President Biden proclaimed October as National Youth Justice Action Month. In recognition of this observance, Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones has released a blog highlighting OJJDP's commitment to juvenile justice reform and racial equity in the juvenile justice system.
"In 2019, approximately 36,500 youth were in residential placement on a given day. While this number is approximately half what it was a decade ago, it is still too high," said OJJDP Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones." In the same year, the placement rate for minority youth was more than two times higher than white youth nationally."
The blog highlights OJJDP’s investments in delinquency prevention, indigent defense, and reentry programs. In fiscal year 2020 alone, the Office awarded nearly $85 million to improve the quality and impact of mentoring programs for a diverse population of youth. Between fiscal years 2017 and 2020, OJJDP provided more than $6.8 million through its juvenile indigent defense program to dismantle barriers to effective juvenile defense counsel.
To reduce recidivism and enhance public safety, OJJDP’s juvenile reentry programs prepare youth for the transition back to their communities and help them combat the collateral consequences of justice-system involvement.
"We urge all stakeholders to continue working for juvenile justice reform—during National Youth Justice Action Month and after the observance," said Jones.