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 The information in this archived resource may be outdated and links may no longer function.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

Justice Department Convenes Panel on Community-Based Approaches to Juvenile Justice
Photo of Robert Listenbee and a lady
On October 21, 2016, juvenile justice experts and government officials gathered at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs to discuss community-based models for reducing recidivism and promoting positive development for justice-involved youth.

The event, held in Washington, DC, featured remarks by Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs; OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee; and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Director Nancy Rodriguez.
Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Vincent Schiraldi, senior research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Program in Criminal Justice, presented a paper they coauthored with Miriam Shark, former associate director of the Casey Foundation, as part of the Executive Session on Community Corrections. The Executive Session is cosponsored by NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Citing recent research on adolescent development, the negative effects of youth confinement, and the high and rising costs of this practice, the paper The Future of Youth Justice: A Community-Based Alternative to the Youth Prison Model, recommends replacing the youth prison model with (1) evidence- and community-based programs for most justice-involved young people and (2) small, homelike facilities close to the youth’s communities for the few who do need to be removed from the community and put in a residential facility.

A panel of experts discussed and responded to the ideas put forward in the paper. Panelists included Da’Quon Beaver, RISE for Youth; Phyllis Becker, director, Missouri Division of Youth Services; Kristin Henning, professor of law and director of Georgetown University’s Juvenile Justice Clinic. Other presenters were Karl Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia; Liz Ryan, president and CEO, Youth First; Tracey Wells-Huggins, associate director, Justice for Families; and Dr. Jennifer Woolard, associate professor of psychology and codirector of the Graduate Program in Developmental Science at Georgetown University. Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, moderated the panel.

“We know the impact of trauma on kids,” said Ms. Mason, encouraging attendees to continue working toward a developmentally based, trauma-informed juvenile justice system. “We know—based on the research—that our current juvenile justice system does not work. So, let’s go out and create something that does work.”


Read a blog post on "The Pitfalls of Youth Incarceration" by Assistant Attorney General Mason.

To learn more about how the science of adolescent development is informing juvenile justice reform, read the OJJDP-commissioned reports, Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach and Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform: The Federal Role.

OJJDP’s Smart on Juvenile Justice initiative is helping guide states across the nation toward effective models that maximize savings, improve public safety, and serve the needs of justice-involved youth. Learn more about the initiative.