September | October 2018

OJJDP Reorganizes To Better Serve the Juvenile Justice Field

OJJDP is in the process of revising its policies and reorganizing its structure to facilitate consistent communication between OJJDP and the states, enhance monitoring and performance related to the four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act, and increase coordination of research efforts.

Key to the reorganization is OJJDP’s new approach to the Title II Formula Grants program. The Title II application process will be streamlined, decreasing the administrative burden on states and freeing them up to do more direct work with youth and communities. In addition, OJJDP will put into effect an outcome-based approach for states to address the disproportionate involvement of minority youth in the justice system. By helping states consider all the potential factors that contribute to disproportionate minority contact, states can craft solutions relevant to their jurisdictions that not only reduce disproportionate minority contact, but also ensure youth accountability and public safety.

The newly reorganized Office significantly increases the number of staff who provide oversight and technical assistance to states and territories awarded Title II funding under the JJDP Act. Most importantly, the reorganization will help ensure states’ adherence to the Act and compliance with its core protections.

Plans also include transferring OJJDP’s research and evaluation functions to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). At NIJ, research and evaluation staff will have access to a research infrastructure and the opportunity to collaborate with other social scientist colleagues who are also working on juvenile justice research as part of a larger research agenda. Both NIJ and OJJDP conduct juvenile justice research, which they coordinate to ensure there is no duplication of effort. Consolidating juvenile justice research within NIJ will simplify that coordination and support the development of a coherent and broad research agenda.

OJJDP’s reorganization includes the following divisions: Prevention, Intervention, Special Victims and Violent Offenders, State Relations and Assistance, Communications and Coordination, and Budget.

The Prevention Division manages initiatives intended to deter youth from delinquency and criminality. These initiatives include mentoring and tribal youth programs, and efforts to address bullying and children’s exposure to violence.

The Intervention Division administers nontraditional programs that are geared toward keeping youth from moving deeper into the court system. The division oversees OJJDP’s work in the areas of diversion programming, drug courts, opioid abuse, community supervision, corrections, and reentry, among other programs and initiatives.

The Special Victims and Violent Offenders Division focuses on protecting children from victimization, preventing and responding to youth violence, and holding offenders accountable. Key programs and initiatives include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the AMBER Alert and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force programs, as well as prosecutor training initiatives and efforts to stop gang violence.

The State Relations and Assistance Division administers OJJDP’s Title II Formula Grants program,
which helps states and territories prevent and address delinquency and improve their juvenile justice
systems. For more information on OJJDP’s new approach to formula grants, see the article State Relations and Assistance Division: Reimagining the Title II Formula Grants Program.”

The Communications and Coordination Division manages the Office’s communications, training and technical assistance, and grants coordination functions. The division also oversees the activities of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Budget Division oversees the operational activities of OJJDP, including budget and award administration services, human resources, planning and performance measures, contract and procurement support, and administrative support functions.

The work of the four programmatic divisions—Prevention, Intervention, Special Victims and Violent Offenders, and State Relations and Assistance—will be highlighted in this and future issues of the newsletter.