November | December 2018

Overview: OJJDP’s Intervention Division

This article is the second in a series highlighting the work of four new programmatic divisions established under OJJDP’s October 2018 reorganization. The other programmatic divisions are Prevention, Special Victims and Violent Offenders, and State Relations and Assistance.

Juvenile delinquency and crime pose a significant challenge to the safety and well-being of communities nationwide. Charged by Congress to meet this challenge, OJJDP collaborates with professionals from diverse disciplines to foster juvenile justice interventions that hold youth accountable, deter future misconduct, and enhance the protective factors present in a young person’s life.

Led by Associate Administrator Kellie Blue, OJJDP’s Intervention Division manages grants that support diversion programs, drug treatment courts, opioid abuse services, community supervision, corrections, and reentry. Following are some highlights of the division’s work.

Combating Substance Abuse

OJJDP funds both juvenile and family drug courts, which use a treatment-oriented approach that emphasizes family engagement and addresses the substance abuse and often co-occurring mental health disorders that often are present in youth and families who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. OJJDP also supports training, technical assistance, and research to enhance the quality of services provided by drug courts. In addition, the Office is working with program sites to develop a data-driven and coordinated response to the opioid epidemic.

Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System

OJJDP develops and implements juvenile justice system improvements to reduce reoffending, improve youth outcomes, and increase public safety. Goals include reducing preadjudicatory detention and out-of-home placements and strengthening diversion and community-based alternatives. In addition, the Office supports the development of model tools and promising practices for the field based on lessons learned from OJJDP-funded programs. The Office also provides funding and other resources to help jurisdictions enhance juvenile defense delivery systems.

Promoting Safe and Successful Reentry

OJJDP supports the delivery of comprehensive reentry planning services to youth while they are still confined and during their reentry into the community. OJJDP funding addresses critical programmatic functions in day-to-day juvenile community supervision practices, including the use of a comprehensive risk and needs assessment, which takes into account the strengths and needs of youth as well as the risk for reoffending once back in the community. Other services support cognitive-behavioral interventions, permanency planning, staff training and development, and assistance to youth in overcoming the collateral consequences often associated with juvenile justice system involvement (e.g., barriers to higher education, employment, and housing).

Supporting the Children of Incarcerated Parents

OJJDP provides states and localities with funding to implement positive family engagement strategies and activities that address the needs of incarcerated parents and their minor children. Funding may also be used to provide opportunities for positive youth development and the identification of effective strategies and best practices that support the children of incarcerated parents.


To access a chart that reflects OJJDP’s new structure following the recent reorganization, visit the Office’s website. To learn more about the Office’s State Relations and Assistance Division, read the September/October issue of OJJDP News @ a Glance. OJJDP will highlight other divisions in future issues of the newsletter.