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OJJDP News @ a Glance

This issue describes the efforts of children’s advocacy centers to offer victims therapy remotely. It also profiles a graduate of a reentry program and introduces a new section titled, “Tribal Connections.”
Message From the Acting Administrator
OJJDP Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones

News in Brief

Image of winning artwork from 2020 National Missing Children’s Day poster contest.
The winning artwork from the 2020 poster contest is shown above. Open to fifth graders nationwide, the poster contest creates an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and child advocates to discuss safety strategies with children, parents, and guardians.

Justice Department To Observe National Missing Children’s Day Virtually

On May 25, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will hold a virtual commemoration of the 38th National Missing Children’s Day. OJJDP organizes the annual tribute to honor the memory of missing children and recognize the extraordinary efforts of individuals, organizations, and agencies that have made a difference in recovering missing and abducted children and protecting children from exploitation.

The National Missing Children’s Day awards include the Attorney General’s Special Commendation, Missing Children’s Child Protection Award, Missing Children’s Citizen Award, and Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award.

On May 25, OJJDP’s website will feature information about the award recipients and messages from the Acting OJJDP Administrator and invited speakers. The winner of the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest will be announced as part of the commemoration.

Subscribe to the JUVJUST listserv for updates about the commemoration.

OJJDP Joins Federal Partners in Roundtable Discussion About Reducing Youth Homelessness

National Summit on Youth Homelessness logo

On March 25, OJJDP Grants Management Specialist Ricco Hall spoke at the National Summit on Youth Homelessness. He discussed the Office’s role in reducing youth homelessness and law enforcement’s priorities for responding to the issue. The virtual event, sponsored by the National Network for Youth, serves as a forum for local officials, advocates, educators, community service providers, researchers, and policy experts to discuss interventions and preventive strategies for ending youth homelessness.

To help reduce homelessness for justice-involved youth, OJJDP serves on federal interagency working groups led by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Mr. Hall, who joined a panel of representatives from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development. Law enforcement’s efforts to address homelessness are focused on local agencies’ practices and policies, and on collaboration with other public agencies. Other law enforcement priorities include enhancing data collection and analysis, and basic research and public education.

OJJDP Participates in National Conference on Juvenile Justice

National Council of Juvenile Justice and Family Court Judges logo

OJJDP Grants Management Specialist Kathryn Barry moderated a panel discussion at the annual National Conference on Juvenile Justice about interventions for youth who have parents with substance use disorders. The virtual conference, sponsored by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, covered a variety of issues, including alternatives to detention, trauma-informed justice, racial and ethnic disparity, school pathways to the justice system, and LGBTQ+ issues in the juvenile justice system.

The panel, titled Collaborative Strategies To Improve Outcomes for Youth Affected by Substance Use Disorders, took place on March 23. The session discussed collaborative strategies for identifying the needs of youth and family, building community connections, and improving outcomes for the children of parents who have substance use disorders.

Other speakers were Kelly Jones, Senior Program Associate for the Center for Children and Family Futures, and the Honorable Anthony Capizzi, Administrative Judge for Montgomery County Juvenile Court in Dayton, OH.

OJJDP Staff Attend Child Abuse Prevention Symposium

37th international symposium on child abuse logo

On March 22–25, OJJDP staff attended the 37th International Symposium on Child Abuse, hosted by the OJJDP-supported National Children’s Advocacy Center. The virtual conference provided indepth training on child abuse prosecution, victim advocacy, law enforcement, forensic interviewing, mental health treatment, child protective services, prevention, and secondary traumatic stress.

More than 1,600 professionals participated in the annual event. It included dozens of workshops on a range of topics, such as ethical challenges facing children’s advocacy centers, strategies for interviewing LGBTQ+ youth, and therapeutic interventions for navigating complex trauma. One session discussed the resources offered by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to help locate and recover children missing from foster care. The symposium also included a panel discussion on secondary traumatic stress in the workforce and best practices to address its impact on child abuse responders.

Research Symposium Looks at Impact of Mentoring on Delinquency

national mentoring resource center logo

OJJDP's National Mentoring Resource Center convened its fourth Youth Mentoring Research Symposium on March 10–11. The annual event helps participants learn new frameworks for conducting research on mentoring programs and relationships. The symposium also helps improve youth mentoring programs by strengthening methodology and data collection and analysis.

Following a keynote address and panel discussion titled How and Why People Stop Offending: Criminological Theory, Desistance From Crime, and Implications for the Mentoring of Justice-Involved Youth, attendees split up into smaller groups to extend the conversation.

On the second day, presenters led three plenary sessions on new directions in mentoring research—Understanding Variations in Informal Mentorship in Order To Support Upward Mobility, Applying a Positive Youth Development Framework To Examine How Youth Environments Promote Thriving, and Utilizing Social Network Analysis To Improve Mentoring Practices.

Workshops explored opportunities and approaches for qualitative research, the value of extending studies to investigate the benefits of mentoring on longer term criminal justice outcomes, and the process used to review mentoring programs for CrimeSolutions. Another workshop focused on the practical and conceptual issues involved in obtaining and analyzing justice system involvement data when conducting youth mentoring studies.

A record number of attendees participated in the free 2-day virtual conference.

Data Snapshot Reveals Number of Juvenile Arrests Reached a New Low in 2019 

The National Center for Juvenile Justice and OJJDP have released a data snapshot on trends and characteristics of juvenile arrests in 2019.

The data snapshot reports that the number of juvenile arrests reached a new low in 2019, falling 67 percent since 2006. Following are some highlights:

  • The number of juvenile arrests for violent crime offenses—including murder, robbery, and aggravated assault—was cut in half between 2006 and 2019.
  • Youth younger than age 15 and females each accounted for approximately one-third of juvenile arrests in 2019.
  • The number of juvenile arrests for property crimes fell 73 percent between 2008 and 2019.

Access the full list of Data Snapshots on OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book website.

Date Created: April 15, 2021