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OJJDP Cosponsors National Mentoring Summit

OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry delivers remarks during the seventh annual National Mentoring Summit. OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry delivers remarks during the 2017 National Mentoring Summit.
“OJJDP is committed to making a difference in the lives of the nation’s youth,” said OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry during the seventh annual National Mentoring Summit. “Our goal is to keep them on track and out of the juvenile justice system in the first place. One of the ways we do that is by providing young people with quality, evidence-based mentoring opportunities.”

OJJDP joined MENTOR: The National Partnership, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and a diverse group of sponsors to host the summit, which took place on February 1–3, 2017, in Washington, DC. The event was attended by more than 1,000 mentoring practitioners, policymakers, researchers, corporate leaders, and representatives of youth-serving organizations.

In her remarks, Ms. Garry noted the long-standing support that the Office has maintained for evidence-based mentoring programs. “Since 2008, OJJDP has awarded nearly $770 million in grant funding for mentoring programs, mentoring-related research, and training and technical assistance,” she said. “In fiscal year (FY) 2016 alone, OJJDP awarded more than $77 million to support mentoring programs, including those directed to underserved populations, such as children of incarcerated parents, tribal youth, youth with disabilities, and children of parents on active military duty.”

Other FY 2016 mentoring grants included the Mentoring for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Sex Trafficking initiative and Second Chance Act (SCA) grants of more than $2.5 million to strengthen the relationships between young parents and their children as the parents transition from correctional facilities back to their communities. The SCA grants fund programs that incorporate mentoring and reentry services, promote parent-child engagement, and teach effective parenting skills.

The Office’s FY 2017 Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative will fund mentoring services to at-risk and high-risk youth, while its Mentoring Research Partners Program will improve the implementation and impact of the mentoring services OJJDP supports.

OJJDP’s mentoring research is helping to advance the field toward evidence-based practices for youth mentoring. During the summit, Jennifer Tyson, a senior social science analyst with OJJDP, led a session with David DuBois, Ph.D., professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, and Roger Jarjoura, Ph.D., principal researcher at American Institutes for Research. During the session titled, “Does Having Mentors in Advocacy and Teaching Roles Matter?,” the presenters discussed results from OJJDP’s Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program. The program looked at 32 sites—each serving 75 to 100 youth—to evaluate the effectiveness of programs in which mentors serve as advocates and teachers. This developmental approach to mentoring focuses on building close relationships with youth to guide them toward activities and resources that will help them reach their full potential.

The 3-day summit featured more than 90 workshops, which touched on a variety of topics within the mentoring field, including research, effective practices, program models, and mentoring strategies for specific youth populations.


OJJDP's National Mentoring Resource Center offers a variety of research-based resources, including mentoring model/population reviews and a Measurement Guidance Toolkit to help programs measure outcomes more effectively. Visit the resource center online.

Mentoring programs have proven to be a promising form of support for youth with incarcerated parents. Read the OJJDP listening session report, Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents.

Additional information on OJJDP’s mentoring programs and resources is available on the OJJDP website.

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Eileen M. Garry Named OJJDP Acting Administrator
OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. GarryEileen M. Garry, OJJDP Acting Administrator
On January 20, 2017, OJJDP Deputy Administrator Eileen M. Garry was named Acting Administrator of the Office. “I am honored to lead OJJDP until a new Administrator is appointed,” Ms. Garry said.

With more than 20 years of leadership at the Office of Justice Programs, Ms. Garry has dedicated her career to improving both juvenile and criminal justice. She first came to OJJDP in 1995 as Director of the Information Dissemination and Planning Division. She later served as Deputy Administrator, overseeing the Office's state, local, and tribal programs and child protection activities.

Ms. Garry rejoined OJJDP as Deputy Administrator in October 2016 after serving for 15 years as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). At BJA, Ms. Garry administered the bureau’s grants programs, budget formulation and execution processes, tribal and legislative affairs, performance measurement and evaluation efforts, and planning and communications. She also oversaw general operations and management.


As BJA’s Director of the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program, she managed the processing of death and education benefits for public safety officers injured or killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In addition, Ms. Garry coordinated the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program and the Counter-Terrorism Training Work Group, and was actively engaged in the criminal justice infrastructure recovery and relief efforts in the Gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“As always,” Ms. Garry said, “I am dedicated to the work of OJJDP and will continue to build on the progress the Office has made to reform juvenile justice systems nationwide and support the priorities of the new Administration.”


Access this issue’s Message From the Acting Administrator and read Ms. Garry’s full bio on the OJJDP website.

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OJJDP Staff Highlight Agency Initiatives at National Conference on Juvenile Justice
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges logo

On February 12–15, 2017, OJJDP staff provided overviews of several of the Office’s juvenile justice reform initiatives during the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ’s) annual National Conference on Juvenile Justice. NCJFCJ is a national organization that helps family and juvenile justice system professionals including judges, probation officers, detention staff, service providers, supervisors, and other system stakeholders to improve the lives of families and children seeking justice. This year’s conference took place in New York, NY.

OJJDP staff members shared information on the Office’s work in the areas of community supervision, justice reform implementation, reentry supports, data analysis, performance evaluation, supportive school discipline, and addressing children’s exposure to violence.

During the session, “Community Supervision: An Effective Alternative to Detention,” Dennis Mondoro, a Senior Policy Advisor at OJJDP, highlighted the goals of OJJDP’s Second Chance Act Smart on Juvenile Justice: Community Supervision Implementation program. Presenters discussed best practices in community supervision, such as strengths, needs, and risk assessments; cognitive-behavioral interventions; family engagement; and permanency planning.

In “Getting Smart on Juvenile Justice: Implementing Statewide Juvenile Justice Reforms,” OJJDP Senior Policy Advisor Scott Pestridge and Program Manager Julia Alanen discussed some of the evidence-based implementation strategies used by states participating in OJJDP’s Smart on Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform program. A county administrator from Kentucky shared lessons learned from her state’s implementation efforts, while panelists from the Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice, an OJJDP technical assistance provider, helped attendees explore how to integrate successful practices into their juvenile justice work.

Ms. Alanen joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC), and Youth Represent for the workshop, “Using Civil Legal Services To Help Justice-Involved Youth Overcome Barriers to Reentry.” The presenters discussed NJDC’s Juvenile Post-Disposition Reentry Legal Fellowship program and the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program. Funded by OJJDP, the programs help justice-involved youth overcome barriers to reentry following secure confinement or out-of-home placement.

In the session, “10 Juvenile Justice Trends You Should Know About—And How To Stay Current,” OJJDP Social Science Analyst Benjamin Adams presented on data and analyses supported by the agency’s National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Program. The program is OJJDP’s primary vehicle for conducting statistical analyses and disseminating juvenile justice data to the public.

In “10 Things You Should Know About Your Juvenile Justice System—And What To Do If You Don’t,” researchers from the National Center for Juvenile Justice discussed the objectives of OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice Model Data Project, which are to improve the consistency and quality of justice information and to inform data-driven policy and practice decisions. Participants considered their jurisdictions’ ability to answer 10 basic questions about the youth they serve and their local juvenile justice system’s performance. They were shown how agencies can use the questions as a tool during data collection, evaluation, and research planning efforts.

Barbara Tatem Kelley, a Social Science Analyst at OJJDP, introduced a session on “Emerging Research on School Discipline and Juvenile Justice System Referrals.” Ms. Kelley summarized the ways in which OJJDP and the National Institute of Justice are facilitating supportive school discipline practices and reducing school referrals to the juvenile justice system for disciplinary infractions.

The conference’s closing session, "Changing Minds Campaign: We All Have a Role To Play in Helping Kids Be Safe, Healthy, and Ready To Succeed," focused on the Department of Justice’s Changing Minds national education campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness, teach skills, and inspire public action to address children’s exposure to violence and childhood trauma. Presenters included Catherine Pierce, Senior Advisor to the OJJDP Administrator, and Brian O’Connor, Director of Public Education Campaigns and Programs at Futures Without Violence. They were joined by Moses Robinson, a school resource officer with the Rochester (New York) Police Department and Samantha Buckingham, a public defender with the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy, Loyola Law School–Los Angeles.

The Changing Minds campaign was developed through the OJJDP-administered Defending Childhood Initiative.



A complete list of conference presentations is available on the NCJFCJ website.

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OJJDP Hosts National Conference on Trauma-Informed Care for Tribal Youth

On December 6–7, 2016, more than 120 representatives from OJJDP-funded tribal youth programs gathered in Palms Springs, CA, to share information with their peers and learn from experts in the fields of youth development, trauma-informed care, and juvenile justice as a part of the OJJDP National Tribal Youth Conference. Entitled “Walking With Tribal Youth: Trauma-Informed, Culturally Based Justice and Healing,” the conference was organized by OJJDP’s Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center.

According to Ending Violence So Children Can Thrive, a report from the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, American Indian and Alaska Native children suffer exposure to violence at rates higher than any other race in the United States. They also experience posttraumatic stress disorder at triple the rate of the general population. The effects of this trauma include poor physical and mental health, poor school performance, development of substance use disorders, and overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system.

To address these negative effects, the conference included presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on the impact of historical and intergenerational trauma; trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy; the adaptation of treatment approaches to tribal cultures; the principles of positive youth development; strengths-based strategies for engaging youth (the promotion of cultural connections, skill development, leadership opportunities, and healthy relationships); trauma-informed and culturally appropriate screening tools in the juvenile justice system; and promising practices for building community partnerships in Indian country.

“We have created this conference to provide you with tools and knowledge to meet the needs of the youth in your communities,” said OJJDP Associate Administrator, James Antal, who leads the Office’s Youth Development, Prevention, and Safety Division. “Our hope is that you will take what you learn here back to your communities and apply it to your work. OJJDP will continue to support your work through technical assistance and other resources.”


For information on training and technical assistance offered by the OJJDP-supported Indian Country Child Trauma Center and the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, visit the providers’ websites.

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How OJJDP Is Combating the Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children

The commercial sexual exploitation of children and child sex trafficking are serious problems in the United States. Even though estimates of the number of victimized or at-risk children vary greatly, even one trafficked child is one too many. Each January, during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, communities across our nation renew their efforts to end trafficking, to bring those who do harm to justice, to offer services to survivors, and to help them heal.

OJJDP has a longstanding commitment to combating the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. Established in 1998, OJJDP’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force program helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective responses to technology-facilitated crimes against children. The program encompasses investigative and forensic components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education through public awareness and prevention programs. The task forces are a critical component of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction.

Following are a few examples of other OJJDP-funded initiatives to address the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children:

More information about these and other OJJDP initiatives to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children—including research, training and technical assistance, and publications—is available on the Office’s website. The website also offers a comprehensive listing of services for trafficking victims.


OJJDP’s online Model Programs Guide provides information about evidence-based programs to help children exposed to violence and victimization. The guide also includes reviews of research literature on the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children.

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Stakeholder Corner: OJJDP Award Helps Girls Inc., Expand Mentoring for At-Risk Girls

By Judy VredenburghGirls inc. logo

Today, girls and young women across the country continue to face profound challenges. One in six girls attending public high school will not graduate, according to 2011–12 data from the Education Department’s Digest of Education Statistics. An OJJDP-sponsored survey conducted in 2011 found that more than 22 percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 17 had experienced sexual victimization in the past year. And, although the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is at an historic low, we continue to have the highest rate among western industrialized countries.

The violence, trauma, poverty, and racial, ethnic, and gender bias that many girls experience can directly lead to their involvement in the juvenile justice system. In response to the need, Girls Inc., is expanding its capacity to help more girls cope with violence and trauma in their world.

Building on 30 years of mentoring experience supporting at-risk girls, Girls Inc., has launched its Bold Futures Mentoring Program with a $2 million grant through OJJDP’s Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative. Over the 2-year grant period, Girls Inc., will provide approximately 1,800 girls—ages 9 to 14—trauma-informed, weekly group mentoring sessions to strengthen their coping skills, reduce risk factors, minimize contact with the juvenile justice system, and increase family engagement. Girls Inc., will offer the program at 15 of its locations in high-need communities across 12 states.

The funding comes at a crucial time. OJJDP’s data show that, although juvenile arrest and residential placement rates have decreased for boys and girls since the 1990s, girls make up a larger share of the juvenile justice population today than in the past. In 1992, one in five juveniles (20 percent) arrested was a girl; by 2014, that proportion had grown to nearly one in three (29 percent). Girls of color continue to be disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system.

Through the Bold Futures Mentoring Program, Girls Inc., aims to equip girls with the guidance, support, and skills to be engaged in school; to build healthy relationships with peers and family; to reduce negative and high-risk behaviors; and to heal from traumatic experiences. In the long term, Bold Futures will become a model program implemented across the larger Girls Inc., network and will be shared with peer organizations to strengthen juvenile justice prevention efforts nationwide.


To learn more about Girls Inc., and its initiatives, visit the program’s website.

Access OJJDP’s Girls and the Juvenile Justice System policy guidance online.

Judy Vredenburgh is president and CEO of Girls Inc. She has led the organization since 2010. Points of view or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Upcoming Events

Missing Children Seminar for Chief Executive Officers: February 20–21, 2017


The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is offering this 2-day seminar in Forsyth, GA, to familiarize police chiefs, sheriffs, public safety directors, and clearinghouse managers with the issues related to missing child cases, including strategy development, community assessment, the media, effective policies and practices, technical assistance, training, and resources for survivors of child abduction. Registration information is available online.


Multidisciplinary Team Response to Child Sex Trafficking: February 27–March 2, 2017


This team-based training, offered in Chicago, IL, by the OJJDP-sponsored National Criminal Justice Training Center, will improve multidisciplinary team (MDT) responses to child sex trafficking cases and assist those wanting to establish a formal MDT in their community to effectively respond to child sex trafficking. Subject matter experts will work with teams to identify gaps and develop short- and long-term response plans. The training will help attendees differentiate between child abuse and child sexual abuse cases and help them recognize and locate youth at risk. Registration information is available online.


This training will also take place in Hartford, CT, April 18–21, in Charleston, SC, August 28–31, and in Honolulu, HI, September 11–14, 2017.


National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking: March 6–7, 2017

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is conducting this institute in partnership with OJJDP and Rights4Girls. To be held in Austin, TX, the interactive training will use hypothetical case scenarios, small-group discussion, survivor testimony, practical courtroom exercises, and lectures to provide juvenile and family court judges with tools they need to identify children who are being trafficked or are at risk for victimization as well as effective intervention strategies that respond to the individualized needs of each victim. Only judges and court officers may register for this training. Registration information is available online.

AMBER Alert logoInterrogation Techniques in Child Exploitation Cases: March 6–8, 2017

This training, to be held in Appleton, WI, is hosted by the OJJDP-sponsored AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program. Participants will learn about advanced interview and interrogation techniques to be used in child exploitation cases. This training is designed for court system personnel, law enforcement, prosecutors, and social workers. Registration information is available online.

Child Interviewing 2017: Update on Research and Practice: March 9, 2017

This webinar, to be hosted by the Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, will discuss the latest research relevant to child interviewing, how to increase productivity in child interviews, and how to minimize error and miscommunication in interviews. Registration information is available online.

Multidisciplinary Response to High-Risk Victims of Sex Trafficking: March 9–10, 2017

The OJJDP-sponsored AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program is sponsoring this training, to be held in Appleton, WI. This event, designed for community members, law enforcement, law enforcement support, and social workers, will teach participants effective victim interview techniques and a five-point strategy to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Registration information is available online.

Exploited Children Seminar for Chief Executive Officers: March 12–13, 2017

Convened by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, this 2-day seminar will take place in Alexandria, VA. Topics include exploitation of children: nature and scope of the problem, offender characteristics, child pornography and relationship to child exploitation, investigative responses and challenges, survivor perspective, overview of child sex trafficking, and officer safety and wellness. This course is specifically for police chiefs and sheriffs. Registration information is available online.

Child Abuse and Exploitation Investigations: March 20–24, 2017

This training, to be conducted in Albany, NY, is sponsored by the National Criminal Justice Training Center. Presenters will provide participants with up-to-date information on investigating and prosecuting various types of child abuse cases and the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach when investigating and prosecuting child abuse, sexual abuse, and exploitation cases. Topics include interviewing children and suspects, evidence collection, case management, technologies that facilitate child abuse and exploitation, and current legal issues. Registration information is available online.

This training will also be held in Reno, NV, May 8–12; in Indianapolis, IN, September 11–15; and in Virginia Beach, VA, October 23–27, 2017.

National Children's Advocacy Center logo33rd International Symposium on Child Abuse: March 27–30, 2017

The National Children’s Advocacy Center will host its 33rd International Symposium on Child Abuse in Huntsville, AL. This conference will offer more than 130 workshops. Sessions will address topics such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, polyvictimization, exploitation, intervention, trafficking, and prevention. More information about the symposium is available online.

Digital Evidence Investigations: March 28–30, 2017

The OJJDP-sponsored AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program will host this event in Franklin, WI. The training is designed for first responders, investigators, and investigative supervisors in child abduction, exploitation, and child sex trafficking cases. Registration information is available online.

Prosecutor Strategies for Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Cases: April 3–4, 2017

This event, hosted by OJJDP’s AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program, will be held in Alexandria, VA. The course will provide prosecutors, investigators, and victim specialists with the tools necessary to successfully prosecute cases involving child sex trafficking and exploitation. Topics include charging strategies, courtroom tactics, plea bargains, and motion hearings. Participants will learn how to effectively develop a case strategy and be introduced to various pretrial issues, including identifying and working with witnesses and expert witnesses, preserving testimony, and responding to unexpected issues during pretrial/trial. Registration information is available online.

17th Annual International Family Justice Conference: April 4–6, 2017

The Family Justice Center Alliance will host its annual conference in Milwaukee, WI. This event includes training and interactive peer-to-peer discussions on issues related to the handling of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse, and stalking cases with special focus on law enforcement response, criminal prosecution, civil legal assistance, and advocacy. The Alliance welcomes law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, shelter staff, community-based victim advocates, and all others interested in the future of family violence intervention and prevention. More information about this conference is available online.

LEAD Conference: Moving From Research to Policy and Practice To Improve the Lives of Youth: April 6–7, 2017

The conference, to be held in Washington, DC, will focus on how to best apply research in the development and implementation of sound policies and practices in child-serving fields, featuring the work of Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Reflecting the importance of cross-systems collaboration, the event will focus on key developments in child welfare, juvenile justice, education, behavioral health, and family engagement. Breakout sessions include evidence-based approaches for multisystem youth; reducing racial and ethnic disparities in youth-serving systems; and advances in behavioral health assessments, services, child welfare, school suspension/expulsion, and youth corrections reform. Registration information is available online.

Forensic Interviewing of Children Training April 10–14, 2017

The National Children's Advocacy Center will host this 5-day training in Huntsville, AL. The training includes audience discussion, a child interview practicum, a review of recorded forensic interviews, experiential skill-building exercises, and participation in a mock court simulation. To facilitate continued skill development, each participant will receive a training manual, recorded copy of his or her interview practicum, and access to additional online training materials. Registration information is available online.

Additional trainings are scheduled for June 19–23, July 24–28, September 25–29, October 23–27, and December 4–8, 2017.

Institute for New Juvenile and Family Court Judges: April 24–28, 2017

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) designed this institute, to be held in Reno, NV, to provide participants with a better understanding, practical tools, and best practices in cases coming before juvenile and family courts. Presenters will share insights on ethical issues, child and adolescent development, schools and courts, the Indian Child Welfare Act, trauma-informed justice, abuse and neglect, delinquency, interpersonal violence, custody, divorce, self-represented litigants, judicial safety and security, and dealing with the media. The training also prepares judicial scholars for participation in other NCJFCJ institutes on family law, delinquency, dependency, and domestic violence. Registration information is available online.

National Conference on Children and the Law: April 27–28, 2017

The American Bar Association will conduct its 17th National Conference on Children and the Law, entitled “SOAR—Strengthening Our Advocacy for Results.” To be held in Tysons Corner, VA, the conference will focus on how advocates for children and families can improve outcomes and effect improvements in the law, the court system, social services, and other systems serving the needs of children and youth. Registration information is available online.

Major Case Investigative Teams: May 9–11, 2017

The OJJDP-sponsored AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program will host this training in Topeka, KS. A major case investigative team allows for the concentration of investigative resources beyond the capabilities of any individual agency with the common goals of higher case resolution and increased public safety. Participants will learn about resource concentration, efficiency, secondary case clearance, and the importance of networking. Registration information is available online.

Missing Children Seminar for Chief Executive Officers: May 23–24, 2017

National Center  for Missing & Exploited Children logoThe National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is offering this seminar in Alexandria, VA, to familiarize police chiefs, sheriffs, public safety directors, and clearinghouse managers with the issues related to missing child cases, including strategy development, community assessment, the media, effective policies and practices, technical assistance, training, and resources for survivors of child abduction. Registration information is available online.

Serving Those Most at Risk—Embracing the Challenge of Serving Trans Youth: June 22, 2017

The Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center will host this webinar. It will explore trans and gender-diverse identities in youth; challenges, barriers, and risks trans youth face; and approaches to best practice in enhancing services to this population. Learning objectives are for participants to be able to describe three barriers transgender youth face, indicate two factors affecting the increased risk of victimization in transgender youth, and identify three steps agencies can take to improve services for this population. Registration information is available online.

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News in Brief

AMBER Alert: 21 Years of Progress in Recovering Abducted Children

AMBER Alert logoThe AMBER Alert system began in 1996, when Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. Today, the system is being used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Indian country, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 22 other countries. In addition to radio and TV, messages are delivered via Department of Transportation signs, cell phone notifications, digital billboards, Internet service providers, text alerts, and web and social media posts.

OJJDP engages numerous partners across the nonprofit, corporate, and technology sectors to bolster the AMBER Alert program. Partners include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, federal law enforcement agencies, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, social media outlets, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. In addition, collaboration with apps, such as Waze and Uber, and other communications entities like Google and Bing are strengthening the AMBER Alert system and enhancing our nation’s capacity to locate and recover abducted children. As of December 2016, a total of 857 children had been successfully recovered through the AMBER Alert system.

January 13 is National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.

Winning poster from the 2016 poster contest2016 winning poster by Michael Wu from Walnut Elementary School in Walnut, CA.

Deadline for Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest Is March 16

OJJDP invites fifth graders nationwide to participate in the 2017 National Missing Children's Day poster contest. The annual contest creates an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and/or exploited children with youth, parents, and guardians and to promote child safety. Submissions are due by March 16, 2017.

OJJDP will invite the national winner and his or her parents or guardians and teacher to Washington, DC, to participate in the National Missing Children's Day commemoration in May 2017. The ceremony honors the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children. National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated in the United States since 1984, when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan.

OJJDP Funding Opportunities

Following are submission deadlines for fiscal year 2017 funding opportunities:

Mentoring Research Partners Program: February 22, 2017. The program will advance the independent evaluation of OJJDP-funded mentoring programs to improve the implementation and impact of the mentoring services that the Office supports.

Smart on Juvenile Justice: Reducing Out-of-Home Placement Program: February 22, 2017. This program will strengthen and expand the use of community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement and minimize approaches based solely on control and deterrence in favor of individualized treatment and services.Open Funding image

Smart on Juvenile Justice: Technical Assistance To End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System: February 23, 2017. The program will provide resources and training and technical assistance on the most promising techniques to address disproportionate minority contact and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system.

Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation: February 28, 2017. This solicitation provides federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia an opportunity to develop a comprehensive and coordinated approach to public safety and victimization issues.

Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative: March 2, 2017. This initiative will provide funding to (1) develop and implement standards of policy and practice to manage well-resourced, statewide juvenile indigent defense systems; (2) develop state or regional resource centers to help juvenile defense systems enhance the quality of legal representation and collect and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of specific initiatives; and (3) support nonprofit organizations that provide direct civil legal services, mentoring, and reentry planning to youth.

Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative: March 13, 2017. The program will support the implementation and delivery of one-on-one, group, peer, or a combination of these types of mentoring services to at-risk and high-risk youth populations.

Safe and Thriving Communities: Planning and Collaboration: April 3, 2017. Funding will support selected jurisdictions to undertake strategic planning and capacity-building work to address youth-related gun crime and gang violence.

Title II Formula Grants Program: April 17, 2017. The program will support efforts to plan, establish, operate, coordinate, and evaluate policies and projects for the development of more effective education, training, research, prevention, diversion, treatment, and rehabilitation programs and reform efforts in delinquency prevention and juvenile justice system improvement.

Department of Education Releases Resources Supporting System-Involved Youth

On December 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of new guides and resources to help justice-involved youth successfully transition back to traditional school settings and avoid recidivism. The resources include a guide written for incarcerated youth, a newly updated transition toolkit and resource guide for practitioners in juvenile justice facilities, a document detailing education programs in juvenile justice facilities from the most recent Civil Rights Data Collection, and a website that provides tThumbnail of SAMHSA Guidelines Publicationechnical assistance to support youth with disabilities transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities. The resources supplement the Department’s joint guidance with the U.S. Department of Justice  to improve school climate and reduce the school-to-prison pipeline.

SAMHSA Issues Guidelines on Incorporating Youth Voices in Federal Events

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published guidelines for effective youth engagement in federal government-sponsored meetings and events. The guidelines include tools and resources for government representatives to fully implement and model youth engagement. These tools were either developed or adapted by SAMHSA staff with the assistance of youth advocates from across the country and are tailored specifically for use by government representatives who are interested in engaging youth. The guidelines also include important tips for government representatives to use for successful engagement of youth before, during, and after government-sponsored events.

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New Publications

All OJJDP publications may be viewed and downloaded on the publications section of the OJJDP website. Print publications may be ordered online at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum  Disorders—OJJDP Listening Session Report Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders—OJJDP Listening Session Report
NCJ 249202

Listening Session Report

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term for a range of disabilities of varying severity that affect youth who were exposed to alcohol during prenatal development. Youth with FASD often have poor social skills, lack impulse control, have difficulty managing conflict, and they are at increased risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system. There is a need to educate legal and judicial professionals about FASD so they can more effectively respond to youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

As part of its ongoing commitment to improving outcomes for all youth, OJJDP—in collaboration with the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and the Commission on Youth at Risk—hosted a 2-day listening session on FASD. This report summarizes the information on diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitative care that was shared during the listening session as well as perspectives on the adjudication of youth with FASD.

View or download the report.

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News From the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention seal

On January 10, 2017, the Coordinating Council’s newly formed Subcommittee on Preventing and Reducing Youth Violence and Promoting Well-Being convened its inaugural meeting in Washington, DC.

Among other discussions, the subcommittee discussed its charge to—

The subcommittee combines the Forum Coordination Team of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention and the Defending Childhood Working Group to streamline coordination efforts.

Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP’s Designated Federal Official for the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention moderated an open discussion on the subcommittee’s next steps, which include defining subcommittee membership and recommending and prioritizing action items.


Meetings of the Coordinating Council are open to the public. Visit the website to learn more about the council and read meeting minutes.

Read OJJDP’s Shared Framework To Reduce Youth Violence and Promote Well-Being.

The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is an independent body within the executive branch of the federal government operated under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The council's primary functions are to coordinate federal juvenile delinquency prevention programs, federal programs and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles, and federal programs relating to missing and exploited children. The council is made up of 23 members—13 ex officio and affiliate members and 10 practitioners. The ex officio members are: the Attorney General; the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development, and Labor; the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Affiliate members are the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior, and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of HHS. The ten juvenile justice practitioner members are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Majority Leader, and the President of the United States.

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News From the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice
Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice logo

On January 12, 2017, OJJDP convened a webinar-facilitated meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ).

Following updates from the chairpersons of FACJJ’s subcommittees on Legislation and Public Policy, Research and Publications, Transitioning Youth, and the Subcommittee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth, then-OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee offered his final remarks to the FACJJ members. “Over the past 4 years, we have initiated many programs and projects that have supported state-level reforms that reduce reliance on incarceration and embrace developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed approaches,” said Mr. Listenbee. “These reforms offer troubled youth new hope for positive outcomes.”

Mr. Listenbee spoke about the Justice Department’s Changing Minds public awareness campaign and its potential to catalyze a shift in public understanding regarding children’s exposure to trauma. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the prevalence of violence in children’s lives and about how violence and trauma can derail a child’s healthy growth and development. The campaign also aims to motivate adults who regularly interact with children and youth to take action and help.

As part of a larger effort to provide more responsive support to states as they work to reform their juvenile justice systems, OJJDP recently begun a focused effort to engage directly with state advisory groups (SAGs). In 2016, OJJDP staff visited with SAGs in California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia. Mr. Listenbee assured FACJJ members that the partnership between OJJDP, the states, and the SAGs will continue to be an agency priority. “The meetings are an important forum for OJJDP to gain a clear sense of what’s going on in different parts of the country, what the pressing needs are, and how to clarify our objectives to directly address those needs,” he said. OJJDP staff will continue to take part in SAG meetings in 2017 and beyond.

Nicole Dennis, Deputy Associate Administrator of OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice System Improvement Division, updated attendees on the Office’s recent activities to ensure access to counsel, enhance reentry services for transitioning youth, and ensure that a young person’s record will not become an obstacle to future success.

According to Ms. Dennis, to date, OJJDP has transferred more than $3 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Juvenile Reentry (Legal) Assistance Program (JRAP). With these funds, HUD is funding 21 JRAP partnerships, each consisting of a public housing authority and a local legal services provider. JRAP services are available to youth younger than age 24 who are current or former public housing residents, and who are reentering their communities following secure confinement or out-of-home placement. Services include expungement or sealing of juvenile records and obtaining certificates of rehabilitation. JRAP service providers also assist youth in—

Ms. Dennis informed attendees that under its Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice initiative, OJJDP is also strengthening juvenile defense by funding the development and implementation of policy and practice to manage well-resourced juvenile indigent defense systems, funding resource centers that will help these defense systems enhance the quality of legal representation, and supporting nonprofit organizations that provide direct civil legal services, mentoring, and reentry planning to youth.


FACJJ's meetings are open to the public; anyone may register to attend and observe. Additional information about the committee is available on its website.

The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice is a consultative body established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (Section 223), and is supported by OJJDP. Composed of members of state advisory groups on juvenile justice, the committee advises the President and Congress on matters related to juvenile justice, evaluates the progress and accomplishments of juvenile justice activities and projects, and advises the OJJDP Administrator on the work of OJJDP.

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