In a recent interview, OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan discusses the Office's priorities and goals for juvenile justice reform.
Ryan talks about her role as administrator to ensure OJJDP is "innovating and leading in the field," including providing guidance on best practices and models. She highlights OJJDP's available training and technical assistance and grants, explaining her goal to make the Office "the go-to agency for states and localities when contemplating changes in their youth justice system."
The Administrator expresses her concern for the conditions of juvenile justice facilities, and their "haphazard" closure across the country. Ryan emphasizes OJJDP's support of community-based alternatives that support families, provide justice-involved youth with mentors, and create youth opportunities.
"Every time I hear from young people in the justice system about what they have had to endure and what we have put them through as a society, it is outrageous to me." Ryan says. "It's what fuels me to stay in this field and to stay focused."