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OJJDP News @ a Glance

This issue highlights OJJDP funding for fiscal year 2021, participation by OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon and OJJDP grantees at the National Mentoring Summit, and tips for effective Child Abduction Response Teams.
Message From the Acting Administrator
Add alt tag to Acting Administrator’s headshot: OJJDP Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones

OJJDP Mourns the Death of Advocate and Writer Marion Mattingly

Photo of advocate and writer Marion Mattingly
Marion Mattingly, photographed at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice annual conference in 2014.

OJJDP mourns the loss of Marion Mattingly, an advocate and writer whose fervent commitment to justice for youth helped drive system reform, policies, and legislation, impacting countless young lives. Ms. Mattingly died December 31, 2021. She was 92.

“Marion led with enthusiasm and drive,” said Acting OJJDP Administrator Chyrl Jones. “She was passionate about justice, and especially about reforming justice systems so that youth receive the services, attention, and care they need. Her work on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act in the 1970s helped pave the way for OJJDP, and our mission will always carry her imprint.” 

Ms. Mattingly’s advocacy reaches back to the 1960s, when she cofounded Women on Watch, a court-watching program in Montgomery County, MD. WOW grew into a bipartisan lobby that advocated for the needs of youth engaged in the juvenile justice system, including the construction of a facility to house those awaiting trial or residential placement. “We wanted a place that would properly serve children—not a jail,” Ms. Mattingly told The Washington Post.

Ms. Mattingly’s efforts caught the attention of federal lawmakers, leading to her involvement in enacting the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the 1974 law that established OJJDP. President Gerald Ford subsequently appointed her to the National Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and she later served on President Ronald Reagan’s Task Force on Law Enforcement.

In the mid-1990s, Ms. Mattingly helped found Do the Write Thing (DtWT), a National Campaign to Stop Violence program that encourages middle school students to write about their own experiences with violence, resulting in honest, often raw reflections. With Ms. Mattingly’s involvement, the DtWT pilot program became a national initiative. OJJDP has participated in the annual DtWT challenge, a national essay contest. DtWT honored Ms. Mattingly in 2019 with its Roberta Wolfe Bryant Community Service Award.

A respected writer, Ms. Mattingly’s first “Word From Washington” column appeared in February 1995, in the inaugural issue of the Civic Research Institute’s Juvenile Justice Update—and it has appeared in every issue since then. Beginning in 2019, Ms. Mattingly also served as the Update’s Washington editor.

Marion Mattingly approached youth justice reform with passion and grit. Her vigilance influenced the trajectory of systems and policies, helping to lay the foundation for programs that protect youth and promote their welfare. She left an indelible mark on the Office and on juvenile justice systems nationwide.

Date Created: February 2, 2022