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 The information in this archived resource may be outdated and links may no longer function.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 2015

Message From the Administrator

Hello. I’m Bob Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, once said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Unfortunately, a significant number of America’s children are exposed to crime, violence, and abuse each year—either as victims, witnesses, or offenders. Exposure to violence, regardless of how it occurs, can have devastating consequences for a child’s development.

OJJDP is committed not only to preventing and combating delinquency, but also to addressing youth violence and protecting our youth from victimization and exploitation. One of my top priorities is reforming the juvenile justice system to ensure the best outcomes for our youth. 

Recently, I provided remarks at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Conference. I discussed how we are providing support to states to ensure the core protections for youth are being upheld as outlined by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. I also emphasized the importance of reducing out-of-home placement. We must recognize that many system-involved youth have been exposed to prior violence and trauma. The goal is not only to rehabilitate youth, but also to help them heal.

We at the Justice Department are resolute in our commitment to the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Through three key initiatives—the Defending Childhood Initiative, the Community-Based Violence Prevention Program, and the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention—we are working with federal, state, local, and tribal partners to address children’s exposure to violence.

In May, the National Forum’s Summit on Youth Violence Prevention drew nearly 400 attendees from throughout the nation.  And, we were honored to have Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan deliver keynote addresses. The summit afforded participants the opportunity to share the challenges and successes of their violence prevention work. I’m thrilled to report that the majority of forum cities realized reductions in youth and gang violence in 2014.

Also in May, OJJDP organized the Justice Department’s annual observance of National Missing Children’s Day, during which we honor children who have fallen prey to abduction or trafficking and recognize the heroes who work to recover abducted children and protect youth from exploitation.

The Internet, which has revolutionized our connectedness as a global community, has also become a tool used to prey upon and exploit our youth. State and local enforcement agencies involved in our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program reported a 126-percent increase in the number of documented complaints of child exploitation between 2009 and 2014. Our National Law Enforcement Training on Child Exploitation, which took place this month [June] in conjunction with Internet Safety month, will provide law enforcement personnel with the knowledge to recognize, investigate, and prosecute these despicable crimes.

You can learn more about the initiatives and observances I’ve mentioned in this issue of OJJDP News @ a Glance. And, if you want to join the violence prevention efforts, visit our website at

Together, we can end children’s exposure to violence and ensure brighter futures for all youth.

Thank you.