When OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan addressed the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ 85th Annual Conference, in Reno, NV, she underscored the Office's longstanding partnership with judges, judicial personnel, and attorneys who work in juvenile family courts.
"OJJDP and the National Council have worked together for decades to realize better outcomes for children facing difficult situations and challenging odds," she said on July 18. "In the future, I see our partnership strengthening as we create better models to more effectively serve more young people."
Administrator Ryan pointed to successful collaborations between the two organizations. OJJDP's Child Abuse Training for Judicial and Court Personnel program offers tailored technical assistance and training to improve court practices in child abuse and neglect cases at 90 demonstration sites across the nation. The Office's nationally recognized Model Courts Project provides training and technical assistance to help model courts respond to and process child abuse and neglect cases.
The Administrator sought attendees' support to implement OJJDP's three priorities:
- Treating children as children.
- Serving young people at home with their families, in their communities.
- Opening up opportunities for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Those priorities are enhanced by OJJDP's unwavering commitment to racial equity and fairness, and its pledge to engage impacted youth and families, she said. During a subsequent panel discussion on expunging juvenile records, Administrator Ryan highlighted concrete steps judges can take to help young people navigate reentry and built better futures.
"OJJDP's support for your efforts has not wavered. We stand with you as you stand up for young people and their families."
—OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges provides training and resources to judges, courts, and justice professionals, seeking to improve the lives of those engaged in the juvenile and family court systems. In 2021, the council trained almost 6,000 judges and court professionals, and responded to more than 500 requests for technical assistance.
- At a session titled “Youth Violence Interventions: The Importance of Supporting Evidence-Based and Community-Led Strategies,” Senior Program Specialist Scott Pestridge discussed several OJJDP-funded projects designed to reduce gun and gang violence involving youth.
- Program Manager Leonora Fleming moderated a discussion about the importance of understanding adolescent development when addressing problematic sexual behaviors by young people.
The council is a longstanding OJJDP partner. Under the Office’s Child Abuse Training for Judicial and Court Personnel program, the council provides judicial, legal, and social service professionals with training and technical assistance pertinent to the handling of cases involving child abuse and neglect. In 2021, the OJJDP initiative funded trainings for more than 1,000 judges and court professionals, and responded to more than 150 requests for technical assistance. OJJDP awarded just over $3 million in funding to the council in fiscal year 2021.
Read the updated In Focus fact sheet about OJJDP’s support for juvenile and family courts. More information about OJJDP’s child protection programs can be found on the Responding to Child Abuse webpage.