March | April 2017

Message From the Acting Administrator: Strengthening Relationships With the States

Hi, I’m Eileen Garry, Acting Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. I mentioned in my previous message that I have dedicated much of my career with the Office of Justice Programs to improving America’s criminal and juvenile justice systems. My heart is in this work.

I am particularly honored to lead this agency’s continued work with states and communities nationwide that are pursuing and embracing reform of their juvenile justice systems. States are ending punishment-focused juvenile justice models; adopting policies and practices that promote healing and positive outcomes for system-involved youth, while still holding them appropriately accountable; and complying with the core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

While many states are making progress, others still face challenges. At OJJDP, we are duty-bound as public servants to help, and strengthening our support to the states is one of my top priorities.

As you know, we provide national leadership on juvenile justice issues, support vital programs through technical assistance, and set standards for protecting our youth. My goal is to improve our relationship with the states by effectively engaging with them and listening to their feedback.

To that end—

  • We’re actively participating in State Advisory Group meetings to get a clearer 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.
  • We’re working to improve our customer service by responding to inquiries in a constructive and timely manner.
  • We’ve clarified language in our regulations to help states comply with the core requirements of the Act. And, based on responses to the proposed rule published last August, we are in the process of releasing our final partial rule.
  • We’ve also taken suggestions to update our resources for the states—like the compliance website and FAQs—and we are working on updating monitoring guidance to reflect changes in the partial rule and to align more closely with the requirements of the Act.

OJJDP is committed to excellent customer service. Help us to serve you better. Tell us what we are doing right and what we can improve. Together, we can strengthen our relationship so that we can focus on the greater issue—becoming a nation where our children are healthy, educated, and free from violence.

For more information on OJJDP’s efforts to promote positive life outcomes for our nation’s youth, please visit our website at Thank you.