Fiscal Year 2022 Funding Opportunities Announced for Tribal Youth Programs
The Department of Justice has released the fiscal year 2022 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), enabling federally recognized Tribes to submit a single application for multiple grant programs. Three CTAS purpose areas fund OJJDP programs designed to prevent youth victimization and delinquency, reduce violent crime, and improve Tribal juvenile justice systems:
- CTAS Purpose Area 2: Comprehensive Tribal Justice Systems Strategic Planning program funds the development of strategic plans to improve Tribal justice and safety.
- CTAS Purpose Area 8: Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts program provides funding to establish a juvenile Tribal healing to wellness court or enhance an existing court.
- CTAS Purpose Area 9: Tribal Youth Program funds efforts to develop, expand, or strengthen prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies for American Indian and Alaska Native youth.
A series of webinars will help guide applicants through the application process. Applicants must initiate the CTAS application in Grants.gov by March 10, 2022, and finalize it in JustGrants by March 15, 2022.
Safer Internet Day To Focus on Preventing Sextortion
Safer Internet Day is February 8, when OJJDP’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force program will focus on sextortion, an online exploitation of children. The crime involves coercion or blackmail to acquire sexual content from children, to compel them to engage in sex, or to obtain money.
A recent survey found that 1 in 6 youth ages 9 to 17 had shared a nude image online; of those, 41 percent said they had sent images to people they believed were adults. The ICAC Task Force program wants to ensure that children know that sextortion is a crime and that the perpetrator—not the child—is to blame. A network of 61 task forces across the U.S., the program works to investigate, prosecute, and develop effective responses to Internet crimes against children. It has created resources for parents, teachers, youth, and others to encourage open conversations between parents and children about Internet crimes, to create a safer and better Internet for all.
OJJDP Updates Statistical Briefing Book To Include Data From 2019 to 2020
Recent additions to OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book include 2019 case counts from state and county juvenile courts nationwide, accessible through the Easy Access to State and County Juvenile Court Case Counts data analysis tool. Data through 2020 have been added to Easy Access to Juvenile Populations and to the Frequently Asked Questions section. Additions address:
- The juvenile population.
- The Hispanic juvenile population.
- Children living in poverty.
- Substance use self-reported by students.
The Statistical Briefing Book was developed for OJJDP by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Integrated Data Systems Needed To Support Dual System Youth
A National Institute of Justice article, Dual System Youth: At the Intersection of Child Maltreatment and Delinquency, discusses the need for better collaboration between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, highlighting the unique challenges juvenile court staff face when working with youth who have experienced both systems.
Dual system youth are a subset of "crossover youth"—young people who have been victims of maltreatment and have also engaged in delinquent acts. At least half of youth entering the juvenile justice system may be dual system youth who have experienced child welfare intervention, according to the OJJDP Dual System Youth Design Study.
Dual system youth must be identified as early as possible, the study team stressed. Functional data linkages between the two systems could help juvenile courts identify suitable remedies, drive collaborative case management, and shape best practices for jurisdictions. Integrating the systems could also help researchers understand youth trajectories, assess interventions, quantify trends, and develop new reforms. Preventing maltreatment and interrupting persistent maltreatment should be a priority, investigators concluded, as early intervention can minimize a child’s traumatic experience and reduce the likelihood of delinquency.
CrimeSolutions Adds Three Programs Rated "Promising"
The National Institute of Justice's CrimeSolutions resource has added three programs deemed "promising":
- The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Vacant Lot Greening program (also called the Clean and Green program) is designed to reduce crime and delinquency in urban areas by remediating blighted vacant land. When compared with a control area, "cleaned and greened" areas experienced statistically significant reductions in gun assaults, burglary, nuisances, shootings (overall and per kilometer), and all crimes overall. Results were mixed with regard to drug offense rates, however, and there was no statistically significant effect on robbery/theft rates.
- Crime Solutions assessed the impact of California’s Proposition 47 (also called the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act) on recidivism. Proposition 47 reclassified drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, intending to focus prison resources on the most serious violent offenses, reinvest savings toward prevention, and reduce recidivism. When compared with a control group, the intervention group had statistically significantly fewer rearrests and reconvictions for any crime or revocation at the 1-year followup.
- The IMpower Program for American Indian Girls promotes empowerment self-defense. In response to the disproportionately high rate of sexual assault experienced by American Indian girls, Tribal community partners sought an intervention that aligned with Lakota values, to improve girls' self-defense skills and reduce sexual assault. Girls participate in six 2-hour classroom-based sessions designed to reduce victimization, sexual harassment, and physical dating violence. Participating girls reported statistically significantly lower rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment victimization when compared with girls in the comparison group. There was no impact on reported rates of physical dating violence, however.
CrimeSolutions rates programs based on evaluations, while practice ratings are based on meta-analyses that synthesize rigorous evaluations.
New Web Resource Helps Youth Navigate the Criminal Justice System
A new web resource from the Office of Justice Programs' Office for Victims of Crime is designed to help children and youth who encounter the justice system as victims or witnesses to crimes. The Child Victims and Witnesses Support Materials site includes a package of interactive publications for three groups—ages 2–6, ages 7–12, and ages 13–18.
Navigating the criminal justice and child welfare systems can be especially confusing, distressing, and even retraumatizing for children. The guides use illustrated narratives to explain the justice and child welfare systems and provide trauma-informed information and support in child-friendly, developmentally appropriate ways. They also offers tips to help prepare children who must testify in court. Companion practitioner and parent/caregiver guides are also on the site.
Report Highlights and Monitors Indicators of Youth Well-Being
The Forum on Child and Family Statistics has published America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2021, a compendium of indicators about American youth. The report focuses on 41 indicators of youth well-being and monitors changes in them. The indicators fall under seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, healthcare, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.
The 2021 report notes a rise in the prevalence of adolescent depression: 16 percent of youth ages 12–17 experienced at least one episode of major depression in 2019, up from 14 percent in 2018. Under the family and social environment domain, the report states that 67 percent of youth ages 15–17 lived with two parents in 2020, as compared to 69 percent of those ages 6–14 and 75 percent of those ages 0–5. Under the education domain, it notes that 10 percent of youth ages 16–19 were neither enrolled in school nor working in 2020, up from 8 percent in 2019. The report does not include COVID 19-related data; the 41 indicators come from the latest federal statistics, most of which were reported prior to the pandemic.