Today in Juvenile Justice: Administrator Update, September 27, 2023
On this "Today in Juvenile Justice: Administrator Update" held on September 27, 2023, OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan highlighted 49th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, noting OJJDP's recent accomplishments in juvenile justice reform as well as plans for our 50th anniversary to include a national convening which will bring juvenile justice researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates to discuss juvenile justice and raise awareness issues affecting youth today. Ryan also discussed Youth Justice Action Month and an upcoming webinar.
Hello. Welcome to “Today in Juvenile Justice.” I’m Liz Ryan, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention—OJJDP.
Thank you for calling in today. I’m excited to tell you what OJJDP has been up to since our last call.
On September 7th, we celebrated the 49th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act—landmark legislation that established OJJDP and charged us with protecting children and improving the nation’s juvenile justice system.
As we celebrated, we also reflected on how far the youth justice field has come since 1974.
For nearly 50 years, OJJDP funding has supported national efforts to prevent child abuse, locate missing and exploited children, and combat Internet crimes against children.
We have also worked to create effective interventions for youth who have committed delinquent acts, and provide mentors to children and youth before they ever become involved in the justice system.
And we continue to rely on scientific research and best practices to improve juvenile justice systems nationwide.
OJJDP has also spent 50 years working with hundreds of partners to protect America’s youth and help them find reasons to believe in themselves and their possibilities for the future.
We still have a lot to do, but we have made progress.
As OJJDP looks forward to our 50th anniversary next year, we are busy planning numerous activities and celebrations—including a national convening on youth justice that will gather young people and their families, alongside researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates from across the country. It’s going to be a momentous event, and I’m excited to share more details with you in the coming months.
I’m also really excited to tell you about Youth Justice Action Month—better known as YJAM.
YJAM is an annual observance that started in 2008 to raise awareness about young people impacted by the juvenile justice system and inspire action on their behalf. Action is the key word here—because system reform requires action. Action changes lives.
OJJDP is cohosting YJAM 2023 with the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and the National Juvenile Justice Network. We’ve planned a month’s worth of activities!
I invite you to join us for our kickoff webinar on Tuesday, October 3rd at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Join us to learn about resources like the YJAM toolkit, designed to help organizations engage with system-involved youth, local leaders, and other allies—so that the YJAM events they design for their communities are responsive to the needs of their young people.
You’ll also hear about plans for the rest of the month—like OJJDP’s panel discussion with youth and families on October 26. We want to hear about their experiences with the justice system, and we want to hear it from them—what works and what doesn’t. Their voices matter, and their insights will inform OJJDP’s future work to enhance and reform the juvenile justice system.
You can learn more about YJAM on our website: OJJDP.OJP.GOV.
Thank you for joining me today. And thank you for sharing OJJDP’s vision of a nation where all children are free from crime and violence, and where youth contact with the justice system is rare, fair, and beneficial.
I look forward to sharing more updates with you on our next call in November.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.