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OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp's 2019 End of Year Message

OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp highlights OJJDP’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 priorities, activities, and funding in this end of year video message from the November/December 2019 issue of OJJDP News @ a Glance.

As we reflect on all we're grateful for during this holiday season, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to OJJDP's many partners in the juvenile justice field. I truly appreciate your hard work and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of youth.

In fiscal year 2019, OJJDP made approximately 300 awards totaling more than $320 million to protect children and communities, hold youth appropriately accountable for delinquent conduct, and help them develop the life skills they need to build a successful future. We also celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, which established our Office and began our longstanding partnership with states and territories to deter delinquency and strengthen the juvenile justice system. That partnership is at the heart of our mission.

This past year, the juvenile justice field saw another major legislative milestone with the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018, which reauthorizes the original Act and continues the work of this Office. To help states and territories comply with the core requirements and implement the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, we recently held a comprehensive 3-day national training conference in Kansas City, MO. The conference brought together designated state agency staff, state advisory group members, the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, and many other partners to promote collaboration, problem-solving, and outcome-driven action in the administration of OJJDP's Title II Formula Grants Program.

In the coming year, our Office will build on the momentum developed at the conference and expand our outreach to help states and territories as they put into action key provisions of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act. These provisions include new expectations for juveniles prosecuted in criminal court, the use of the valid court order exception, racial and ethnic disparities, and an effective system of monitoring for compliance.

In addition, we're partnering with experts to develop a user-friendly guide on restorative justice. When practiced properly, restorative justice can transform the traditional juvenile justice process by bringing the victim and the offender together face to face so that the offender can accept responsibility for the full measure of harm he or she caused, and work with the victim and community members to determine how the offender might go about repairing the harm.

In 2020, we'll also be collaborating with researchers and practitioners to develop recidivism measures with the goal of more effectively evaluating initiatives to reduce youth reoffending.

These are a few examples of the work that lies ahead for OJJDP and our partners in the juvenile justice field. We truly look forward to serving you and building a better future for our nation's youth.

Date Created: December 23, 2019