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Justice Department Observes National Missing Children's Day
Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio addresses National Missing Children's Day ceremony attendees.Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio addresses National Missing Children's Day ceremony attendees.

The annual National Missing Children's Day ceremony, organized by OJJDP, honors the extraordinary efforts of law enforcement personnel and private citizens to protect children from harm. This year's ceremony took place on May 23, 2018, in Washington, DC. Guests included federal and law enforcement officials, families and friends of missing children, child advocates, and others who support efforts to recover missing and exploited children.

"These extraordinary people displayed ingenuity, resourcefulness, and an especially high order of civic responsibility," said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. "They exemplify, and magnify, the dedication and professionalism we have come to expect in our law enforcement professionals, and they model what it means to be a good citizen. We pledge to stand with you as you continue your work to achieve a safer, a more just, and a more compassionate nation."

Following are descriptions of the awards presented at the ceremony:

Attorney General's Special Commendation. Acting on a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began an investigation of an individual suspected of producing child pornography. The investigation led to the arrest of a sexual predator who had been abusing children since the 1970s. A search of the suspect’s home resulted in the seizure of more than 20 digital devices as evidence. Investigators identified at least 26 victims, and the suspect was charged with multiple sex offenses, including the abuse of a child.

OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp, Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio (middle), and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson (right) were on hand for the Justice Department’s 2018 National Missing Children's Day ceremony.OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp, Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio (middle), and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson (right) were on hand for the Justice Department’s 2018 National Missing Children's Day ceremony.

Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award. Detective John Witherspoon of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department in Rockville, MD, was assigned to the case of a 15-year-old girl who had run away from her home in Gaithersburg, MD. His investigation efforts crossed jurisdictions from Montgomery County to northern Virginia, where the teen’s remains were found. Detective Witherspoon worked with local police to track down 10 gang members who played a role in the girl’s murder. In addition, Detective Witherspoon investigated 166 missing children cases in 2017 and successfully located all those children.

Missing Children's Citizen Award. Colin Blevin of Santa Clara, CA, rescued a 1-year-old boy from a man who abducted him during a carjacking. Mr. Blevin was going to work in a town 90 miles away from the abduction, when he confronted the man about the child in the car. The suspect gave the child to Mr. Blevin, who held him until police officers arrived. The child was unharmed and safely returned to his family. Mr. Blevin’s actions led to the capture of the abductor, who is currently serving a 5-year prison sentence.

Missing Children's Child Protection Award. Detective George Higgs of the Charles County Sheriff's Office in La Plata, MD, began investigating a complaint that a high school student filed regarding sexually inappropriate text messages that he received. Detective Higgs' investigation identified a man working for the Charles County Board of Education as the source of the texts. A search of the suspect's home resulted in the seizure of multiple cell phones, computers, and photographs. The electronic devices revealed the suspect sexually and physically assaulting several children. Detective Higgs helped organize a task force that interviewed potential victims and witnesses, ultimately identifying 42 victims between the ages of 13 and 17. The suspect was charged with 219 offenses, including sexual assault and multiple counts of production of child pornography. He was sentenced to 105 years in prison on federal charges and 190 years on state charges.

Fifth-grader Eden Hoffmann of Huron Elementary School in Clinton Township, MI, won this year's National Missing Children's Day poster contest.

Fifth-grader Eden Hoffmann of Huron Elementary School in Clinton Township, MI, won this year's National Missing Children's Day poster contest.

OJJDP conducts a National Missing Children's Day poster contest as part of the annual commemoration. Eden Hoffmann, a fifth grader from Huron Elementary School in Clinton Township, MI, was selected as the 2018 poster contest winner. According to Miss Hoffmann, "This poster symbolizes a family that has found their missing child. The heart behind them shows the bond between the family. The colors on the words express hope, joy, and love. The beam of light surrounding the world portrays law enforcement and volunteers working to find missing children."

Other speakers at the event were Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs; Caren Harp, OJJDP Administrator; John F. Clark, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), and Russell Barnes, an advocate for families of missing children and founder of the Phylicia Simone Barnes Foundation.

Supported by OJJDP, NCMEC serves as an information clearinghouse and resource for families—and the professionals who serve them—to help find missing children and prevent child sexual exploitation and victimization. OJJDP’s longstanding commitment to finding abducted and missing children includes the Office’s administration of the AMBER Alert program. To date, the program has rescued more than 924 children, and Wireless Emergency Alerts have rescued 53 children.

OJJDP’s commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children includes funding the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces and the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking.


For more information about National Missing Children’s Day and to watch a recording of the ceremony, visit the OJJDP website.

To access resources for parents of missing and abducted children, visit the OJJDP and NCMEC websites.

Read the Office of Justice Programs' Missing Children's Day blog, "Justice Department Honors Outstanding Actions To Protect Children."

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Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hanson Addresses AMBER Alert Symposium

AMBER Alert logoOn May 15–17, 2018, OJJDP held its National AMBER Alert Symposium in Orlando, FL. The symposium brought together domestic and international AMBER Alert program stakeholders—including AMBER Alert Coordinators, Missing Person Clearinghouse Managers, and Child Abduction Response Team Coordinators—to share best practices, participate in training, and develop collaborative relationships.

Since the AMBER Alert system was launched on January 13, 1996, it has been responsible for the safe recovery of 924 abducted children. Once law enforcement determines that a child has been abducted and is in danger, the system issues media alerts on radio, television, highway signs, wireless devices, and over the Internet describing the child, abductor, and the abductor's vehicle. The AMBER Alert program is housed in the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and administered by OJJDP.

"AMBER Alert is making a difference," said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and National AMBER Alert Coordinator Alan R. Hanson during his keynote address on May 15. "I would wager that the very existence of AMBER Alert has deterred criminals from carrying out their designs. There's no question that AMBER Alert is a potent public safety weapon and an enormous asset in our fight to protect children."

The OJJDP-supported National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reports that there were 200 AMBER Alerts issued nationwide involving 263 children in 2017. For alerts issued during the 7-month period ending March 31, 2018, more than 97 percent of children were recovered within 72 hours.

Several government representatives joined Mr. Hanson at the symposium, including Maria Chapa Lopez, U.S. Attorney from the Middle District of Florida; Roger B. Handberg, Chief, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida; Ron Hopper, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, FBI Tampa Field Office; and Tony Rodriguez, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Orlando Regional Operations Center, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Mr. Hanson pledged continued support for the AMBER Alert program and discussed the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act passed by Congress and signed into law this year by President Donald J. Trump. The law will ensure that the National AMBER Alert program continues to be available to protect American Indian and Alaska Native children and will assist in integrating tribal alert systems with state alert systems.

Mr. Hanson applauded attendees for building and strengthening the AMBER Alert networks, bolstering secondary distribution of the alerts, and issuing and responding to 936 AMBER Alerts involving 1,200 children from 2013 to 2017.

Pamela Foster—the mother of Ashlynne Mike, who was abducted and murdered in 2016 in New Mexico—attended the symposium and spoke about the importance of AMBER Alerts in Indian country. Amy Boxom—the mother of Justin Boxom, who was abducted and murdered in 2010 in Louisiana—discussed child abductions from a mother's perspective.

Attendees learned about resources available through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. In addition, presenters provided information about missing and abducted children programs in tribal communities, the rise in technology-facilitated abductions, family abductions, and the importance of self-care for those who work to prevent abductions and rescue abducted children.

OJJDP continues to strengthen the AMBER Alert program through the National AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) program, which is helping to recover missing, endangered, or abducted children. Approximately 50,000 onsite and online participants have received nearly 500,000 hours of training over the course of the last 5 years.

Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 22 international jurisdictions have AMBER Alert plans. More than 100 tribal communities have partnered with their state or regional AMBER Alert plans, and more than 1,600 tribal officials and community members have attended TTA programs.


Access the spring 2018 issue of The AMBER Advocate newsletter online.

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OJJDP Convenes Internet Crimes Against Children Commanders Meeting

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program LogoOn May 2–3, 2018, OJJDP convened Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force grantees in Minneapolis, MN, for the Spring ICAC Task Force Commanders Meeting. Through this convening, OJJDP provides programmatic and administrative updates to all ICAC task forces and facilitates information sharing and collaboration between investigators, prosecutors, and computer forensic examiners working on these investigations.

Administrator Caren Harp was on hand for the event, during which nearly 100 grantees from 61 ICAC task forces discussed current trends in their jurisdictions and new technologies affecting their investigations. Ms. Harp congratulated the task forces on reviewing more than 775,000 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children, resulting in the arrest of more than 83,000 individuals. She also noted that the ICAC program has trained more than 38,600 law enforcement personnel, 2,400 prosecutors, and 12,400 other professionals working in the field.

Representatives of the Exploited Children Division of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offered presentations on addressing domestic sex trafficking and child exploitation on the deep web and the continuing prosecution of a classified advertising website for its alleged facilitation of online child sexual exploitation. Helpful tools and resources were also discussed, including those made available via the new Allow States and Victims To Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) and electronic-detection K9s—dogs trained to detect the distinct chemical smell of small electronics (such as hard drives, micro-SD cards, smartphones, tablets, and laptops) that humans cannot.

Attendees were updated on the provisions of the FOSTA legislation and the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security's Angel Watch Center to fight global child sex tourism.


Additional information about OJJDP's ICAC task force program is available online.

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Stakeholder Corner: 4–H Mentoring Program Helps Mitigate Effects of Opioid Crisis on Youth in West Virginia
By Leslie Lehman, Cabell County 4–H Youth Development Mentoring Program

Like too many other states across the nation, West Virginia has been affected by the opioid crisis and Cabell County has been hit particularly hard. In 2017 alone, we led the state in overdose deaths. Funded through an OJJDP grant, the 4–H Youth and Families With Promise (4–H YFP) Program is helping at-risk youth in affected communities, such as ours, develop social and emotional skills that may not be nurtured elsewhere.

In our area, 4–H YFP is known as the Cabell County 4–H Youth Development Mentoring Program and is aimed at youth with below-average school performance, poor social skills, and/or weak family bonds. West Virginia University Extension Service partners with the National 4–H Council to facilitate the program.

The high level of poverty in Cabell County can make it challenging for the children to travel to sites for programs, so we bring the program to them. We currently have programs at three locations—two elementary schools and a church—serving third, fourth, and fifth graders.

The Cabell County 4–H Youth Development Mentoring Program consists of several successful initiatives, including quilting and gardening clubs and the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative.

One of the quilting club’s largest project to date was making quilts for 4–H youth in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. This was a way for our kids to show that they were thinking of those affected and to offer them comfort in their time of need. Youth in the gardening club have transformed the grounds of Explorer Academy, an elementary school in Huntington, into a viable garden full of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and herbs. The program at Altizer Elementary engages the children in a variety of STEM activities. Recently, the kids assembled and coded LEGO robots after which they competed to see which robot could kick a ball the farthest.

The Cabell County 4–H Youth Development Mentoring Program is a vital part of our battle against the opioid crisis and its effects on our youth. In addition to gaining important life skills, the children know they can count on us to provide a safe haven and guidance from an adult who cares. As my colleague, Nila Cobb, West Virginia University Extension Service 4–H Specialist says, “There is not one solution [to the opioid epidemic]. We need to establish a continuum of care and wrap our arms around these children.”

With funding from OJJDP, we are doing just that.


Leslie Lehman is the instructor for 4–H Mentoring Programs in Cabell County, WV. She is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk youth, particularly those facing poverty and family substance abuse issues.

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Research Central: Assessing Collegiate Women's Mentoring of At-Risk Girls

Young Women Leaders Program logoAccording to OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book, girls accounted for more than one-fourth (28 percent) of the delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts in 2015. Identifying programs that can help prevent and reduce girls' delinquency is essential for decreasing their involvement in the juvenile justice system and lowering crime rates overall.

In 2013, OJJDP funded the University of Virginia to evaluate whether youth participation in the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) reduced offending and improved other outcomes 5 years later. YWLP pairs female college mentors with at-risk seventh-grade girls in Charlottesville, VA, for structured group activities and one-on-one mentoring in an afterschool setting. The targeted schools have higher proportions of students with risk factors for delinquency, which include poverty, foster care placements, serious emotional problems, school failure, and school dropout rates that are higher than state averages.

The researchers conducted a study with approximately 360 girls who started the program between 2007 and 2010. Five years after the girls' program participation ended, OJJDP funded followup data collection on approximately half the sample. The second study also explored how processes involved in the program delivery and qualities of the mentoring relationship might influence the program's impact.

Researchers found that higher levels of mentee participation were associated with positive outcomes. As the girls increased their involvement in the program, they experienced improvements in self-esteem and reductions in delinquent behavior. Self-esteem and delinquency measures were based on self-reported responses to the Global Self-Worth Scale and the Problem Behavior Frequency Scale.

Evaluating the effect of mentoring programs on offending behavior is often difficult because the programs are usually targeted at younger children, while delinquency tends to become more evident during the teenage years. Conducting these types of followup analyses through adolescence is an important step in determining how interventions for at-risk girls may affect delinquency in the longer term.


Additional information on OJJDP's Young Women Leaders Program is available online.

For more on the Office's mentoring resources, visit OJJDP's website.

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Upcoming Events

At the Intersections: How Federal, State, and Local Partners Can Work Together To Improve Juvenile Justice: June 27–30, 2018

Coalition for Juvenile Justice logoThis conference, to be held in Washington, DC, is sponsored by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. The conference will focus on the role of advocacy and leveraging partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels to foster youth engagement and improve health, education, and housing services for youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system.

OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp will provide a federal policy update on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act. In addition, OJJDP will host four sessions to help state advisory group (SAG) members achieve optimal results for their respective states. Topics will include strategies for using research resources and tools to allow SAG members maximize their resources and meet compliance requirements. Other presentations include an overview of the challenges new members may have adjusting to their role and how to acclimate quickly, requirements for youth engagement and participation in SAGs, and the role of SAGs in supporting state efforts to comply with the core requirements of the JJDP Act.

Domestic Child Sex Trafficking and Children in Foster Care: June 28, 2018

Justice Clearinghouse is sponsoring this webinar. It will address domestic child sex trafficking with the goal of understanding the victim’s perspective, especially those victims who are involved with the child welfare system. The session will explore what makes children in care particularly vulnerable to trafficking, including an understanding of the victim’s trauma experience and behavior, advice on how to communicate with victims through a trauma-informed approach, and practical implications for bringing a case to trial. Registration information is available online.

It Really Is “Normal To Be Normal” in Child Sexual Abuse: June 28, 2018

This webinar is sponsored by OJJDP and the Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. A pediatrician with experience working with abused children will describe the medical evaluation for a child suspected of having been sexually abused and explain why physical and laboratory findings are often absent. Reasons why children typically delay disclosure will be presented. Strategies and techniques for court preparation when a case of suspected child sexual abuse with a normal exam is being presented for civil hearing or criminal trial will also be discussed. Registration information is available online.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Annual Conference: July 22–25, 2018

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges logoThe National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges will host its annual conference in Denver, CO. The conference will include trainings on family law, juvenile justice, child welfare, and family violence as well as tracks featuring practical and innovative solutions to issues facing the juvenile and family court system. Registration information is available online.

13th Annual National School Safety Conference and Exposition: July 23–27, 2018

The School Safety Advocacy Council is sponsoring this event, to be held in Orlando, FL. The conference focuses on all aspects of school safety and security from kindergarten through college. There will be preconference trainings and more than 40 breakout sessions led by professionals in the fields of education and school safety. Registration information is available online.

Conducting Child Abuse Investigations: July 30–August 3, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center will host this training in Greenville, SC. Attendees will learn about the types of injuries a child may sustain and those that may or may not be the result of physical or sexual abuse, the characteristics of child abuse victims and offenders, preferred practices for interviewing minor victims and offending suspects, and legal considerations for investigating and prosecuting child physical and sexual abuse cases. Registration information is available online.

21st Annual International Gang Specialist Training Program: August 6–8, 2018

This event, hosted by the National Gang Crime Research Center, is intended for police, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, corrections staff, gang prevention program service personnel, school resource officers, and others who want to gain more skills in preventing gang violence and reducing gang problems. Topics include technology-enhanced gang communication, adolescent female gang member behavior, street gang investigation, gang management in juvenile facilities, gang presence in social media, and the mental health needs of gang-involved youth. The conference will take place in Chicago, IL. Registration information is available online.

Developing Trauma-Informed Partnerships With Schools and Other CAC Partners–Part One: August 8, 2018

This two-part webinar hosted by the Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center and sponsored by OJJDP will review essential components and stages of designing and implementing trauma-informed trainings for schools, law enforcement, and other community partners, and challenges encountered in implementing the program within different systems. Discussions will also be held to help generate ideas on developing the programming in other communities. Registration information is available online.

Part two of the training will be held on August 23, 2018.

30th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference: August 13–16, 2018

Crime against Children Conference logoThis conference will provide training to individuals whom the government and nonprofit agencies employ in the fields of law enforcement, child protective services, social work, children's advocacy, therapy, and medicine. The event will be held in Dallas, TX, and is hosted by the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center and the Dallas Police Department. Registration information is available online.

Multidisciplinary Team Responses to Child Sex Trafficking: August 21–24, 2018

The OJJDP-sponsored National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College will host and conduct this team-based training in Milwaukee, WI. Presenters will guide existing multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to improve their response to child sex trafficking (CST) and assist those seeking to establish a formal MDT in their communities to effectively respond to CST cases. Topics include understanding child sex trafficking, the use of technology in CST cases, the role of children's advocacy centers in CST responses, and effectively implementing action plans. Registration information is available online.

This training will also be held in Harrisburg, PA, on September 24–27, 2018.

41st National Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Family Law Conference: August 23–25, 2018

The National Association of Counsel for Children's national conference will bring together leaders in child welfare, juvenile justice, and family law. Participants will learn about practical tools to help them protect the rights of the children, youth, and families they serve. Topics to be covered include immigration relief for undocumented child clients, strategies to improve education outcomes for children in foster care, ensuring the protection and well-being of children with disabilities aging out of foster care, and asserting the constitutional rights of children in dependency proceedings. The conference will be held in San Antonio, TX. Registration information is available online.

Child Homicide Investigations: August 27–28, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center will conduct this training in Irving, TX. Presenters will help participants understand relationship building with forensic pathologists, homicide investigators, and prosecutors to successfully investigate and prosecute child homicide cases. Topics include learning autopsy and forensic protocols, determining cause and manner of death, understanding interviewing and interrogation, developing a suspect pool, and understanding the importance of the prosecutor in gaining appropriate convictions. Registration information is available online.

This training will also be held in Joplin, MO, on September 10–11, 2018.

Leveraging Program Evaluation and Data To Improve Your Services–Part One: September 13, 2018

Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center logoThis two-part webinar hosted by the Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center and sponsored by OJJDP will provide an overview of program evaluation, discuss the various types of evaluation, and cover how to select the best type of evaluation based on specific organizational needs. Registration information is available online.

Part two of the training will be held on September 27, 2018.

Conducting Unexplained Child Death Investigations: September 17–20, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center will host this training in San Diego, CA. Attendees will learn about the defining causes of and multidisciplinary responses to child death, investigative protocols involving pediatric medical emergencies and child deaths, standard interview and interrogation procedures, and wellness resources available for employees dealing with vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. Registration information is available online.

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News in Brief

Administrator Harp To Address Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Conference

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America logoOn June 25–29, 2018, more than 800 attendees—including affiliate leaders and staff members from around the country—will gather in St. Louis, MO, for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) national conference. Administrator Harp will discuss the power of mentorship in changing the trajectory of a child's life, and share her priorities and vision for OJJDP. Ms. Harp will also discuss OJJDP's support for BBBSA's one-to-one mentoring program, Bigs in Blue, which connects police with youth and works to increase understanding and build trust within communities. BBBSA currently administers grants from OJJDP to 69 of its affiliates.

Administrator Harp To Offer Remarks at Probation and Parole Association Training

On July 30, 2018, Administrator Harp will deliver the opening address at the American Probation and Parole Association's (APPA's) 43rd Annual Training Institute. The institute—with the support of OJJDP's Juvenile Community Supervision Improvement program, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center on Juvenile Justice—will feature a symposium on the future of juvenile community supervision.

Administrator Harp will highlight the importance of ensuring that community supervision services are research based, age appropriate, and focused on public safety, while holding youth accountable and promoting positive youth outcomes. Dr. TeNeane Bradford, OJJDP’s Associate Administrator of the Core Protections Division, will also be on hand for a special guest report out to APPA’s Juvenile Justice Committee. She will speak on the Office’s work on state compliance with the core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, and consolidation of the agency’s Title II Formula Grants Program work into the State Relations and Assistance Division.

OJJDP staff will also lead three workshops that will review the current state of the field and offer suggestions for improving operations and outcomes. The workshops are Envisioning the Future of Juvenile Community Supervision; The Future of Juvenile Community Supervision: Supervision Conditions, Monitoring, and Accountability; and The Future of Juvenile Community Supervision: Probation and Parole Officers as Agents of Positive Youth Behavior Change. Register to attend the institute.

Officer Service and Sacrifice Honored During National Police Week

2018 National Police Week logoEach year, the nation observes May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that day falls is designated as National Police Week. OJJDP is committed to supporting programs, initiatives, and research that foster positive police-youth relationships and enhance law enforcement efforts to address and prevent youth victimization and violence. OJJDP has sponsored publications to support and guide law enforcement on reducing youth violence and improving police-youth interactions, including A Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model and Notes From the Research on Interactions Between Law Enforcement and Youth Discussion.

According to FBI statistics, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017—46 as a result of felonious acts and 47 in accidents. This represents a 21-percent decrease from 2016, when 118 officers died in line-of-duty incidents, "While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high," said Attorney General Sessions. "At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families."

Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson echoed this sentiment in his blog, Backing the Blue. "Again and again, our law enforcement officers have shown themselves willing to stand in the line of fire to protect others," wrote Mr. Hanson. "We are grateful."

OJJDP Hosts Workshops To Assist Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts

On May 30–June 2, 2018, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) held its annual training conference in Houston, TX. More than 5,000 drug treatment court professionals participated in the program offerings.

OJJDP, NADCP, American University's Justice Program Office, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges presented the OJJDP Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines (JDTC) Workshop/Kids Matter: Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Workshop, which provided an overview of the seven objectives of OJJDP's Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines. "Doing the Right Things, For the Right Kids, For the Right Reasons" dealt with the philosophy and eligibility criteria behind the guidelines. "The Heart and Soul of Juvenile Drug Court" delved into engaging the full JDTC team, assessing needs and planning treatment, and managing cases and contingencies. "The Path to Healthy Adolescent Development and Family Functioning" discussed referring participants for treatment, services, and healthy connections; and monitoring and tracking program completion and termination outcomes.

Congress allocated $95 million to the Justice Department to support drug courts. Two of the conference sessions—the "Federal Funders Forum," and "Grant Writing Made Easy"—focused on writing grant applications for the department.

OJJDP Releases New Juvenile Court Data Resources

Thumbnail of the data snapshot, Characteristics of delinquency cases handled in juvenile court in 2015OJJDP sponsors the National Juvenile Court Data Archive to collect and analyze data contributions from juvenile courts across the nation. Detailed information about delinquency and petitioned status offense cases processed in juvenile courts has been updated through 2015 on OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book.

Following are the latest developments:

Additional information on OJJDP research and statistics is available online.

OJJDP Hosts Session on Dual System Youth

Child welfare and juvenile justice systems now recognize that youth involved in both systems (i.e., dual system youth) are a vulnerable population who often go unrecognized because of challenges in information sharing and cross-system collaboration. The OJJDP-funded Design Study of Dual System Youth examines this population.

On May 1, 2018, Denise Herz, Ph.D., and Carly B. Dierkhising, Ph.D., from California State University, Los Angeles presented their study to Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and OJJDP staff members as part of OJP's "Lunch and Learn" series.

The first goal of the study is to propose a research method to generate a national estimate of dual system youth, the trajectories leading to multiple system involvement, and the key characteristics of this population. Extensive analysis of "linked" data from child welfare and juvenile justice administrative records from three study sites—Cook County, IL; Cuyahoga County, OH; and New York City—largely informed this portion of the study.

The second study goal is to identify successes and challenges associated with cross-system collaboration and data integration in jurisdictions across the nation and to design a method to collect and report such information in a consistent way. This goal has been advanced through close examination of the documentation and data that more than 40 sites participating in the Crossover Youth Practice Model provided. The researchers are developing a method to assist jurisdictions in assessing the degree to which best practices are being implemented to identify dual system youth and provide cross-system collaboration in service delivery. A final technical report will be available at the end of the year.

OJJDP-Supported Guide for Children's Advocacy Centers Now Available

Thumbnail of the publication, Child Physical Abuse: A Guide to the CAC Response.With support from OJJDP, the National Children's Alliance (NCA) has published Child Physical Abuse: A Guide to the CAC Response. According to the guide, children's advocacy centers (CACs) serve more victims of child sexual abuse than victims of child physical abuse, even though physical abuse is far more common. CACs without a specialized response to physical abuse may be unequipped to serve a potentially large population of child victims of physical abuse in their jurisdictions.

NCA convened a workgroup on CACs delivering evidence-based interventions to meet the specific needs of physical abuse victims, and this guide presents their considerations, tips, and resources. Although an interdisciplinary understanding of the roles each provider plays in serving child victims of physical abuse is necessary, the content is divided into four sections covering distinct disciplines:

View and download the guide.

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New Publications

All OJJDP publications may be viewed and downloaded on the publications section of the OJJDP website. Print publications may be ordered online at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website.

Coming Soon—

Reentry Starts Here: A Guide for Youth in Long-Term Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Programs
OJJDP produced this guide to help youth and their families plan and prepare for reentry so the youth go on to live productive and crime-free lives. The guide is divided into two sections. Part one outlines steps youth can take to plan for reentry while they are in placement (e.g., building a reentry team, developing a plan with the team, getting help from lawyers and mentors, connecting with support services, and planning ahead for school and work). Part two outlines steps youth can take to be successful upon return to their communities (e.g., using all available social and medical services, following all probation order/parole agreement requirements and conditions, completing school, and getting a job and managing money).

A Law Enforcement Guide on International Parental Kidnapping
OJJDP developed this guide to help local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities successfully investigate international parental kidnapping cases. In addition to offering suggestions to prevent international child kidnappings by family members, the guide describes the role of law enforcement as the initial responder and investigator; discusses applicable laws, treaties, and legal remedies for child recovery and reunification; and outlines considerations for criminal prosecution and extradition of offenders.

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