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October is National Youth Justice Action Month

National Justice Action Month 2021
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On September 30, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden proclaimed October as National Youth Justice Action Month. The observance brings focus to juvenile justice reform and advancing equity and racial justice. The President's Proclamation refers to OJJDP programs that are designed to achieve these goals. Read the President's proclamation.

"During National Youth Justice Action Month, I call upon states and communities to join me in seeking justice for our youth and modernizing our juvenile justice system, a system that should allow young people to build their lives and grow with freedom and dignity." – President Biden

In his proclamation, the President emphasized the need to root out racial inequities and other forms of discrimination in the justice system through early intervention efforts, including afterschool and mentoring programs. 

The President also cited OJJDP's efforts to provide youth access to high-quality legal representation and resources to help them better manage the consequences of their contact with the juvenile justice system. 

As part of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, the Administration is proposing $800 million to more than double the current funding for juvenile justice and youth reentry programs.

OJJDP-supported initiatives include:

  • Enhancements for Juvenile Indigent Defense OJJDP works to ensure that youth involved with the juvenile justice system have equal access to specialized, well-resourced juvenile defense counsel. In FY 2020, OJJDP provided more than $1.78 million improve outcomes for indigent youth.
  • Reentry ProgramsThe Second Chance Act authorizes federal grants for reentry services. OJJDP's Second Chance Act programs provide specialized services to youth released from residential placement and promote family engagement between incarcerated parents and their children when it is in the best interest of the child. In FY 2020, OJJDP awarded more than $11.2 million in support of the Second Chance Act.
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities OJJDP is a leader in efforts to reduce the overrepresentation of minority youth in the Nation's juvenile justice system. Funding through OJJDP's Formula Grants program (Title II) helps states address racial and ethnic disparities, juvenile delinquency and supports additional improvements to the juvenile justice system. In FY20, OJJDP awarded more than $19 million under Title II.

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Date Created: October 1, 2021