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 The information in this archived resource may be outdated and links may no longer function.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 2016

OJJDP Hosts Police and Youth Engagement Roundtable

On April 27–28, 2016, OJJDP convened a police and youth engagement roundtable that brought together 15 youth and 14 law enforcement executives to discuss the current climate of police-youth relations. The purpose of the roundtable, titled “Supporting the Role of Law Enforcement in Juvenile Justice Reform,” was to identify ways to support, sustain, and expand youth and law enforcement engagement.

Lessons from the roundtable will be used to develop a Juvenile Justice Leadership Institute planned as part of a cooperative agreement with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and funded under OJJDP’s Police and Youth Engagement: Supporting the Role of Law Enforcement in Juvenile Justice Reform grant.

IACP partnered with the Coalition for Juvenile Justice to make sure that a diverse group of youth advisors were part of the discussion. The roundtable took place on April 28 and was preceded by a full day of police- and youth-focused training to allow for a better understanding of resources and programs related to the audience. Sessions provided an overview of—


left quote To the young people in this room, you all have such bright futures ahead of you. Our President, our Attorney General, and this Department of Justice believe in you.right quote

—Karol V. Mason
Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs

  • The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
  • The developmental approach
  • Collaborative problemsolving
  • Trauma-informed responses
  • Children exposed to violence

The roundtable provided an opportunity for youth to share their personal experiences, offering a unique perspective from those who have been directly impacted by the justice system and highlighting their opinions about how to improve interactions with law enforcement. Listening to youth’s experiences across multiple juvenile justice systems can help law enforcement improve its ability to address juvenile victimization, delinquency, and crime, and build trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve.

Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs Karol V. Mason provided opening remarks. “It’s wonderful that we have all of you in this room to talk about ways we can work together to improve the safety of our communities,” she said. “If we can give our young people the services and support they need; intervene early in situations where they are exposed to violence and trauma; and keep them in school and connected to their families, communities, and faith-based and neighborhood organizations, we are far more likely to keep them out of the justice system and on the path to healthy, productive lives—and we’ll be better able to ensure public safety.”

OJJDP has worked diligently to strengthen the voice of America’s youth so it can be heard by the law enforcement community. In February 2015, OJJDP and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) collaborated to ensure that a youth panel was able to testify at the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing’s “Community Policing and Crime Reduction” listening session. OJJDP and COPS organized the “Youth and Law Enforcement” panel as part of the agencies’ commitment to promoting a developmental and trauma-informed approach to juvenile justice and to enhancing the relationship between youth and law enforcement.

OJJDP will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that the youth perspective is a part of its decisionmaking as well as an integral part of the solutions law enforcement embraces to build trust within communities and effectively realize juvenile justice reform.


Additional information about the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Policing, the task force, and the listening sessions is available on the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services website.

Visit the OJJDP-sponsored IACP Youth-Focused Policing Resource Center.