Printer-Friendly Version (May/June 2005)

DOJ Commemorates Missing Children’s Day 2005

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) held its 22nd annual commemoration of National Missing Children's Day on May 20, 2005, at the Department's Hall of Justice in Washington, DC. Among the dignitaries who spoke at the event were Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, Tracy A. Henke, and OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores. Gay Smither from Friendswood, TX, whose 12-year-old daughter Laura was kidnapped and murdered in 1997, also addressed the commemoration audience.

This year's ceremony recognized the outstanding efforts that law enforcement personnel and private citizens have made on behalf of missing and exploited children. The 2005 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award was shared by Sheriff Ben Espey of the Nodaway County (MO) Sheriff's Department; Corporal Jeffery M. Owen and Sergeant David Merrill of the Missouri State Highway Patrol; Investigator Randy Strong of the Maryville (MO) Department of Public Safety; and Special Agent Kurt Lipanovich of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in St. Joseph, MO. These officers were responsible for the swift recovery of Victoria Stinnett, an infant who survived being torn from the womb by her mother's murderer.

Other law enforcement award winners included:

  • Lieutenant Michael J. Boyle, Detective Manuel Gonzalez, Detective David Thomas, and Detective Kimberly Stone, Philadelphia (PA) Police Department.

  • In Memory of Etan Patz

    On May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz grabbed his school books and gave his mother a goodbye kiss before leaving to catch the bus to school. Etan's mother was never to see him again. In the months and years that followed, Etan became the symbol for lost children all over America. Then, in 1982, President Reagan proclaimed May 25, the anniversary of Etan's disappearance, as National Missing Children's Day. Each year since, the U.S. Department of Justice has held a ceremony to commemorate missing children and to honor men and women across the nation who have worked tirelessly to recover missing children and reunite them with their families. Sadly, Etan was never found, but National Missing Children's Day continues to be a fitting tribute to his memory.

    Deputy Micah W. Smith and Corporal Michael Harmon, Linn County (OR) Sheriff's Office.

  • Lieutenant Kenny Wynns, Midwest City (OK) Police Department.

  • Supervisory Special Agent Susan M. Cantor, Supervisory Special Agent Peter C. Fitzhugh, and Senior Intelligence Specialist Peter Buchan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Newark, NJ.

  • Special Agent Maria A. Reverendo, Internal Revenue Service, Springfield, NJ.

  • Detective Kurt M. Jones and Detective Michael A. Boymer, Jacksonville (FL) Sheriff's Office.

  • Deputy Chief Carlos F. Ortiz and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark McCarren and Kevin O'Dowd, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey.

  • Harris Elizabeth Fyfe, Grahamwood Elementary School, Memphis, TN, won the Missing Children's Day poster contest for 2004. Her winning design, shown above, was featured in the 2005 event.

    Postal Inspectors John Johnson, Newark, NJ, and Lisa C. Holman, Charlotte, NC, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

  • Investigator Joanna S. Morton, Hickory (NC) Police Department.

  • Special Agents Lori D. Shank and Ginger Hutchinson, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The AMBER Alert Citizen Award went to Charles Cogburn of Russellville, AR. Mr. Cogburn, a truck driver, was instrumental in the rescue of 17-year-old Shauna Leigh Owens of Plano, TX, who had been kidnapped by an acquaintance and was being driven through Arkansas. Mr. Cogburn recognized Shauna from a televised AMBER Alert and made the 911 call that led to her eventual rescue. Shauna and her mother also attended the ceremony.

Also participating in the ceremony were Robbie Callaway, Executive Vice President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Founding Board Member, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC); and Ernie Allen, NCMEC President. Families of missing children were among the guests at the ceremony. Other guests included representatives of child advocacy organizations, federal agencies, and corporations.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of the 2005 National Missing Children's Day Art Contest Award to Dana Sever, a fifth grader from Los Alamitos Elementary School in San Jose, CA, followed by vocal performances by the Bells of Love, Syracuse, NY; the World Children's Choir, Washington, DC; and Ron and Maryann Sfarzo, Belmont, CA.

Read more about award winners

View photos from the ceremony.

OJJDP Participates in Faith-Based Initiatives

In an address to the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2005, President Bush reiterated his support for faith-based and community organizations:

I am here to talk about my continued commitment to faith-based and community groups because I'm firmly committed to making sure every American can realize the promise of our country. It is said that faith can move mountains. Here in Washington, DC, those helping the poor and needy often run up against a big mountain called bureaucracy. And I'm here to talk about how to move that mountain so that we can reach out and partner with programs which reach out to people who hurt.

In keeping with the President's commitment to reaching out to faith-based and community organizations, OJJDP has developed and is participating in a number of faith-based initiatives.

  • National Faith-Based Mentoring Forum. On May 5–7, 2005, in Washington, DC, the National Network of Youth Ministries, in cooperation with OJJDP, held the National Faith-Based Mentoring Forum. The forum focused on training, included interactive roundtable discussions, and provided opportunities for networking. On the first day of the forum, OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores hosted a training session on "Pursuing Faith-Based Funding." Mr. Flores identified available faith-based grants, described how to access and apply for grant opportunities, and noted the reporting and other requirements of grant recipients. For additional information on the National Network of Youth Ministries, visit www.youthworkers.net.

  • Partnering With Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Gang Reduction. On May 10, 2005, OJJDP convened a meeting to examine faith-based approaches to preventing and reducing youth involvement in gangs. Participants, including faith leaders from around the country, discussed specific programs and strategies of the faith-based community that have proven effective in countering gang activity. They identified the challenges to faith-based organizations in carrying out gang prevention programs, noted existing programs that can be directed toward gang prevention or intervention, and examined how faith-based organizations can work most effectively with OJJDP to counter gang activity.

    Photo of representatives from faith-based organizations and the Department of Justice (DOJ) held a planning meeting for The Launch in DOJ’s Hall of Justice on April 13, 2005.

    Representatives from faith-based organizations and the Department of Justice (DOJ) held a planning meeting for The Launch in DOJ's Hall of Justice on April 13, 2005.


    Photo of the participants in the April 13 planning meeting for The Launch were OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores; Monty Hipp, Vice President of National Initiatives, We Care America; Stacy Rich, Intern, Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Communications; and Omar Vargas and Patrick Purtill of DOJ’s Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

    Among the participants in the April 13 planning meeting for The Launch were OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores; Monty Hipp, Vice President of National Initiatives, We Care America; Stacy Rich, Intern, Office of Justice Programs' Office of Communications; and Omar Vargas and Patrick Purtill of DOJ's Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

    Marvin D. Krohn, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University at Albany, and Co-Principal Investigator of the Rochester Youth Development Study, delivered a presentation on the origins and consequences of gang membership. Nicky Cruz, of Nicky Cruz Outreach Ministries, Inc., gave the keynote address, which described his own background in gangs as a youth and the T.R.U.C.E. ("To Reach Urban Children Everywhere") outreach program that he created. Administrator Flores delivered opening and closing remarks and responded to questions from the participants.

  • The Launch. From June 25 to July 2, 2005, in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA, the National Council for Faith-Based Youth will inaugurate its pilot initiative, "The Launch 2005." Support for the Launch comes from the U.S. Department of Justice and more than 20 organizations. OJJDP Administrator Flores will serve as the plenary speaker on June 27, 2005, in Washington, DC.

    The Launch will mobilize youth who want to become agents of positive change through compassion in action. Through a highly interactive week-long development and leadership training institute, 160 youth (ages 16 to 22) will learn how to implement individualized plans of action to improve their communities. The Launch will continue throughout the year, as national faith-based organizations provide participants with a wide range of services to support their action plans and career paths.

    For additional information about the Launch, visit www.wc4y.org/thelaunch.asp. For additional information about the National Council for Faith-Based Youth, visit http://wecare4youth.webanswers.info/ncfby.asp.

OJJDP is an active participant in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The goal of the task force is to promote good works by neighbors, particularly in efforts to reduce juvenile delinquency, support prisoners and their families, assist victims of crime, address domestic violence, and provide substance abuse treatment and prevention. The task force is accomplishing this goal by identifying and eliminating barriers to the participation of faith-based and community organizations in grant programs funded by DOJ. The task force highlights best practices, promotes public awareness of innovative programs, and provides information to help faith-based and community groups have an equal opportunity to compete for grants. To learn more about DOJ's task force and other resources for faith-based and community groups, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fbci/welcome.html.

Court Coordination Program Tests New Concept

OJJDP's new Court Coordination Program is an innovative approach to helping juvenile and family courts provide more coordinated, individualized services to youth with multiple needs. OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores initiated the court coordination concept based on discussions with judges and court administrators. Beginning in 2005, the program will be pilot tested in eight communities. Pilot project participants attended a 2-day orientation session in Washington, DC, during April.

The pilot project is exploring whether a coordinator in the court structure can leverage the court's authority to improve service delivery and outcomes for juveniles in cases that require intensive, specialized care from more than one agency. The coordinator will seek to coordinate services from service providers such as community mental health, social services, education, and health agencies.

One purpose of the pilot project is to assess the court coordination approach as an alternative to increasing specialization in juvenile and family court mandates. The project is designed to develop an additional option for judges—not a one-size-fits-all solution. OJJDP recognizes that every jurisdiction is different and seeks to accommodate those differences through a flexible approach. Pilot sites will work with OJJDP in designing guidelines to help other jurisdictions implement the court coordination approach.

Pilot Sites

The Court Coordination Program pilot project has two tiers of sites. Tier 1 sites will receive OJJDP funding to hire a coordinator and cover related expenses ($60,000 the first year; $40,000 the second year; and $20,000 the third year). Tier 2 sites will receive technical assistance in developing their strategies and identifying funding streams to pay for a coordinator.

Tier 1 Sites

Albany, NY: Family Court.
Miami-Dade, FL: 11th Circuit Juvenile Court.
Multnomah County, OR: 4th Circuit Court.
New Orleans, LA: Orleans Parish Juvenile Court.

Tier 2 Sites

Buffalo/Erie County, NY.
Cleveland/Cuyahoga County, OH.
Indianapolis/Marion County, IN.
San Jose/Santa Clara County, CA

Desired outcomes for the Court Coordination Program include the following:

  • More efficient, effective delivery of services.
  • Speedier resolution of cases.
  • Reduced recidivism rates.

The project will also explore the potential of the court coordination concept for reducing disproportionate minority contact.

The sites chosen to participate in the Court Coordination Program have strong leadership both in their courts and in their Weed and Seed projects.* By choosing sites with these demonstrated strengths, OJJDP hopes to provide solid examples of the benefits this kind of collaboration can bring—examples that can serve as models for other localities.

The Court Coordination Program is also an opportunity for OJJDP to model the cooperative approach it recommends to others. In addition to working with the Weed and Seed sites and their U.S. Attorneys, OJJDP is partnering with other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This coordination of federal resource streams is designed to improve local courts' access to these resources on behalf of the children who come to the attention of the courts. Pilot communities will be connected with other Department of Justice (DOJ) activities, such as OJJDP's formula-funded technical assistance. Courts involved in the program will receive training and technical assistance designed to help them access and coordinate needed services.

Administrator Flores views the April orientation session for the Court Coordination Program as the beginning of partnerships on several levels, both within sites and between sites. Part of the program's objective is to help develop working relationships that will benefit local partners for decades to come.

For additional information about OJJDP's Court Coordination Program, visit www.dsgonline.com/ccp_index.asp.


*Administered by the Community Capacity Development Office within the Office of Justice Programs, Weed and Seed is a community-based coordination initiative to prevent and control crime and improve the quality of life.

EUDL Program To Host National Leadership Conference in August

OJJDP’s Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Program, featured in the March/April 2005 issue of OJJDP News @ a Glance, will host its sixth annual leadership conference for EUDL-funded states and communities in Tucson, AZ, August 18–20, 2005. The theme of the conference is "Law Enforcement and Communities: Sustaining Progress, Blazing New Trails." The conference will highlight successful efforts to prevent underage drinking. Plenary and workshop sessions will offer guidance on how to establish linkages between law enforcement agencies and community advocates, develop a strategic plan, and document successes.

Conference planners encourage all professionals and volunteers concerned with underage drinking—including state coordinators, enforcement officers and executives, youth, government officials, staff of community-based organizations, and others—to attend the August event. More than 900 participants are expected.

Conference details and registration materials are available at the conference Web page (http://www.dgimeetings.com/nlc/index.htm). Deadline for early registration is July 15. Information is also available through the conference hotline (e-mail nlcinfo@dixongroup.com or call 202—281—2800).

New Publications

All publications may be viewed and downloaded at ojjdp.ncjrs.org/publications. Print publications may also be ordered from the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse (order online at puborder.ncjrs.org or call 800–851–3420).

Now Available

Juvenile Firesetting: A Research Overview. [link to pub URL when available] Outlines research and theories related to juvenile firesetting, identifies limitations of the research, and recommends prevention strategies.
(Bulletin. May 2005. NCJ 207606.)

OJJDP Annual Report 2003–2004. Describes OJJDP's activities and accomplishments during fiscal years (FY) 2003 and 2004. Also summarizes the latest information available on juveniles taken into custody and lists OJJDP publications released during FY 2003–2004.
(Report. December 2004. NCJ 206630.)

When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide coverWhen Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide (2004 Update, Spanish Translation). [link to pub URL when available] Provides parents with insights into what families should do when a child is missing. Written by parents and family members who have experienced the disappearance of a child firsthand.
(Cuando Su Niño Desaparece: Una Guía Para la Supervivencia de la Familia. Report. May 2004 Update. NCJ 206837.)

Featured Series: Juvenile Justice Practices

Launched in September 2003, OJJDP's online Juvenile Justice Practices series is an important online resource for juvenile justice policymakers, funding decisionmakers, and professionals who develop and administer programs for youth. The Bulletins in this series distill the latest information—research findings, lessons learned, promising practices, useful tools, and organizational resources—for specific juvenile justice program areas.

To date, Juvenile Justice Practices Bulletins have addressed aftercare (reentry) services, access to legal counsel, and state ombudsman programs. Currently in the publication pipeline are Bulletins on community-based secure facilities for violent juvenile offenders, deinstitutionalization of status offenders, and alternatives to detention and confinement.

Juvenile Justice Practices Bulletins are available through the OJJDP Web site's publications page (search on "Juvenile Justice Practices Series").

Funding Update

The following is a brief summary of OJJDP's recent funding activities. Be sure to check the Current Funding section of the OJJDP Web site for the latest news on OJJDP funding opportunities. To receive e-mail notification of new funding opportunities, subscribe to JUVJUST.

Juvenile and Family Drug Court Program Grants

The Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program provides financial and technical assistance to states, state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments to develop and implement drug courts that integrate substance abuse treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and transitional services. OJJDP administers the family and juvenile components of the Drug Court Program and is currently reviewing FY 2005 grant applications for the following: Family Drug Court Implementation Program, Juvenile Drug Court Implementation Program, and Single Jurisdiction Juvenile or Family Drug Court Enhancement Program. The application deadline was May 20, 2005.

National Evaluation of Safe Start Program

OJJDP soon will begin reviewing proposals for the design of the Evaluation of the Safe Start: Promising Approaches for Children Exposed to Violence and expects to announce an award in summer 2005. The selected design will be implemented over 5 years, with a budget of up to $1 million for the first 12 months of work (approximately September 1, 2005–August 31, 2006). May 7 was the deadline for registering to submit an application; June 7 is the application deadline.

Reentry Initiative Grants To Support Faith-Based and Community Transitional Services for Former Prisoners

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) Employment and Training Administration has announced the availability of up to $19.8 million to be competitively awarded for projects that carry out the Prisoner Reentry Initiative. The initiative seeks to reduce recidivism by helping nonviolent prisoners find work and stable housing when they return to their communities. Collaboratively developed by the Departments of Labor, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, the solicitation seeks strategies that draw on the unique strengths of faith-based and community organizations. Generally, grantees should plan to serve individuals 18 years old and older who have been convicted as an adult and imprisoned and who have never been convicted of a violent or sex-related offense. DOL will award grants to faith-based and community organizations to carry out this demonstration. OJP will subsequently award competitive grants to state agencies to provide prerelease services to prisoners who will be returning to communities served by the DOL grants. The competition for grants will remain open until July 13, 2005, with awards to follow. For more information and to download a copy of the solicitation, please visit http://www.doleta.gov/sga/sga.cfm.

News From the Coordinating Council

The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is an independent body within the executive branch of the federal government. 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's most recent quarterly meeting was held June 3, 2005, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, DC. The meeting agenda included remarks by HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, a discussion of coordination efforts in furtherance of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth, and presentations by youth-serving organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Boy Scouts of America, and the National 4-H Council. Robin Delany-Shabazz, recently named Director of OJJDP’s Concentration of Federal Efforts Program, was introduced as the Council’s new Designated Federal Officer.

The Council's quarterly meetings are open to the public. Notices about upcoming meetings are featured in the Federal Register.

Juvenilecouncil.gov includes detailed information about the Council's mission, meeting announcements and summaries, and links to related resources.

News From the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice is a consultative body established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 and supported by OJJDP. Composed of representatives nominated by the Governors, 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.

The Committee's most recent meeting took place in Albuquerque, NM, on May 16–18, 2005. The meeting began with opening remarks and greetings from Advisory Committee Chairperson David Schmidt, OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores, and David Iglesias, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Members considered recommendations for the Committee's 2005 Annual Reports. Members also heard presentations on issues related to Indian Country, including a panel discussion on federal resources and comments by New Mexico Native American youth. Robin Delany-Shabazz, recently named Director of OJJDP’s Concentration of Federal Efforts Program, was introduced as the Committee’s new Designated Federal Officer.

Meeting summaries and other information about the Advisory Committee are available on the Committee's Web site.

OJJDP Staff News

Robin Delany-Shabazz has been named Director, Concentration of Federal Efforts Program, within OJJDP. In her new position, she will serve as Designated Federal Officer for both the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Most recently, Ms. Delany-Shabazz worked as the Child Abuse and Neglect Program Coordinator in OJJDP's Child Protection Division. In that capacity and in her prior positions with OJJDP, she focused on policy and program development and supported a number of national and local initiatives through funding and technical assistance agreements. Ms. Delany-Shabazz is an applied anthropologist with a background in prevention; youth development; community, systems, and organizational change; management and planning; issues analysis; and research, marketing, and communication.

Elissa Rumsey is OJJDP's new Compliance Monitor Coordinator within the State Relations and Assistance Division (SRAD). Ms. Rumsey joined OJJDP in 1997, first serving in the Office's former Research and Program Development Division. In 1999, she became a State Representative and in that capacity helped states achieve compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Ms. Rumsey has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore, teaching courses on "Solutions to Youth Problems" and "Adult and Juvenile Corrections." Ms. Rumsey holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University in Boston.

Kerri Strug joined the OJJDP staff in March as a special assistant. Ms. Strug is a presidential appointee who comes to OJJDP from the Office of the General Counsel at the Treasury Department. She also has worked as a staff assistant with the Office of Presidential Student Correspondence. Ms. Strug received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford University and was an elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Bay area before moving to Washington, DC, in 2003. A native of Tucson, AZ, Ms. Strug is a former Olympics gymnast. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA, she was part of the first U.S. women's gymnastics team to win the all-around gold medal.



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