The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) held its annual commemoration of National Missing Children's Day on May 25, 2010, at DOJ's Great Hall in Washington, DC. Among the dignitaries who spoke at the event were Attorney General Eric Holder, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie Robinson, Acting OJJDP Administrator Jeff Slowikowski, and Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Patty Wetterling, the parent of a missing child and a nationally recognized educator on issues related to child abduction and sexual exploitation, also made remarks. Guests included families of missing children; leaders of child advocacy organizations; and federal, state, local, and tribal agency representatives who have supported programs to locate and recover missing children.
In 1983, President Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children's Day. Since then, citizens, public agencies, and private organizations have gathered in communities across the country to commemorate the day by renewing their commitment to find missing children and celebrating stories of recovery.
"The extraordinary efforts of the men and women we recognize today have awakened family after family from the nightmare of having a missing child, and, when there can be no solace, helped them to recover from unthinkable loss," said Attorney General Holder. "There is no more important priority that we, as stewards of our nation's justice system and protectors of our communities, have than bringing our kids home."
Attorney General Holder said helping families find missing children "will continue to be a top priority of this Department of Justice." He announced an OJJDP fiscal year 2010 grant award of more than $30 million for NCMEC.
Child advocate and mother of Jacob,
missing since 1989
OJJDP Acting Administrator Slowikowski presented awards to recognize the outstanding efforts of law enforcement personnel and private citizens who have made a difference in recovering abducted children and protecting children from exploitation.
The awards and recipients included:
Attorney General's Special Commendation Award: Assistant District Attorney Kelly Miller from the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office, an affiliate of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
In 2006, a U.S. Postal Inspector was operating undercover in an online chat room when a subject later identified as John William Worthey contacted him. Worthey purchased child pornography from the inspector, prompting a controlled delivery and federal search warrant for his residence. Prior to the search, Worthey confessed to sexually abusing and photographing his 8-year-old niece, who was living with him while her mother was deployed to Iraq.
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Miller was assigned to the case and coordinated her efforts with the local U.S. Attorney's Office. Worthey was charged with 10 violations of North Carolina General Statutes, including 6 counts of first degree sex offense. Despite the earlier confession and the evidence against him, Worthey entered a plea of not guilty.
Following Worthey's arrest, the victim and her father relocated. Miller recognized the impending trauma the victim would face upon her return to North Carolina to face her abuser in court. Miller coordinated the victim's return and arranged for thorough victim assistance through a child advocacy center. Miller was extremely compassionate with the victim; prior to the trial, Miller familiarized the girl with the courtroom and legal proceedings. Miller built the child's confidence and earned her trust.
On May 6, 2009, Miller guided the victim through her testimony before the court. Her interactions with the victim touched those who were in the courtroom. Immediately following the testimony, Worthey entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 115 to 142.5 years in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
Missing Children's Citizen Award: Anthony Palma, Denultra Camp, and James Pantoja, Tombstone Postal Facility, AZ.
In April 2009, a case manager at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) forwarded a request to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service liaison to assist in the case of a missing 9-year-old boy. In February 2009, the child was abducted from North Carolina by his noncustodial mother. In April, NCMEC created a poster for the child and developed leads that the mother and an associate were living in Tombstone, AZ. NCMEC asked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to distribute missing child posters to every home and business within the geographic area where the mother was believed to be living.
Upon receipt of the missing child poster, Denultra (Nikki) Camp, Sales/Services Distribution Associate in the Tombstone Post Office, immediately contacted Postmaster James Pantoja, and they quickly distributed the missing child poster throughout their office and advised employees to be on the lookout for the boy.
With the knowledge that the suspect's last known address was on his delivery route, mail carrier Anthony Palma brought copies of the poster with him. He took extra time and spoke with the manager of the recreational vehicle park where the mother was thought to be living and verified that the mother and the missing boy were both living in the park. Palma quickly notified his superiors, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and local law enforcement. Shortly thereafter, the boy was recovered and reunited safely with his father.
Child Protection Award: Special Agents Catherine Koontz and James Lewis from the FBI's Miami, FL, field office.
In October 2009, Special Agents Catherine Koontz and James Lewis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Miami received a lead on an individual who was sharing child pornography. Through the suspect's username, the agents found an Internet account registered to a business in Oakland Park, FL. After conducting surveillance and obtaining a federal search warrant, Koontz and Lewis identified Scott Smith as the business owner. A forensic preview of a laptop computer found on the premises revealed thousands of images of child pornography. Smith admitted that the laptop was his and to trading child pornography for 2 years. This admission sparked an investigation of whether Smith had sexually abused any children.
Through extensive interviews, execution of three federal search warrants, cooperation with federal and local law enforcement agencies in Florida and Wisconsin, and coordination with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Department of Justice's Office of Victim Affairs, Koontz and Lewis identified six children who Smith had abused. Koontz and Lewis quickly gained the trust of the victims and interviewed them. The victims revealed how Smith approached and enticed them, when and where Smith sexually assaulted them, and the identities of other victims. Two victims also revealed that Smith had recorded their abuse. During the investigation, Koontz and Lewis discovered a rented storage space in Oakland Park that was furnished like an apartment with a couch, plasma television, and gaming systems. Smith had used the space to sexually abuse his victims.
NCMEC President and CEO Ernie Allen cited the significant progress made in finding missing children during the last three decades as a result of the development of new tools such as AMBER Alert and national information networks, better trained law enforcement, and the strong commitment of federal leadership. "We are now able to do things we only dreamed of 27 years ago on the first Missing Children's Day," he said.
Patty Wetterling shared her perspective as the mother of a missing child and a child safety advocate. Ms. Wetterling's 11-year-old son Jacob was abducted on October 22, 1989, by a masked gunman near his home in St. Joseph, MN. She emphasized the importance of neighbors, teachers, and other ordinary citizens being vigilant at all times to signs of possible child abduction and reporting what they see immediately to law enforcement. "When good people pull together, amazing things will happen," she said.
Twelve years ago, Ms. Wetterling, along with four other families of missing children, coauthored the OJJDP publication, When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide. The guide is one of the resources most widely requested and used by families of missing and abducted children. At this year's Missing Children's Day, OJJDP announced the publication of the guide's fourth edition, which, among other updates, includes the latest information about new technologies that play a role in facilitating Internet crimes against children.
In addition, at this year's ceremony OJJDP released The Crime of Family Abduction: A Child's and Parent's Perspective. This publication offers unique insight into the emotional and psychological experiences of children during a family abduction and provides parents with helpful advice on assisting their children making the transition back to everyday life following their recovery.
This year marks the 11th year that OJJDP has conducted a National Missing Children's Day poster contest. The winning poster is used as the design theme for the following year. This year, 5th graders in 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico participated in the competition. Billy Joe Reyes Collado, a student at Antonio Pagan Public School, Lajas, PR, accepted the 2010 National Missing Children's Day Art Contest Award.
The event began and concluded with performances by the Benjamin Orr Elementary School Choir of Washington, DC. The Office of Justice Programs has had a relationship with the Orr School since 1991 as part of DOJ's volunteer outreach program.
For a complete view of the day's events, see the photo gallery.
To access additional resources for parents of missing and abducted children, go the to the OJJDP Web site. Also read the "Take 25" page on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Web site, which encourages parents, guardians, educators, and others to take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety. Information about the Office of Justice Programs' AMBER Alert program is also available online. In recognition of National Missing Children's Day, the Office of Justice Programs' National Criminal Justice Reference Service has created a special feature, Missing Kids, which provides critical AMBER Alert information as well as access to resources for families and law enforcement.
Attorney General Eric Holder delivers the keynote address at DOJ's National Missing Children's Day event on May 25.
Attorney General Holder; Jeff Slowikowski, Acting Administrator, OJJDP; Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs (OJP); Ernie Allen, President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; and Patty Wetterling, child safety advocate.
At the April 16, 2010, meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, teams staffed by the Council's member agencies presented their workplans for assessing federal practice in four areas: education and at-risk youth, tribal youth and juvenile justice, juvenile reentry, and racial and/or ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and related systems. The Council identified these priority areas at its January 2010 meeting.
The teams are analyzing policies, legislation, regulations, and practices that foster as well as hinder achievement of federal goals in partnership with states, tribes, and units of local government, and will develop recommendations for consideration by the Council agencies. Approved recommendations will be incorporated into the Council's 2010 Annual Report to Congress.
Attorney General Eric Holder, who chaired the meeting, emphasized the significance of the teams' work. "These issues are of critical importance to the nation and of importance to me personally," he said. "We appreciate the challenge of this work . . . and all that people are doing."
Following are brief summaries of the teams' reports:
The Council meeting also included presentations on the following topics:
OJJDP is partnering with the National Commission on Children and Disasters to explore creative ways to support state planning activities pertaining to disaster preparedness of youth-serving systems across the nation. Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, the Commission was authorized to conduct a comprehensive study that examines and assesses children's needs as they relate to preparedness for, response to, and recovery from major disasters; to review and evaluate existing laws, regulations, and policies relevant to these needs; identify and evaluate lessons learned from past disasters; and report to the President and Congress on its findings and recommendations.
The Commission's interim report, released in October 2009, recommended the formation of a working group focused specifically on issues related to the needs of youth in the juvenile justice system during disasters. Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, appointed Melodee Hanes, Counselor to the Administrator and Acting Deputy Administrator for Policy, OJJDP, to lead the team, officially known as the Justice Working Group on Children and Disasters.
Justice Working Group on Children and Disasters
Counselor to the Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Susan James Andrews, M.A.
Juvenile Justice Consultant
ABA Center on Children and the Law
American Bar Association
Daniel Dodgen, Ph.D.
Office for At Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Human Services Coordination
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Office of the Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Judge Ernestine S. Gray
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court
Simon G. Gonsoulin, M.Ed.
Principal Research Analyst
American Institute for Research
Division of Education, Human Development and the Workforce
Captain Roberta Lavin
Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response
Administration for Children and Families
Public Health Emergency Response Coordinator
Bristol-Burlington Health District, Connecticut
Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary
United States Department of Education
Lisa Portune M.S.W., LISW
Juvenile Court Consultant
Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The working group is preparing a guidance document that will assist decisionmakers in developing plans to ensure the safety and well-being of youth in custody in the event of a disaster. The document will address a range of issues, including information sharing across agencies, alternate locations for housing youth, evacuation, emergency staffing of juvenile justice facilities, communication, and mental health services. The document is slated for publication in 2011.
OJJDP's 12th Annual National Leadership Conference, "Building Community Futures With Blueprints for Success," will be held August 1820, 2010, at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, CA. The conference will address a variety of topics related to the prevention of underage drinking and the effective enforcement of underage drinking laws, with tracks to meet the needs of those who are new and those who are more advanced in the field. A special youth track also will be included. Plenary sessions, workshops, and experiential learning exercises will provide participants with real-life information, skills, and tools that can be used to enhance local efforts. Opportunities for extensive peer-to-peer interaction will also be available.
During the past 12 years, OJJDP's Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program has successfully built partnerships with law enforcement, community organizations, and government officials to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce youth access to alcohol. The conference will highlight communities, programs, and other initiatives that have successfully implemented evidence-based strategies to reduce youth's access to alcohol.
Among those expected to attend are state EUDL coordinators, law enforcement officers, executives, military personnel, judges, prosecutors, probation officials, government officials, staff members of community-based organizations, youth, and other individuals concerned with underage drinking. Law enforcement awards and EUDL Success Story awards will be presented.
To register for the National Leadership Conference, visit its Web site. Please note that the deadline for room reservations at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel is July 25, 2010.
To obtain additional information about the conference, the hotel, or other related matters, e-mail the event organizers.
Successful reform of the juvenile justice system depends on the use of scientifically proven strategies. OJJDP is committed to research and evaluation that produce evidence of which programs work best, and why. One of OJJDP's field-initiated research grants is supporting comprehensive data analysis and the identification of the most successful strategies for reducing DMC. The study will inform policymakers, researchers, and practitioners on how to best think about the causes of, and solutions for, racial disparities in their own jurisdictions.
OJJDP's 3-year grant was awarded to the Development Services Group, Inc., to conduct a national analysis of Relative Rate Index (RRI) data. The RRI, which compares the rates of contact with the justice system for white youth with the rates for minority youth, has proven to be a highly accurate tool for comparisons across time and racial groups. The data analysis will identify jurisdictions that have shown a consistent improvement in RRI values over 3 consecutive years. Researchers will then obtain detailed information on the approaches used by these jurisdictions and produce case studies that can be replicated by other jurisdictions.
The study, slated for completion in September 2012, will yield data on DMC in localities and states across the nation at the nine contact points in the juvenile justice system. An assessment of the longitudinal RRI data and state plans will identify promising and best practices for addressing DMC.
"This study will be the first to systematically examine all of the collected data at each DMC contact point to identify data-driven best practices in reducing DMC for states and counties," said Marcia Cohen, the study's principal investigator.
For more information on OJJDP's field-initiated research grant, please contact Andrea Coleman, OJJDP's DMC Team Lead, at 2025141319 or at Andrea.Coleman@usdoj.gov.
The Nine Contact Points in the Juvenile Justice System
In a wide-ranging and lively discussion at the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) National Keystone Conference on March 12, 2010, more than a dozen young people offered their perspectives on the challenges they face, how the Clubs help them meet those challenges, and the need for additional resources in their communities. Participants in the discussion included Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP's Acting Administrator, and Kevin McCartney, BGCA's Senior Vice President of Government Relations.
Many Boys & Girls Clubs are open every day, after school and on weekends, when youth typically have free time and need positive, productive outlets. Every Club has full-time, trained youth development professionals and volunteers, who serve as role models and mentors. The adults at the Clubs are "always there with support and encouragement," said one teenager.
One focus of the discussion was the lure of gang life and the difficulty of leaving a gang once youth have joined. Young people are frightened to leave a gang because "they don't know anything else outside of gang life," said one teenager. "The gang is their family," said another. Others cited the lack of meaningful alternatives because many gang members have either dropped out of school or are no longer engaged in school.
Included among the participants' suggestions to improve their communities were increasing the safety of parks and play areas, opportunities to learn about college or to train for a job, family-oriented programs to improve parent-child relationships, interaction with law enforcement through sports leagues and clinics, and HIV/AIDS-prevention programs.
State, local, and tribal agencies responsible for the health and well-being of youth face daily challenges to improve their information-sharing capabilities, reduce replication of data and services, and close service gaps. Furthermore, many agencies do not haveand urgently needaccess to accurate and timely information to assist in determining appropriate supervision, services, and sanctions for youth. Youth-serving agencies also face the complex tasks of addressing confidentiality issues and developing strategies for collaboration.
OJJDP was the first agency to sponsor a national effort to improve information sharing among agencies involved with youth. Since 2000, OJJDP has supported the National Juvenile Information Sharing (JIS) Initiative, a training and technical assistance project that brings together leaders in juvenile justice, youth services, and the community to effectively coordinate multiple services and to foster informed decisionmaking regarding juveniles, whether in the justice, education, health, or welfare contexts.
Under the direction of the Center for Network Development (CND), the JIS initiative has created a framework for information sharing that includes guidelines for successful interagency partnerships and protocols that comply with state and federal privacy and confidentiality requirements and with national standards for information exchanges between agencies. To learn more about the guidelines, read OJJDP's publication, Guidelines for Juvenile Information Sharing.
The initiative also has developed a JIS data model, a framework that defines data elements and the structures and relationships between them. Using precise terms and rules, the model is designed to support information-exchange standards and processes that help ensure the most effective sharing of critical information about youth across multiple agencies. The model fully conforms with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), developed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to guide jurisdictions in the exchange of information.
The Missouri Juvenile Justice Information System and the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator provided initial feedback on the data model. The JIS guidelines and an updated version of the data model are currently being piloted and tested in two sites in Colorado: the Jefferson County Juvenile Assessment Center, a local collaborative of youth-serving agencies, and the Colorado Children Youth Information Sharing Initiative, a statewide collaborative representing schools, courts, human services and public health agencies, law enforcement, and families and youth. Both pilot sites have worked closely with CND to develop jurisdictional policies and procedures for implementation while providing valuable insight into the forthcoming revisions of the JIS guidelines and information exchanges using the JIS data model.
OJJDP will release a final evaluation of the pilot projects and updated versions of the JIS guidelines and data model in the fall of 2010. The guidelines have been adopted by jurisdictions in 16 states as the basis for developing JIS plans, interagency agreements, and information-sharing legislation. The number of states adopting guidelines will soon expand, as additional states have requested assistance in assessing their readiness to initiate JIS partnerships, conducting confidentiality and privacy assessments, and developing strategies for implementing the JIS data model.
The JIS Web site serves as a national clearinghouse for information on training and technical assistance opportunities, juvenile information-sharing project updates, profiles of promising information-sharing efforts, and advances in technology.
In addition, OJJDP sponsors an ongoing JIS Webinar series that provides free online training events for juvenile justice and other youth-serving professionals on numerous topics, including juvenile records laws and interagency collaboration; the JIS data model; Extensible Markup Language, which determines the rules and terms for encoding documents electronically for the purpose of information sharing and data exchange; and an introduction to NIEM.
One of every three children in the United States is overweight or obese, conditions that place them at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years. To address this childhood epidemic, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let's Move! campaign in February 2010, and President Barack Obama established the Task Force on Childhood Obesity. On May 11, 2010, the task force released its action plan, which sets the goal of returning to a childhood obesity rate of 5 percent by 2030—the rate before childhood obesity first began rising dramatically in the late 1970s. The report reflects input from 12 federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as 2,500 submissions from parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, and others. It includes 70 recommendations for public and private sector action, as well as concrete metrics and benchmarks to measure progress.
OJJDP staff participated on the task force, contributing information to the report on nutrition and physical education in juvenile justice settings, and crime prevention programs that foster public safety and enhance the ability of children and families to enjoy outdoor recreational activities in their communities. Of particular note to the juvenile justice community is the following report recommendation:
Recommendation 3.17: Promote healthy behaviors in juvenile correctional and related facilities. States and localities should be encouraged to ensure that juvenile justice facilities use nutrition programs available to them, such as USDA's [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] school meal programs. Federal, state, and non-governmental organizations should collaborate to develop evidence-based programs and standards for health promotion and disease prevention services, including nutrition counseling, meal services, and recreational programs that meet the needs and circumstances of juvenile justice populations. Related programs such as organic fruit and vegetable gardening, farming, and culinary arts initiatives in juvenile justice facilities can potentially promote health, education, workforce development, and positive youth development.
In addition, the report poses key questions for future research:
For more information on the Lets Move! initiative, go to its Web site. To learn more about the juvenile justice components of the action plan, please contact OJJDP Senior Juvenile Justice Policy and Legal Advisor, Kathi Grasso.
June Is National Internet Safety Month
In May 2007, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 205, naming June National Internet Safety Month to raise awareness about threats posed by the Internet and encourage safe and responsible Internet usage. OJJDP is working to keep children safe online by supporting 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces throughout the country. OJJDP also supports a number of Internet safety education and awareness programs, including Enough Is Enough, i-SAFE, WebWiseKids, and the IKeepSafe Internet Safety Coalition.
In recognition of this year's Internet Safety Month, the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) National Criminal Justice Reference Service is offering a comprehensive list of resources on Internet safety, including a special section on Internet Safety for Children. In addition, OnGuardOnline.gov, supported by OJP and other sponsors, has released Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online, a guide that helps parents, teachers, and other mentors start a conversation with children about navigating online communications safely. This publication is available in English and Spanish. Bulk print copies may be ordered at no cost.
DOJ Supports Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act's Reauthorization
"The U.S. Department of Justice strongly supports the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and commends the Committee on the Judiciary for its work on S. 678, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009," the Department of Justice declared in a letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to the Committee's chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy. Supporting and improving the juvenile justice system and preventing youth violence and delinquency are among Attorney General Eric Holder's top priorities, Weich noted.
"S. 678 will advance these goals through measures that provide juveniles with access to high-quality, effective juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs and protect them from harmful conditions of confinement."
New Web-Based Resource Offers Guidance on Grants Process
OJP has announced the availability of OJP Grants 101, a new online resource for prospective grantees featuring step-by-step guidance on how to apply for funding. OJP Grants 101 provides an overview of the OJP grant process for competitive and noncompetitive programs, tips on how to find funding opportunities and write strong applications as well as a description of the application review process, and links to other resources, including the OJP Financial Guide and sample application materials.
OJJDP Publishes FY 2010 Program Plan
OJJDP published its Final Plan for fiscal year 2010 in the May 20, 2010, Federal Register. The Final Plan describes discretionary program activities that OJJDP intends to carry out during the current fiscal year. The Plan's development was guided by priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice set forth by the Attorney General and took into account the 150 submissions received in response to OJJDP's request for comments on its Proposed Plan, published in the Federal Register last December.
Bureau of Justice Assistance Information Added to SMART System
The Socioeconomic Mapping and Resource Topography (SMART) system now includes comprehensive information and resources from OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). BJA has supplied information about the support it provides for law enforcement, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology, and prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation's criminal justice system. This enhancement to SMART furthers the system's goal of ensuring that stakeholders consider all available support before making critical decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. For more information on the SMART system, see OJJDP's In Focus fact sheet, Get SMARTMapping Resources for Crime and Delinquency Prevention.
National Forum on Criminal Justice & Public Safety Set for August 13
The 2010 National Forum on Criminal Justice & Public Safety, "Navigating Evidence-Based Policies and Practices," will convene leaders from state, tribal, and local governments and the private sector to work collaboratively to improve community safety and implement the most effective evidence-based policies and practices. Sponsored by the National Criminal Justice Association and the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute in partnership with OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance, the conference will include a broad array of plenary sessions led by national experts. The forum's agenda provides ample opportunities to engage colleagues and presenters in discussion and conversation. To register, go to www.national-forum.net/registration2010.html.
22nd Annual Crimes Against Children Conference Scheduled for August 912
The Crimes Against Children Conference is a nationally and internationally recognized conference for professionals from the fields of law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, social work, children's advocacy, therapy, and medicine who work directly with child victims of crime. Scheduled for August 912, 2010, in Dallas, TX, the conference will provide practical instruction and the most up-to-date information for combating the many and varied forms of crime committed against children. The conference has grown steadily since it was established in 1988. Last year's conference drew nearly 3,300 participants. Conference faculty has now surpassed 200. In addition to traditional topics, the conference has added seven tracks of computer lab training for professionals working on Internet-related crimes. For registration information, visit www.cacconference.org/dcac/p-8.aspx.
All OJJDP publications may be viewed and downloaded on the publications section of the OJJDP Web site. Print publications also may be ordered online at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Web site.
Conditions of Confinement: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (Bulletin)
The environment in which juvenile offenders are confined can affect their future behavior and may even contribute to recidivism. To obtain a clearer picture of the conditions of juvenile confinement, OJJDP initiated the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP), the first comprehensive national study to gather information about youth in custody by interviewing the detained offenders. This bulletin draws on SYRP's findings to examine the characteristics of the facilities in which youth are confined and of the programs provided to them. It reports on the security status of these residential facilities and the types of youth offenders in various programs and their placement with other youth. It also describes the physical and program environments, the access offenders have to emotional support and legal representation, the relationship between youth and staff, the clarity of the facility's rules, and the nature of the disciplinary measures used to enforce those rules. To order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.
Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls (Girls Study Group Bulletin)
Because of the increase in the numbers of girls in the juvenile justice system and heightened public awareness about issues concerning girls and gender, practitioners and policymakers have begun to question whether the instruments currently in use are appropriate for girls. Literature has indicated that gender is an important variable in understanding delinquent behavior and must be addressed when developing assessment tools. This bulletin examines whether current risk-assessment and treatment-focused instruments are appropriate for use with girls, while providing guidance to practitioners on how to select instruments for use.
Publications Released on Missing Children's Day (May 25, 2010)
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that as many at 200,000 children are victims of the crime of family abduction each year. This publication dispels the prevailing misconceptions surrounding family abduction by providing a firsthand account of the psychological trauma and physical dangers often faced by children who are abducted by family members. The guide includes strategies to help parents searching for their children to cope with the aftermath of the abduction and provides suggestions for assisting the child during the transition from abduction to life after he or she has been recovered. To order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.
When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide (Fourth Edition)
Each year, nearly 1.3 million children are reported missing. Although the unforeseen absence of a child is always upsetting, fortunately most missing children are returned home in a short period of time. This fact, however, provides little consolation for the parents of children whose whereabouts and welfare remain unknown. When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide was written 12 years ago by parents who had experienced the trauma of a missing child and who wanted to help other parents facing the same overpowering loss. It provides firsthand knowledge and sound advice about what to do when your child is missing, whom to contact, and how to best help law enforcement. To ensure that the information it provides is as helpful as possible, this fourth edition of the guide has been thoroughly revised and updated. It includes information on new technologies, particularly those that facilitate Internet crimes against children. To order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.
Effects of Federal Legislation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Bulletin)
Each year, as many as 300,000 children become victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States. Such victimization can have devastating effects on a child's physical and mental health and well-being. In an effort to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), Congress enacted the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act (TVPA) in 2000. As the seminal legislation in America's efforts to end CSEC, the Act criminalizes human trafficking on a federal level. This bulletin describes the results of a study funded by OJJDP to examine TVPA's impact on the prosecution of CSEC cases. The authors draw on CSEC cases processed in federal courts between 1998 and 2005 to examine how current laws addressing CSEC are enforced, indicate key features of successful CSEC prosecutions, and describe how legislation has affected sentences imposed on CSEC perpetrators, as well as legislation's effects on the provision of services to victims.
At the April 16, 2010, meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, teams staffed by the Council's member agencies presented their workplans for fostering interagency collaboration in four areas: education and at-risk youth, tribal youth and juvenile justice, juvenile reentry, and racial and/or ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and related systems. Presentations also were made on OJJDP's Juvenile Information Sharing Initiative, the U.S. Department of Justice's Access to Justice Initiative, and the Department's Children's Exposure to Violence Initiative. For more information, please read the article entitled "Plans for Assessing Federal Practice Presented at Coordinating Council Meeting" in this issue.
The Council meets quarterly in Washington, DC. Sessions are open to the public. Visit the Council's Web site to learn more about the Coordinating Council and read minutes from past meetings.
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 22 members13 ex officio and affiliate members and nine 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 nine 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.
The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) met on May 1112, 2010. Included on the agenda was a discussion with the members of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's initiative to assess federal practice in the following areas: education and at-risk youth, tribal youth and juvenile justice, juvenile reentry and transitions to adulthood, and racial and/or ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and related systems. The Council representatives sought the perspectives and expertise of juvenile justice professionals working at the state level. This marked the first time that FACJJ and the Council have joined forces to address issues affecting at-risk youth and children in the juvenile justice system.
FACJJ meetings are open to the public; anyone may register to attend and observe. Additional information is available on FACJJ's Web site.
For more information about the Council's initiative to assess federal practice, please read the article entitled "Plans for Assessing Federal Practice Presented at Coordinating Council Meeting" in this issue.
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 of the states and territories and the mayor of the District of Columbia, 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.