This is an archive of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP's) electronic newsletter OJJDP News @ a Glance. The information in this archived resource may be outdated and links may no longer function. Visit our website at for current information.
May | June 2014

OJJDP Administrator Testifies at Senate Hearing on Reauthorization

Photo of Robert L. Listenbee and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse at Tides Family Services in Pawtucket, RI, where a Senate field hearing focusing on the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act was held on June 9, 2014.
On June 9, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee testified before a field hearing of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D–RI). The hearing, held in Pawtucket, RI, focused on the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act. The Act was last reauthorized in 2002.

Administrator Listenbee emphasized the U.S. Department of Justice’s support for reauthorization of the Act and outlined OJJDP priorities to address juvenile justice reform that include:

  • Maintain public safety.
  • Adopt a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform.
  • Integrate evidence-based research in all programs, grants, and initiatives.
  • Reduce youth violence; address trauma and trauma-informed care.
  • Reduce disproportionate minority contact; eliminate racial/ethnic disparities.

Administrator Listenbee provided an overview of OJJDP’s activities fostering juvenile justice reform and public safety, including support for the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, and the Community-Based Violence Prevention Program.

“We have seen some encouraging trends in the decline in youth in custody, the increase in states’ compliance with core requirements, and promising reform efforts by states,” Listenbee said. “However, there is still much to be done in a number of areas, to include children's exposure to violence; racial and ethnic disparities; and trauma and trauma-informed care. OJJDP is diligently working with our partners at the state, local, and tribal levels to address these issues. Reauthorization of the JJDP Act will strengthen the core requirements and provide the necessary funding to support these important juvenile justice programs.”

The hearing was held at Tides Family Services, an organization that provides support and services for at-risk youth and their families. Others offering testimony at the hearing included Haiganush Bedrosian, Chief Judge of the Rhode Island Family Court; Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT; and Osbert Duoa, a 20-year-old retail sales manager who is a graduate of the Tides Family Services program.


Administrator Listenbee’s testimony is available online. To learn more about the JJDP Act, visit OJJDP's Web site.