President Biden proclaimed October as National Youth Justice Action Month, dedicated to preventing youth from entering the juvenile justice system, addressing racial inequity in the system, and encouraging communities to participate in programs that support youth.
OJJDP joins the President in highlighting opportunities for youth justice reform. Although youth arrests are at their lowest levels in decades, Black youth continue to be overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. In his proclamation, the President emphasized the need to root out racial inequities and other forms of discrimination in the justice system through early intervention efforts, including afterschool and mentoring programs.
The President also cited OJJDP’s efforts to provide youth access to high-quality legal representation and resources to help them better manage the consequences of their contact with the juvenile justice system.
“We will ensure that young people in the juvenile justice system receive the counsel they are entitled to and will work to address the disproportionately high enforcement directed against young people of color.” — President Joseph Biden
The proclamation also supports a fiscal year 2022 budget proposal of $800 million for juvenile justice and youth reentry programs; $1 billion for a new School-Based Health Professionals grant program; and $443 million for Full-Service Community Schools, which would provide comprehensive services to students and their families.
OJJDP's ongoing grant funding helps states address racial and ethnic disparities among minority youth within the juvenile justice system, develop and implement reentry services, and support juvenile justice system reform.