U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Serving Children, Families, and Communities
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logo jump over products navigation bar
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logoAbout SSBFrequently Asked QuestionsPublicationsData Analysis ToolsNational Data SetsOther ResourcesAsk a Question
Juvenile Population Characteristics
Juveniles as Victims
Juveniles as Offenders
Juvenile Justice System Structure & Process
Related FAQs
Related Publications
Related Links
Case Flow Diagram
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juveniles in Court
Juveniles on Probation
Juveniles in Corrections
Juvenile Reentry & Aftercare
Special Topics
Data Snapshot
Statistical Briefing Book Home

OJJDP logo

Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
JJDPA Core Requirements
Q: What are the core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)?
A: The JJDPA is based on the consensus that youth involved with the juvenile and criminal courts should be guarded by federal standards for care and custody, while also upholding the interests of community safety and the prevention of victimization. The Act authorizes an annual formula grant allocation to those states that provide an acceptable plan to comply with four federal protections for juveniles, known as the core protections or core requirements.

JJDPA Core Requirements, 2013

Requirement Description
Deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO) Under the JJDPA, status offenders may not be held in secure detention or confinement. The Act and federal regulations establish limited exceptions to this requirement, including a provision that allows accused status offenders to be securely held in juvenile facilities for up to 24 hours prior to and following an initial court appearance, and one that permits juveniles who commit a violation of a valid court order (VCO) to be detained in a juvenile facility.
Sight and sound separation Under the JJDPA, when youth are detained or confined for any length of time, both sight and sound contact with adult inmates is prohibited.
Adult jail and lock-up removal Under the JJDPA, youth may not be detained in adult jails or lock-ups. There are limited exceptions for juveniles accused of nonstatus offenses, including time for processing or release (6 hours), the periods immediately before or after a court hearing (6 hours) and in rural areas (48 hours excluding weekends and holidays, or until weather conditions permit, prior to an initial court appearance). This requirement does not apply to youth who have been transferred to adult criminal court and charged with or convicted of a felony.
Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Under the JJDPA, states are required to assess and address the disproportionate contact of minority youth at key contact points in the juvenile justice system from arrest to detention to confinement.

Notes: Information from the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act as amended, Pub. L. No. 93-415 (1974)

Developed for the State Training and Technical Assistance Center by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04301.asp.


USA.gov | Privacy | Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | Site Map | Ask a Question | OJJDP Home
A component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice