On January 14, 2021, the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) approved the formal recommendations drafted by its three subcommittees on critical issues that affect juvenile justice—facilitating compliance with the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 (JJRA), increasing federal support for U.S. territories’ juvenile justice systems, and promoting interventions to prevent juvenile delinquency.
The text of the recommendations described below can be found on the OJJDP website.
The Subcommittee on Facilitating Compliance with the Juvenile Justice Reform Act offered two recommendations. One calls for OJJDP to circulate “decisions trees” to help states implement JJRA provisions regarding the detention of juveniles charged and tried as adults. The other recommendation calls for OJJDP to develop examples of forms courts can use to ensure they satisfy the criteria for using the valid court order exception to the requirement to deinstitutionalize status offenders.
The Territories Outreach Subcommittee offered a series of recommendations to increase federal support and resources for territories’ juvenile justice systems and maximize their participation in the Title II Formula Grants program. One recommendation calls for Congress to permit OJJDP flexibility in determining whether states and territories have satisfied the eligibility requirements to participate in the Formula Grants program. The recommendation is intended to help territories overcome a variety of unique challenges—including their remote locations and lack of reliable Internet service—that make it difficult to comply with all of the requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
The Special Topics Subcommittee offered six recommendations calling for OJJDP to promote multisystem interventions to juvenile delinquency. According to the subcommittee, a multisystem approach that combines trauma-informed care, resiliency building, and restorative practices is an effective strategy for addressing a youth’s needs before he or she comes in contact with the juvenile justice system. The approach also supports the needs of youth currently involved in the system.
The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice is a consultative body established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (Section 223), and is supported by OJJDP. Composed of members of state advisory groups on juvenile justice, the committee advises the President and Congress on matters related to juvenile justice, evaluates the progress and accomplishments of juvenile justice activities and projects, and advises the OJJDP Administrator on the work of OJJDP.