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OJJDP Research Featured at National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Conference

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 80th anniversary logo

Photo of U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein addressing the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ 80th annual conference. U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein offered remarks at event. “I’d like to begin by thanking each of you for the work that you do. Dealing with families and children in crisis is difficult. But our families, our communities, and our nation are better for it.” Photo courtesy of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Since 1937, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has provided judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice.

OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry reflected on the Office’s decades-long partnership with the council during NCJFCJ’s 80th annual conference, held July 16–19, 2017, in Washington, DC. “You are critical partners in helping us achieve positive outcomes for our nation’s youth,” Ms. Garry said. “We want to ensure that youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system . . . are held appropriately accountable for their behavior, yet are treated fairly and given an opportunity to live a responsible, productive life.”

The conference also featured remarks from Virginia State Senator David Marsden and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein as well as presentations on issues facing the family court and juvenile justice systems.

left quoteOur country’s bright future depends on the well-being of our children—and their families are key to ensuring their success. Thank you . . . for everything you do to protect and support these children and their families. The Department of Justice is proud to be your partner as we work toward that brighter future.right quote

—U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein

OJJDP continued its tradition of offering presentations at the conference. In a session titled “Improving Approaches to System-Involved Youth With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” OJJDP Senior Policy Advisor Scott Pestridge discussed NCJFCJ’s OJJDP-supported guidelines Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Implications for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, provided updates on efforts of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders’ Justice Issues Work Group, and presented information from OJJDP’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Listening Session Report.

OJJDP Deputy Associate Administrator Brecht Donoghue and Research Coordinator Jennifer Tyson presented two sessions alongside staff from NCJFCJ’s research arm, the National Center for Juvenile Justice. One session provided data and information to help attendees stay current on trends in juvenile justice, including state juvenile arrest rates, diversion policies, and the use of risk and needs assessments. The second session, “A Blueprint to Better Data: Panel of Model Data Project Pilot Sites,” discussed OJJDP’s efforts to improve data and measurement practices. 

In “Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility: Lessons Learned From the Field,” OJJDP Program Manager Julia Alanen and copanelists highlighted relevant OJJDP-funded training and technical assistance resources and lessons learned from states that recently raised their age of criminal responsibility to 18.

OJJDP Program Manager Karen Bachar moderated the session, “Countering the Trauma of Street Injustice and Family Violence: The Courts’ Role in Supporting Male Survivors of Violence.” She was joined by Casey Corcoran, Children and Youth Program Director at Futures Without Violence, and Judge Thomas E. Foster of the Kansas 10th Judicial District. Ms. Bachar also discussed how male survivors of violence experience trauma and highlighted OJJDP’s efforts, with the Office for Victims of Crime, to help professionals identify and help heal these young men.

“So many of the young people you encounter in your courtrooms have been traumatized by violence and abuse. They need loving, caring people in their lives, an opportunity to heal, and a chance for a new start,” said Ms. Garry. “This conference is a unique opportunity to share what you have learned works. We at OJJDP look forward to being part of those conversations.”


Learn more about OJJDP’s Research and Statistics projects.

Visit OJJDP’s TTA360 for information on the agency’s full range of juvenile justice-related training and technical assistance.

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Tribal Youth Gather in Colorado for OJJDP-Sponsored Leadership Summit

On July 6, 2017, OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry addressed approximately 300 youth gathered for the Today’s Native Leaders (TNL) National Summit in Denver, CO. OJJDP sponsored this United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) preconference event through its Today’s Native Leadership initiative. The initiative provides peer-led training to help tribal youth nationwide create action plans to address issues affecting their communities.

The summit brought together training recipients and showcased community service projects that the youth could celebrate, learn from, and possibly replicate in their own communities. Groups that shared projects are:

left quote As the next generation of leaders, this summit is designed to give you a greater voice in shaping your world. You know the challenges your community faces.right quote

—OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry

UNITY has partnered with OJJDP on the Today’s Native Leaders project since 2013. To date, TNL has conducted 11 training sessions nationwide for 760 American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and 9 webinars that averaged 80 participants each. Community service projects implemented as a result of the trainings have emphasized improving family and community relationships, sharing and strengthening culture, beautifying communities, and educating youth and families.

The summit occurred 1 day before UNITY’s 2017 National UNITY Conference, which drew more than 2,000 tribal youth from across the country to Denver. This year’s theme was “Finding Wellness and Healing Within Our Cultures.” Workshops covered a range of topics, including human trafficking awareness, addressing substance abuse, and cultural and historic preservation. The conference also featured traditional elements, such as the lighting of the UNITY fire, blessings, and a presentation from an Indigenous youth delegation from Taiwan.

“Working toward meaningful change is hard, for young people and adults alike,” Ms. Garry said. “[B]ut please understand that you have people at UNITY and OJJDP who care about you and your communities. The work you have done to date is both encouraging and impressive.”

UNITY is a national organization with 160 affiliated youth councils operating in 36 states and Canada that represent thousands of Native youth. UNITY’s mission is to foster comprehensive development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and involve them in building and unifying a self-reliant Native America.


More information on OJJDP’s tribal youth programs and services is available online.

OJJDP’s Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center offers additional resources, including no-cost virtual training.

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OJJDP Convenes AMBER Alert Symposium

AMBER Alert logoIn 2016, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center, 465,676 children were reported missing to law enforcement. There were also 179 AMBER Alerts issued nationwide involving 231 children, according to the forthcoming 2016 AMBER Alert Report.

On June 27–28, 2017, OJJDP held its National Symposium for AMBER Alert Coordinators and Clearinghouse Managers in Bloomington, MN. The symposium provides a platform for those involved with the AMBER Alert program in the United States and across our borders to participate in practical training and develop collaborative relationships.

Launched on January 13, 1996, the AMBER Alert system issues media alerts on radio, television, highway signs, wireless devices, such as cell phones, and over the Internet when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. The broadcasts provide physical descriptions of the child and abductor as well as a description of the abductor’s vehicle.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs manages the AMBER Alert program with the support of OJJDP. Since the program’s inception, 881 children have been safely recovered because of AMBER Alerts.

In her keynote address, OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry pledged continued agency support for the program and emphasized the need for communication and collaboration between participating states, territories, and border countries.

Ms. Garry was joined at the symposium by Patty Wetterling, who—along with her husband Jerry—became a tireless advocate for missing and exploited children following the 1989 abduction and murder of their 11-year-old son Jacob. “It’s important for me, and everybody, to know that you don’t quit because some of these kids aren’t recovered alive,” Ms. Wetterling said. “You don’t quit looking for the rest of them.”

Several federal agencies participated in the symposium, including representatives from INTERPOL, the U.S. Department of State, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Attendees learned about resources available through the OJJDP-supported National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, missing and abducted children programs in tribal communities, abductions involving multiple states and international borders, and FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

Ms. Garry applauded attendees for their roles in developing the AMBER Alert networks, collecting and disseminating information for alerts, monitoring the cases, and conducting followups.

left quotePeople who would abduct and exploit our children are more mobile and tech-savvy than ever before. They are finding new ways to lure and entice our children, so we must be diligent and stay one step ahead of them.right quote

—OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry

OJJDP continues to strengthen the AMBER Alert program through the National AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance program. The program uses training and technology to help recover missing, endangered, or abducted children through the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, media, transportation, the public, and other partners.

Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 22 international jurisdictions have AMBER Alert plans. More than 100 tribal communities have partnered with their state or regional AMBER Alert plans, and more than 1,500 tribal officials and community members have attended trainings or participated in technical assistance programs.


More information on the AMBER Alert program is available online.

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Institute for Police-Youth Engagement Helps To Build Bridges

Stock photo of female police officer and three youthLaw enforcement plays a significant role in the outcomes of youth with whom they interact. They have an opportunity to foster positive youth development, create lasting community relationships, or aid a child’s recovery in the wake of a violent or traumatic event. Additionally, a decision to make an arrest, divert, cite, give a warning, or intervene with a youth can significantly impact the lives of youth and their communities.

On July 18–20, 2017, OJJDP sponsored the second Institute for Police-Youth Engagement in Charlotte, NC, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Twenty-nine law enforcement leaders and 25 youth were selected to participate in the 3-day training, which provided law enforcement personnel with best practices and innovative approaches for interacting with youth.

One of the most powerful components of the institute was the police-youth roundtable dialogue. Designed to engage youth, the discussion was sincere and frank, revealing frustrations and challenges both sides face. Youth participants reported that the opportunity to listen to and be heard by the officers was invaluable.

The roundtable model is one tool law enforcement agencies can use to foster productive interactions with the communities they police and with youth in particular. The exercise inspired passionate pleas from youth who were eager to learn how to approach and engage with law enforcement in their communities. OJJDP was able to facilitate connections for those seeking specific points of contact.

“Adults must seek out youth in their communities to train, engage, and empower them to become change agents,” OJJDP Deputy Administrator Chyrl Jones told the attendees. “Use your positions as chiefs of police to lead the charge by improving how law enforcement personnel engage youth,” Ms. Jones said.

The institute covered a variety of topics, including adolescent brain development and children's exposure to violence. Although many difficult issues were discussed, attendees were able to inject some fun in the days’ activities during the Police-Youth Bowling Tournament.

Participants left motivated and committed to engaging one another in conversations that will help to resolve tensions and improve interactions within their respective communities.


Access the OJJDPIACP brief, The Effects of Adolescent Development on Policing online.

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Multi-System Trauma-Informed Collaborative Aims To Improve Outcomes for Children Exposed to Violence

Image of frightened young boyThe first step toward mitigating the damage of trauma is identifying and treating youth who are exposed to violence. OJJDP collaborated with American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Chapin Hall for the first annual Multi-System Trauma-Informed Collaborative (MSTIC) convening, which took place on July 26–27, 2017, in Washington, DC.

MSTIC's goal is to develop, coordinate, and enhance policies and practices among state systems that serve youth to improve outcomes for children exposed to violence and trauma. After a rigorous selection process, three teams from Connecticut, Washington, and Illinois were chosen to participate in the initiative.

OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry offered remarks to approximately 50 attendees, who included representatives from state teams and federal agencies, as well as experts from Chapin Hall and AIR. “Our ultimate goal is to support the development of a trauma-informed network in every state for every system that touches the lives of children,” she said.


The collaborative has developed the following objectives to attain that goal:

Participants learned about state and federal resources, such as the Crime Victims Fund, that they can leverage to support their efforts. They also learned about the importance of data collection and evaluation in revealing disparities in available services. One of the meeting highlights was a presentation on culturally responsive community engagement by Public Policy Associates, Inc. “Nothing about us, without us,” became a familiar refrain throughout the convening to illustrate the need to involve youth and families in the planning process.

Taking full advantage of an opportunity for networking, the three state teams eagerly learned from one another and shared lessons learned. Chapin Hall and AIR will follow up with each team to provide rigorous technical assistance to help them implement their plans.

Catherine Pierce, Senior Advisor to the OJJDP Administrator, assessed the meeting as a success. “Overall, the state teams left very committed to doing things differently,” she said.


To learn more about children’s exposure to violence, visit the Changing Minds website and access OJJDP’s National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence bulletin series.

Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement provides practical information and resources to help law enforcement agencies build or enhance their operational responses to children exposed to trauma. Access the OJJDP-supported toolkit online.

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OJJDP Presentation Provides Overview of New Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines

Substance use by youth is a widespread problem in the United States. Often coinciding with mental health disorders, substance use may impede proper adolescent development. Juvenile drug treatment courts are designed for youth with substance use disorders who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. These courts offer an important way to respond to the needs of youth with specialized interventions.

Thumbnail image of OJJDP's Juvenile Drug Treatment Court GuidelinesOn July 9–12, 2017, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals held its annual training conference in Washington, DC. More than 5,000 drug treatment court professionals attended the conference for continuing education opportunities, workshops, and general sessions.

One of the highlights of the conference was an OJJDP presentation on the new Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines. These evidence-based and treatment-oriented guidelines are intended to improve the quality and effectiveness of juvenile drug treatment courts.

Each guideline works toward achieving reduced substance use, healthy adolescent development, and reduced youth delinquency. The publication includes summaries of the research that underlies each guideline statement and offers examples and information about practice and implementation.

Until now, juvenile drug treatment courts have had no research-based guidelines to follow. OJJDP partnered with a research team, experts in the field, and other federal agencies to develop these guidelines, which will benefit judges and professional court staff, young people with substance abuse disorders, and their families.


Access the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines.

To learn about an innovative approach for managing juveniles with drug-related and other behavioral problems, read National Cross-Site Evaluation: Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures: Final Report: 7/1/2011-6/30/2015.

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Research Central: Examining the Impact of Restorative Justice Principles in Juvenile Justice

Crime can have a sustained negative effect on both victims and offenders. Victims may struggle to forgive the perpetrator and feel that justice was not served, while offenders may struggle with recurring delinquent behavior. In 2015, OJJDP provided funding to George Mason University (GMU) to examine the impact of restorative justice programs and practices—which generally include victim-offender mediation, restitution, and community service—in reducing recidivism and improving other outcomes for both youth offenders and victims.

Through the systematic meta-analysis of studies that evaluated the effectiveness of restorative justice programs and practices compared with more traditional juvenile court processing, the researchers identified 84 quantitative evaluations nested within 60 unique studies and analyzed their delinquency, nondelinquency, and victim outcomes.

Findings from those studies demonstrated that restorative justice programs and practices moderately reduced future delinquent behavior, and increased victim satisfaction and perceptions of fairness. Notably, victims reported an increased willingness to forgive the offender and an improved perception that the outcome was just.

The researchers also found that certain types of restorative justice programs, including victim-offender conferencing, family group conferencing, arbitration and/or mediation programs, and circle sentencing programs helped to reduce delinquency behaviors. Results also showed police cautioning and other diversion programs had the largest positive effect on delinquency outcomes, suggesting that these programs might be effective for low-risk and first-time youth offenders.

GMU’s research provides a broad, systematic overview and analysis of restorative justice programs and practices. The results seem to support many of the essential principles of restorative justice and its ability to reduce recidivism. However, the lack of more high-quality studies and smaller effects identified in the most credible studies suggests that more rigorous research evaluations are needed to further understand the impact restorative justice can have on the juvenile justice system.


The final technical report on this study—Effectiveness of Restorative Justice Principles in Juvenile Justice: A Meta-Analysis—provides more information on the researchers’ methodology and findings. Access the report online or download the accompanying Research in Brief summary designed to help practitioners understand and apply the study findings.



The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act that established OJJDP authorizes the Administrator to conduct research and evaluations and undertake statistical analyses on issues related to juvenile offending and victimization. Because OJJDP is the only Office of Justice Programs agency with dual mandates for research and programs, we are uniquely positioned to integrate research in our programmatic functions, and are committed to translating research into practice. Look to this recurring column authored by members of OJJDP’s Research Unit to distill topically relevant and timely OJJDP-supported research.

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Stakeholder Corner: Healing of the Canoe Program Supports Tribal Youth Wellness
By Anne Niblett

Photo of Eva flying high in her ancestral homelands during the 2017 Healing of the Canoe program. Picture courtesy of Sonja McCarty.
Eva flying high in her ancestral homelands during the 2017 Healing of the Canoe program. Picture courtesy of Sonja McCarty.


This past spring, youth from the Coquille Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CLUSI) gathered for three weekends to participate in the Healing of the Canoe (HOC) program. OJJDP supports the program, which uses the annual Canoe Journey as a metaphor for navigating life’s journey with its inherent challenges.

During the weekend workshops, youth celebrated their cultural heritage by canoeing, hiking on ancestral lands, making drums, beading, singing traditional songs, throwing the atlatl (an ancient hunting tool that preceded the bow and arrow), gathering cedar to make smudge sticks, and hunting for lamprey eel (a traditional food). Elders from both tribes spoke to the youth about art, history, and traditional healing.

The workshops also included life skills sessions on effective listening, the importance of stewardship, coping with difficult emotions, overcoming obstacles, the dangers of substance use, preventing suicide, and the power of thoughts and words on one’s life.

HOC’s Culturally Grounded Life Skills for Youth curriculum is evidence and strengths based. Specifically designed for tribal youth, it uses community-specific traditions and beliefs to strengthen youths' connection to their communities and cultures and to build their hope and optimism. The program was developed by the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes of Washington.

HOC participants followed up the spring workshops by joining CLUSI youth at their summer Culture Camp from July 10–14, 2017. There, the youth embarked on a local Canoe Journey on Oregon’s Siuslaw, Lower Umpqua, Coos, and Coquille rivers.

During the lamprey hunt on the Coquille River, one youth had an experience that illustrates the powerful impact HOC can have. Eva, a Coquille youth, was fording the river when she lost her footing and began to float downstream. Although the water was shallow enough for her to stand in, she panicked, crying out that she couldn’t make it. A CLUSI staff member reached out for her, assured her that she was not alone, and insisted that she could, and would, make it to the other side. With firm coaxing and a steady arm to guide her, Eva took the first step, and soon followed with several more. To her surprise, she made it across. When the next river crossing came, Eva didn’t hesitate; she marched across confidently on her own.

When the day was over and the youth were gathered in the familiar warmth of the plank house, someone asked Eva what she had learned from her trip. “I learned I can overcome my fears,” she responded with conviction.


CLUSI has received competitive grant awards from OJJDP since 2001. Funding has included grants made under the Juvenile Tribal Healing to Wellness Court program and the Tribal Youth Program. Find out more about the Office’s tribal youth programs and services on the OJJDP website.

Find more information online about the Department of Justice’s efforts to address the criminal justice and public safety needs of tribal communities through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation.




Anne Niblett works with the Healing of the Canoe program for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. 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

Multidisciplinary Team Response to Child Sex Trafficking: August 28–31, 2017

This team-based training, offered in Charleston, SC, by the OJJDP-supported National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College, 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 Honolulu, HI, on September 11–14, 2017.

Child Abuse and Exploitation Investigations: September 11–15, 2017

This training, to be conducted in Indianapolis, IN, 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 Virginia Beach, VA, October 23–27, 2017.


The Neurochemistry of Trauma and Evidence-Based Models of RecMidwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center logoovery: September 14, 2017

Hosted by the Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, this webinar will provide insight related to the maladaptive effects of trauma on the central nervous system, explore evidence-based therapeutic modalities to facilitate the recovery of the at-risk child, and discuss data-driven interventions used to restore healthy functioning and regulation of the at-risk child’s neurochemistry. Registration information is available online.

National Missing and Unidentified Persons Conference: September 19–21, 2017

This conference, hosted by the National Criminal Justice Training Center, will focus on the circumstances behind many missing persons reports, whether due to mass incidents or criminal events. Participants will learn effective strategies for responding to mass incidents, search and rescue, death and forensic investigations, recovery of unidentified remains, and missing persons’ cases. The conference will take place in Atlanta, GA. Registration information is available online.

Healing Justice Alliance Annual Conference: September 24–27, 2017

Hosted by the OJJDP-supported Healing Justice Alliance, this conference draws a diverse population of leaders striving to reduce violence in their communities by treating violence as a health issue, promoting healing, and moving toward community equity nationwide. The conference will be held in Milwaukee, WI. Registration information is available online.


Forensic Interviewing of Children Training: September 25–29, 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, a 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 October 23–27 and December 4–8, 2017.

Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice Fall Meeting: October 5–6, 2017

Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile JusticeThe Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) will convene its annual fall meeting at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. The meeting will feature remarks from OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry and updates from FACJJ’s Subcommittees on Legislation, Confidentiality of Records, Research and Publications, and Transitioning Youth. The committee's meetings are open to the public. Register to attend the meeting in person or online by September 28, 2017.

23rd National Symposium on Juvenile Services October 8–12, 2017

Hosted by the National Partnership for Juvenile Services, the symposium will bring together leadership and direct care professionals from juvenile services and other human services professionals for training and the opportunity to network and share innovative program service approaches. Topics include Current and Emerging Issues for the Juvenile Justice Practitioner, Training and Performance Improvement for Staff, Implementing and Evaluating Effective Educational Strategies for Youth, Strategies for Understanding and Effectively Addressing Disproportionate Minority Contact, Providing Services for Youth in Adult Facilities, and Community-Based Services. Registration information is available online.

In Solidarity We Rise: Healing, Opportunity and Justice for Girls: October 11–13, 2017

The National Crittenton Foundation will host this conference in Washington, DC. The event will focus on understanding the root causes of trauma and discovering new pathways to well-being; exploring diverse and innovative ways to support health, economic security, and civic engagement for girls; and catalyzing and strengthening justice system improvements for girls. Registration information is available online.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—Assessing CAC Partnerships: October 12, 2017

The Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center will host this webinar. Presenters will consider the essential element of collaboration in the Child Advocacy Center movement and discuss how leaders develop, assess, and monitor multidisciplinary partnerships. Learning objectives include recognizing the differences between mandated, essential, and voluntary partnerships; using a partnership analysis tool; and considering the impact of conflict on partner relationships. Registration information is available online.

International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Exposition: October 21–24, 2017

International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference logoFeaturing forums, technical workshops, and an exhibit hall, this annual event provides law enforcement professionals with opportunities to learn more about emerging trends in law enforcement and the latest developments in technology. The event, to be held in Philadelphia, PA, is hosted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Registration information is available online.

National Youth-At-Risk Conference West: October 26–28, 2017

Hosted by the National Youth-At-Risk Center of Georgia Southern University, this conference will take place in San Antonio, TX. Participants will learn about current research-based educational programs and strategies, proactive solutions and best practices for meeting the serious challenges that many youth face today, and effective educational tools to build strong, caring schools, communities, and families. Registration information is available online.

Global Youth Justice Training Institute: October 26–28, 2017

Teen Peer Youth Court logoGlobal Youth Justice will host its 17th Global Youth Justice Training Institute in Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA. Participants will learn strategies to establish or enhance local youth justice diversion programs through teen, student, youth, and peer courts and peer juries. Topics will include training youth and adult volunteers; providing quality community services, programs, and referrals; identifying funding opportunities and other resources; and more. Registration information is available online.

American Society of Criminology: November 15–18, 2017

The theme for the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC’s) 2017 meeting, to be held in Philadelphia, PA, is “Crime, Legitimacy, and Reform: 50 Years After the President’s Commission.” ASC is the largest professional criminological society in the world and includes practitioners, academicians, and students in the fields of criminal justice and criminology. Session topics include juvenile crime and the justice system, correlates of crime, victimology, policing, and perceptions and responses to crime and justice. Registration information is available online.

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News in Brief

Operation Broken Heart Results in the Arrest of More Than 1,000 Suspected Child Sexual Predators

 Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force logoLaunched in 2014, Operation Broken Heart is an investigative operation carried out by the OJJDP-funded Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces during April and May to identify and arrest suspected child sexual predators. Operation Broken Heart cracks down on individuals who—

This year’s effort, Operation Broken Heart IV, resulted in the arrest of 1,012 suspected child predators from more than 40 states. The task forces also delivered 1,245 presentations on Internet safety to more than 99,000 youth and adults during these 2 months.

OJJDP launched the ICAC Task Force program in 1998 to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to exploit children. To date, ICAC task forces have reviewed 705,963 complaints of child exploitation, which resulted in the arrest of 75,688 individuals. In addition, since the program’s inception, 585,604 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases.

Read a press release about Operation Broken Heart IV.

OJJDP Acting Administrator Garry Encourages Students To Take a Stand Against Violence

The National Campaign to Stop Violence held its Do the “Write” Thing Challenge ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court on July 24, 2017. The challenge raises awareness about violence among middle school students and encourages these youth to commit to ending the violence. As part of the challenge, students write essays on their experiences with violence. Every year, national ambassadors—school finalists who submit the most powerful entries—are honored in a recognition ceremony in Washington, DC. This year, there were more than 76,000 entrants in the challenge. OJJDP Administrators have been involved with the competition for the last few years. Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry previously served as a judge for the competition in Montana.

“I urge you all to continue speaking out against violence in your homes, schools, and communities. Your voices are important because they inspire all of us to do more to end violence,” said Ms. Garry in her remarks to the students. “Thank you for your extraordinary courage. Thank you for sharing your experiences with violence and for taking a stand.”

OJJDP Senior Advisor Addresses National Juvenile Justice Network Forum

On July 19, 2017, OJJDP Senior Policy Advisor Catherine Pierce addressed attendees at the National Juvenile Justice Network Annual Forum. Approximately 80 youth policy advocates representing 43 states and the District of Columbia attended the event. Ms. Pierce recognized the critical advocacy work that the attendees do to improve the juvenile justice system. Providing a brief overview of OJJDP initiatives, Ms. Pierce spoke about the importance of communities and practitioners becoming trauma informed and adopting a developmental approach to working with children and youth. Ms. Pierce also provided information about available federal resources and technical assistance that network members can use to further advocate for youth and juvenile justice issues.

Tribal Grantees Discuss Trauma-Informed Practices

An OJJDP-funded report, Ending Violence So Children Can Thrive, revealed that American Indian and Alaska Native children are exposed to violence at higher rates than children of any other race in the United States. On July 19–20, 2017, OJJDP held its Tribal Policy Initiative Cohort meeting in Minneapolis, MN. The goal of the initiative is to support trauma-informed juvenile justice systems for tribes.

This was the first time that representatives from all of the funded tribes—Winnebago, Northern Arapaho, White Earth Band of Chippewa, and Southern Ute—had met with each other and the training and technical assistance (TTA) team. Participants learned about new resources from the TTA team (led by the University of Montana’s National Native Children's Trauma Center), discussed common goals, and shared details of their individual practices to implement culturally specific, trauma-informed juvenile justice practices in their communities.

“Only you and the other members of your tribes have the knowledge and the love needed to heal your children,” said Acting Administrator Garry in her welcoming remarks, “Ultimately, we hope that your work on this initiative will assist other tribes across the nation who wish to follow a similar path.”

The AMBER AdvocateSpring 2017 Issue of The AMBER Advocate Available Now

OJJDP has released the spring 2017 issue of The AMBER Advocate online. This issue highlights a recent study that showed more than half of underage sex trafficking victims in Las Vegas were never reported missing resulting in no AMBER Alerts being issued. The newsletter also includes an article on the role AMBER Alert played in the recovery of an infant in Maryland, updates of AMBER Alert efforts in Indian country and in international jurisdictions, and profiles of two AMBER Alert Coordinators The newsletter also contains AMBER Alert briefs from states across the country. The newsletter also contains AMBER Alert briefs from states across the country.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the OJJDP-supported National Center for Missing & Exploited Children coordinate the AMBER Alert program. To date, AMBER Alerts have led to the safe recovery of more than 881 abducted children.

Access the spring 2017 issue of The AMBER Advocate.

OJJDP Honored by the National Association of Government Communicators

OJJDP’s Communications Unit has received three Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards from the National Association of Government Communicators. OJJDP received an Award of Excellence in the Web Article category for OJJDP Cosponsors National Mentoring Summit. The Office also won second place in the Technical or Statistical Report category for Child Victims of Stereotypical Kidnappings Known to Law Enforcement in 2011 and in the Conference Materials category for its 2016 National Missing Children's Day products.

The National Association of Government Communicators advocates, promotes, and recognizes excellence in government communication. Their annual Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards program recognizes superior communication products.

Urban Institute Evaluates OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative

cover pageThe Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center has released a series of research reports based on its evaluation of OJJDP's Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (JJRRI) implemented at demonstration sites in Delaware, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

JJRRI helped the sites develop and implement a comprehensive approach to juvenile justice decisionmaking and practices to reduce recidivism, increase cost effectiveness, and improve existing services.

The reports examine the implementation of JJRRI, including the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) as a tool to improve programs and help reduce recidivism. Access and download the reports online:

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