategic community partnerships; the importance of community engagement and outreach; and an OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model site from Denver, CO, demonstrating best practices for leveraging limited resources and ensuring interagency collaborations.

Resources:

For more information on anti-gang strategies, read Best Practices To Address Community Gang Problems: OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model.

OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide offers a wealth of research-based gang prevention and intervention programs that have been evaluated and been found to be effective.


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Research Central: Using Implementation Science

Model Programs Implementation Guide banner

Implementation science—the systematic study of how programs and practices are started and sustained in everyday settings—is a growing field in juvenile justice. This type of scientific inquiry helps bridge the gap between identifying evidence-based programs and putting what has been learned from those programs into practice in the real world.

 

To help policymakers and practitioners implement effective programs and practices, OJJDP developed the Model Programs Guide (MPG). MPG informs communities about what works, what doesn’t, and what’s promising in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety.

 

OJJDP's recently launched Implementation Guides (I-Guides) expand the valuable program information on the MPG website. To develop an I-Guide, OJJDP works with researchers to systematically review and synthesize the factors that appear to affect the implementation of a particular type of program. Each I-Guide highlights 10 specific steps—based on implementation science research literature—that users should undertake during the preimplemenation phase of a program or practice. MPG's most recent implementation guide, the Diversion Programs I-Guide, highlights the research-based information associated with successful juvenile justice diversion programs.

 

“Preadjudication diversion” is a term used to describe intervention approaches that direct youth away from formal processing before they go to court. Even though approaches vary based on the needs of the community and strategies used, diversion programs generally seek to maintain accountability for offenses while avoiding the costs and detrimental consequences of system involvement, such as stigmatization or increased risk of future offending.

The Diversion Programs I-Guide analyzes the 10 common steps successful communities undertook prior to implementing diversion programs. Those steps include setting clear program goals, conducting needs assessments to further refine those goals and plans, and securing stakeholder buy-in. The I-Guide also offers action-oriented recommendations to guide users as they establish the right evidence-based program for their unique, local needs.

The Diversion Programs I-Guide is available online via OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide.


Resources:

A literature review on diversion from formal juvenile court processing can also be accessed on the Model Programs Guide website.

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The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act that established OJJDP authorizes the Administrator to conduct research and evaluations and undertake statistical analyses on issues related to juvenile offending and victimization. Because OJJDP is the only Office of Justice Programs agency with dual mandates for research and programs, we are uniquely positioned to integrate research in our programmatic functions, and are committed to translating research into practice.

 

Look to this recurring column authored by members of OJJDP’s Research Unit to distill topically relevant and timely OJJDP-supported research.

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State Spotlight: How Virginia Is Transforming Its Juvenile Justice System

Article revised 12/28/17

The Annie E. Casey Foundation established the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) with support from OJJDP to improve states’ juvenile justice policies, practices, and programs and ensure that only those youth who pose the greatest risk to public safety are held in secure pretrial detention.

JDAI emphasizes collaboration, using data to guide decisionmaking, using objective admissions criteria and risk assessment instruments, and implementing new or expanded alternatives to secure detention. Other core strategies are expediting case processing, monitoring and improving conditions of confinement, combating racial and ethnic disparities where they exist, and reducing inappropriate or unnecessary stays in detention.

In Virginia, the JDAI effort is a strategic process in which agency leaders, line staff, child advocates, and community partners work collaboratively to achieve system improvements. Virginia’s adherence to the initiative’s core strategies has yielded encouraging results. The state has experienced significant reductions in detention admissions, length of stay, and average daily population since it established its JDAI program in 2003. Since 2014, Virginia has been applying JDAI’s core strategies to youth who have been committed to the direct care of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

During her visit with the Virginia State Advisory Group in September, OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry witnessed firsthand the positive impact the initiative is having on young lives when she visited the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center (Bon Air JCC) in Richmond. Bon Air JCC is a rehabilitative, coed facility that serves youth who have been committed by a juvenile court. Treatment programs include substance abuse, mental health, and intensive therapeutic programming. The facility has an active Student Government Association (SGA), which elects peer leaders and gives residents the chance to serve their peers. When youth have an issue, they can seek relief through the SGA, which advocates for them with the facility administration. The SGA helps youth build leadership, problem-solving, and life skills that will aid them in successfully reentering their communities and continuing on productive paths.

The Bon Air JCC is only one example of how Virginia is transforming juvenile corrections in the state. The center is the last remaining secure juvenile correctional facility in Virginia; savings from closing facilities were channeled into promoting diversion and community placement programs.

Virginia’s community placement programs (CPPs) have replaced traditional juvenile correctional facilities for adjudicated youth ages 16 to 20 who are 3 to 12 months from release. The state’s eight CPPs prepare youth for community reintegration by increasing educational competencies and employment readiness.

CPPs offer a variety of services, such as anger management classes, substance abuse treatment, community service opportunities, and recreational activities. Residents who have not finished high school or earned a GED attend a certified educational program on site. Residents who are older than 18 and have completed high school or have earned a diploma are required to attend vocational classes or programs that improve their employability and teach them independent living skills. Case managers monitor and assess the residents’ progress and readjust the case plans, as necessary.

According to the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Data Resource Guide: Fiscal Year 2016, detainments decreased 16.3 percent from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2016 (10,034 to 8,400) within the state. The average daily population in juvenile corrections centers decreased from 735 to 643 during the same period. Virginia’s success indicates that alternatives that are responsive to the strengths and needs of youth can make an important difference in the lives of juveniles, their families, and their communities.

Resources:

More information about the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice is available online.

Read a literature review on alternatives to detention and confinement on OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide website.

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Upcoming Events

United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) logoUNITY Midyear Conference: January 2–5, 2018

This conference, to be hosted by United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), will take place in Tempe, AZ. More than 400 attendees are expected for the annual gathering that promotes a program focused on youth leadership development, training for youth leader advisors, networking, and cultural exchange. Conference sessions include social development, mental development, physical/spiritual development, advocacy training, and tracks on culture, wellness, education, and social advocacy. Registration information is available online.

Child Abduction Response Team Training: January 9–12, 2018

The OJJDP-sponsored National Criminal Justice Training Center will hold this event in Niceville, FL. Participants will learn to create a multidisciplinary approach to responding to a missing or abducted child incident, identify key stakeholders that are necessary to a child abduction response team’s overall ability to successfully recover a missing or abducted child, and identify disciplines within team composition that are critical to the team’s implementation and long-term success. This event will also take place in Everett, WA, on March 26–29, 2018. Registration information is available online.

Restorative Justice/Restorative Practices Webinar: January 17, 2018

This webinar will be hosted by the National Criminal Justice Training Center. Participants will learn about restorative justice and practice pathways for their community, and will learn to apply different models and their uses in schools, justice systems, and communities. This webinar is the third part of a series. Registration information is available online.

Global Youth Justice Training: Establish, Enhance and Learn: January 23–25, 2018

Global Youth Justice will host this training in Las Vegas, NV. During this 3-day training institute, participants will learn strategies to establish, enhance, and expand local volunteer-driven juvenile justice and youth justice diversion programs. Topics include training youth and adult volunteers; providing quality community services, programs, and referrals; conducting mock family intake meetings; grant writing; funding opportunities; and more. Registration information is available online.

National Mentoring Summit: January 24–26, 2018

National Mentoring Summit logoConvened by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, and cosponsored by OJJDP, this annual summit to be held in Washington, DC, will bring together practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations, and MENTOR’s network of affiliates to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities. The theme for this year’s summit is “Building Relationships, Advancing the Movement.” Registration information is available online.

Child Homicide Investigations: January 28–29, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center will host this training in San Diego, CA. The event focuses on understanding and building relationships between the forensic pathologist, homicide investigator, and prosecutor to successfully investigate and prosecute child homicide cases. Participants will learn autopsy protocols, forensic essentials, and the criticality of determining the cause and manner of death. This event will also take place on March 13–14, 2018, in Miami, FL. Registration information is available online.

San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment: January 28–February 2, 2018

This conference, sponsored by The Chadwick Center, is designed to develop and enhance professional skills and knowledge in the prevention, recognition, assessment, and treatment of all forms of maltreatment, including those related to family violence, and to enhance investigative and legal skills. Indepth issues include support for families, prevention, leadership, and policymaking. Registration information is available online.

Forensic Interviewing of Children Training: February 5–9, 2018

The National Children's Advocacy Center will host this 5-day training in Huntsville, AL. The training includes audience discussion, a child interview practicum, a review of recorded forensic interviews, experiential skill-building exercises, and participation in a mock court simulation. To facilitate continued skill development, each participant will receive a training manual, a recorded copy of his or her interview practicum, and access to additional online training materials. Registration information is available online.

 

Developing a Community Response for High-Risk Victims of Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation: February 7–8, 2018

This workshop, to be held in Raleigh, NC, is sponsored by the National Criminal Justice Training Center. Participants will learn how to quantify the problem of sex trafficking locally; how to define the high-risk victim and the correlation and commonalities between the chronic runaway, repeat victims of sexual abuse, and the child victimized through sex trafficking; and learn effective interview techniques when working with these victims. Registration information is available online.

National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking: February 12–14, 2018

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges logoThe National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges will sponsor this workshop in Asheville, NC. The workshop uses hypothetical case scenarios, small group discussions, interactive exercises, and “mini” lectures to provide new and experienced judges with tools and information to develop or enhance their ability to identify and work with children who have been victimized or at risk of being victimized by sex trafficking. Registration information is available online.

Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health: March 4–7, 2018

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network will host this conference in Tampa, FL. Topics include a vision for moving health care in the United States toward a prevention-based society, race disparities and health outcomes equity, emotional support in the lives of marginalized young people, and addressing the impact of a changing health care environment through behavioral health research and policy. Registration information is available online.

National Conference on Bullying: March 7–9, 2018

Hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council in Reno, NV, this conference focuses on protecting children using proven best practices and innovative localized programs and efforts. In addition to the keynote presenters, attendees will have access to more than 30 breakout sessions that address victimization and bullying of youth today. Registration information is available online.

National Conference on Juvenile Justice: March 18–21, 2018

This conference, to be held in San Diego, CA, is sponsored by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Topics include alternatives to detention, trauma-informed justice, cross-over youth, deep-end youth, teen dating violence, ending solitary confinement, domestic sex trafficking of minors, anti-shackling alternatives, racial and ethnic disparity, school pathways to the justice system, brain science, and unaccompanied minors in immigration. Registration information is available online.

Interrogation Techniques for Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Investigations: March 19–21, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center will host this event in Phoenix, AZ. During this training, participants will discuss an organized approach to interview and interrogation strategies that are developed through research and preparation. Modules will identify the role that cultural issues bring to the interview and interrogation room, legal considerations that the investigator must account for during the interview and interrogation, the dynamics of the interview process, and how to detect deception. Registration information is available online.

34th International Symposium on Child Abuse: March 19–22, 2018

National Children’s Advocacy Center logoThe National Children’s Advocacy Center is sponsoring this symposium in Huntsville, AL. This event provides expert training and networking opportunities to professionals in the child maltreatment field and addresses many aspects of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, polyvictimization, exploitation, intervention, trafficking, and prevention. Registration information is available online.

Advanced Cold Case Long-Term Missing Investigations: March 27–28, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center is hosting this training in Pasco, WA. This 2-day course is designed to improve investigative techniques and efforts on long-term missing and cold case investigations. Topics include what is known about long-term missing and cold case investigations, dynamics of conducting investigations, investigative techniques, best practices, and case studies. Registration information is available online.

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News in Brief

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hanson Blogs on Fighting Human Trafficking

Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), recently blogged on the importance of safeguarding youth as well as adults from sexual exploitation and trafficking.

“These vulnerable people suffer every day at the hands of human traffickers, whose capacity for cruelty knows few limits,” writes Mr. Hanson. “The battle is huge, and OJP and the Department of Justice, working with our state and local partners, are committed to ending this brutal practice in all its forms.”

Mr. Hanson emphasized that combating human trafficking is a priority of the Administration and the Justice Department. He stated that OJP recently awarded 36 anti-human trafficking grants totaling nearly $26 million to nonprofit organizations and social service providers in 39 states.

Read the blog post “Fighting the Battle Against Human Trafficking” and learn about OJJDP’s efforts to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

OJJDP Mourns the Passing of Rolf Loeber

Picture of Dr. Rolf Loeber. Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh.Dr. Rolf Loeber. Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Rolf Loeber, an internationally renowned researcher in the juvenile justice field and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, passed away on November 6, 2017.

Dr. Loeber cofounded the Life History Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh with his wife and research partner, Dr. Magda Stouthamer-Loeber, and codirected the program for more than 27 years.

Working closely with OJJDP over the years, Dr. Loeber initiated the Pittsburgh Youth Study under OJJDP’s Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency. The study has tracked 1,500 inner city boys since 1987 to examine the development of antisocial and delinquent behavior from childhood to early adulthood. The Pittsburgh Girls Study began in 1999 and is currently tracking more than 2,400 girls to examine delinquency, depression, and substance use over time. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Loeber cochaired OJJDP’s Study Group on Very Young Offenders, which analyzed data and addressed key issues concerning the delinquent behavior of children ages 7 to 12. Dr. Loeber also served as cochair of OJJDP’s Study Group on Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders.

These studies are seminal to the field’s advancement of knowledge on delinquency in terms of risk and protective factors, behavioral trajectories, early onset, serious and violent offending, and transitions from juvenile to adult crime. Dr. Loeber mentored countless scholars, who continue to harvest these data through secondary analysis.

Dr. Loeber was a gifted communicator and prolific author, whose publication portfolio exceeded 290 journal articles and scores of books, contributed chapters, and reviews. He received many prestigious awards, including the American Society of Criminology’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Loeber obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology at Queen’s University in Canada.

“I know I speak for myself and other OJJDP staff in expressing our heartfelt sadness at the loss of a dear colleague and friend,” said OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry. “Rolf greatly advanced our understanding of the developmental life course. An outstanding researcher, he was just as focused on how the research could be implemented to help communities and worked tirelessly to improve conditions and outcomes for youth. His legacy will live on.”

Model Programs Guide Profiles 300th Youth Program

 

OJJDP’s Model Programs GuideOJJDP’s Model Programs Guide (MPG) recently profiled its 300th program. MPG reviews evaluation research on youth programs across delinquency prevention, juvenile justice, and victimization topic areas. It uses the research findings to provide information on what works, what doesn’t, and what’s promising for practitioners and communities nationwide. Topics include child protection, children exposed to violence, delinquency prevention, juvenile and family courts, and law enforcement.

“I believe that evidence-based programming is essential to an effective juvenile justice system—and to keeping youth on the path to productive, crime-free lives,” writes OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry in a blog post recognizing the milestone. “Our job at OJJDP is to make sure our state, local, and tribal partners have this information available and ready to use.”

MPG’s 300th program provides gender-responsive interventions in two group homes for adjudicated females. The program evaluation shows that the girls who received services had lower recidivism rates after 2 years compared with the group who did not receive services. The program received a “promising” rating.

In addition to the evidence-based ratings, MPG also provides policymakers and practitioners with regularly updated literature reviews on a variety of juvenile justice topics and programs, and comprehensive Implementation Guides (I-Guides) to help them better understand the challenges and steps involved in successfully implementing programs. Two I-Guides are currently available, one on preventing bullying in schools and one on diversion programs.

OJJDP Convenes Brown Bag Session on Combating the Technology-Facilitated Sexual Exploitation of Minors

(L-R) OJJDP Social Science Analyst, Barbara Tatem Kelley; Senior Advisor to the OJJDP Administrator, Catherine Pierce; Prosecutor Val Richey; and OJJDP Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, Linda Rosen.(L-R) OJJDP Social Science Analyst, Barbara Tatem Kelley; Senior Advisor to the OJJDP Administrator, Catherine Pierce; Prosecutor Val Richey; and OJJDP Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, Linda Rosen.
On October 19, invited speaker and King County (Washington) Prosecutor Val Richey provided an overview of how the King County Prosecutor’s Office is working to combat sex trafficking and the exploitation of minors in the Seattle area. Mr. Richey presented to Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and OJJDP staff members as part of OJJDP’s monthly “Lunch and Learn” series.

Approximately 30 OJP and OJJDP personnel attended the session to learn about King County’s innovative techniques, which include using the same medium that many predators use—the Internet. King County has partnered with Microsoft to design chat bots that engage would-be predators looking to exploit youth through online chats. When a potential predator clicks on an online “ad” for a minor, they instead receive a message that warns them about the legal ramifications of their actions and provides them information about where to seek help.

Mr. Richey reported that this tactic has proven to be an effective component of a larger, multifaceted approach as would-be predators are deterred by the possibility of unwittingly contacting law enforcement.

The attendees discussed how Washington’s methods can be adapted by other jurisdictions to address their local needs and implications for future research.

Learn more about how OJJDP is combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Nominations for 2018 National Missing Children’s Day Awards Due January 24

National Missing Children's Day 2018 logoEach year, the Justice Department recognizes individuals, organizations, and law enforcement agencies that make a difference in recovering abducted children and protecting children from exploitation. The awardees are recognized at the OJJDP-coordinated National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in May. Nominations for the 2018 awards are underway. Access the nomination forms online:

The deadline for nominations is January 24, 2018.

OJJDP Releases New Data Snapshot on Youth Homicide Victims

The latest publication in OJJDP's Data Snapshot series focuses on trends and characteristics of youth homicide victims based on data collected by the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports. The data show that across age groups, the number of youth homicide victims has declined 30 percent or more since 1993. In 2015, most youth homicide victims were children ages 0–5 or older teens (ages 15–17). Two-thirds of victims younger than age 6 were killed by a family member.

Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement thumbnailThe Data Snapshot series is available via OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book. The series disseminates current research and statistical information about youth and the juvenile justice system. Each 1-page snapshotfocuses on a specific topic and highlights policy-relevant findings.

Access the full list of Data Snapshots and keep up with the Statistical BriefingBook on Twitter.

Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence Toolkit Wins International Design Award

The OJJDP-funded Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement recently received an International MarCom Gold Award for Design. The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Yale Child Study Center launched the toolkit with support from OJJDP to help law enforcement agencies build or enhance effective responses to this vulnerable population.

The MarCom Awards recognize outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals from around the world.

New Resources Available for Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts

OJJDP-supported Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts respond to the substance-related issues of tribal youth who are younger than 21. The courts promote accountability, healing, and tribal ways of life while also supporting rehabilitation and providing treatment referrals.

OJJDP tribal youth programs and services logoOJJDP’s Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center has released, Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Tip Sheet: Consequences and Rewards. The fact sheet provides guidance on how a court can create an incentives-and-sanctions system that supports youth behavior change. A second publication, The Tribal Ten Key Components and Tribal Youth Considerations, highlights 10 critical elements for developing drug courts, as identified by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, adapted for Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts.

Additional information on OJJDP’s tribal youth programs and services is available online.

Report Examines School Discipline of Youth With Behavioral Health Needs

According to Disrupting School-Justice Pathways for Youth With Behavioral Health Needs, the rise of zero-tolerance school discipline policies in the 1990s resulted in the widespread adoption of strict and mandatory responses for a wide range of behaviors at school. Consequently, youth with behavioral health needs and students with disabilities were disproportionately affected and put at an increased risk for exclusionary discipline and school-based arrests.

This recently released OJJDP-funded technical assistance bulletin published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, provides communities and states with the steps necessary to implement a School Responder Model. This model encompasses a multidisciplinary approach to responding to youth with behavioral health needs; it has been shown to effectively keep youth in school and out of the juvenile justice system.

Read and download Disrupting School-Justice Pathways for Youth With Behavioral Health Needs.

January Is National Mentoring Month

National Mentoring Resource Center logoJanuary is National Mentoring Month. The nationwide campaign emphasizes recruiting mentors and focusing national attention on the importance of working together to ensure positive outcomes for youth.

OJJDP’s National Mentoring Resource Center, a partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership,
offers a variety of research-based resources, including mentoring model/population reviews and a Measurement Guidance toolkit to help programs measure outcomes more effectively. The website also hosts a monthly, no-cost Collaborative Mentoring webinar series. Previous topics include reentry mentoring, mentoring’s restorative power for sexually exploited youth, mentoring immigrant youth, and mentoring in the age of technology. Visit the resource center online.

OJJDP is also a cosponsor of MENTOR’s eighth annual National Mentoring Summit. The summit will take place on January 24–26, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Visit the OJJDP website for additional mentoring resources.

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