Three tribes are partnering with local universities to include environmentally sustainable activities in reentry programs for youth in detention. Funded through a 4-year fiscal year 2009 grant under OJJDP's Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration Program, these programs are using agricultural and green technologies as a platform to deepen pride in traditional tribal culture, foster community service, promote academic and vocational skills, and reduce alcohol and other drug use. Services also include tutoring and online educational opportunities as well as substance abuse and mental health counseling.
Member of Rosebud Sioux Tribe
OJJDP Online Resource Center Supports Tribal Detention and Reentry Programs
OJJDP offers all grantees and federally recognized tribes training and technical assistance to facilitate program planning, enhancement, implementation, and evaluation around juvenile tribal detention centers and juvenile justice services. The Office has created an online Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Resource and Technical Assistance Center, which contains information about training and technical assistance, events, and funding opportunities. The Web site also features a searchable database of resources and materials, including published works, peer-reviewed research, curriculums, and other resources that provide the latest information on topics relevant to juvenile detention and reentry and green job training.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Conference, held on June 1416, 2010, in Arlington, VA, featured more than 60 panel discussions about the latest research on effective approaches to preventing and intervening in crime. Attended by approximately 1,400 researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from across the nation, the conference addressed research and evidence-based practices in corrections, courts and sentencing, forensic science policy and technical issues, geography and crime, building safer communities, policing, and violence and victimization.
Laurence Tribe, renowned Harvard constitutional law scholar and now Senior Counselor for Access to Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice, gave the keynote address on June 14. Television host Paula Zahn made a presentation preceding a plenary panel on June 16 marking the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.
In her opening remarks on the first day of the conference, Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), provided an overview of the agency's Evidence Integration Initiative, which aims to improve the quality and quantity of evidence that OJP generates, to ensure that the evidence informs program and policy decisions, and to consistently translate evidence into practice in the juvenile justice field. Working groups within OJP have been established to synthesize evidence on specific justice topics and develop principles for practice that can be communicated to the field. The initiative also includes plans for developing a Crime Solutions Resource Center, a Web site for evidence-based programs and practices, and a help desk to provide direct support to jurisdictions as they apply evidence-based approaches.
"It's . . . critical that we bear in mind who the consumers are herelaw enforcement, prosecutors, judges, juvenile justice professionals, and victim service providers," Assistant Attorney General Robinson said. "If we're not reaching them and helping them do their jobs better, then I think we've failed in our mission. . . . Restoring respect for science can't happen unless we respect the needs of those who apply it."
Among many presentations related to evidence-based practices, the NIJ Conference included the following panels on OJJDP-supported research and programs:
During the panel discussion, two of the study's researchers, Edward P. Mulvey and Carol A. Schubert, compared youth who are transferred to adult court with their peers in the juvenile system; explored the relationships between certain mental disorders and a range of outcomes, including employment, education, and recidivism; and examined the different effects of institutional placement on offending for individuals with and without mental health disorders. Dr. Mulvey and Ms. Schubert are coauthors of the forthcoming OJJDP bulletin, Substance Use and Delinquent Behavior Among Serious Adolescent Offenders, one in a series of OJJDP bulletins about the researchers' findings.
For a recap of events at the conference, visit the NIJ Web site.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) hosted a Tribal Youth Summit at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, on July 1923, 2010. More than 110 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth representing 21 tribal communities from across the nation participated. The youth were nominated by their tribal communities and selected by representatives of OJJDP and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
Speakers on the summit's first evening included Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior; Robert Martin, President of the Institute of American Indian Arts; and Wes Studi, the well-known actor, musician, and American Indian advocate. Tribal leaders and elders were involved in many facets of the summit, including special informational sessions and AI/AN cultural presentations.
The summit also featured sessions on the prevention of substance abuse, teen dating violence, and gang involvement. Among other topics covered were strategies for promoting academic success during the middle- and high-school years and career opportunities for youth. Presenters at the sessions included representatives from OVW, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and youth advocate George Galvis.
On July 21, DOJ convened its first Listening to the Voices of Tribal Youth Circle, in which youth from tribal communities across the United States shared their high-priority issues with federal officials. Karol Mason, Deputy Associate Attorney General, Office of the Associate Attorney General; Mary Lou Leary, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs; Catherine Pierce, Senior Advisor, OJJDP; and Kenneth Gonzales, U.S. Attorney, New Mexico, were among those participating in the Circle.
Tribal communities represented in the Circle included the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska), Cheeshna Tribe (Alaska), Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Crow Creek Indian Reservation (South Dakota), Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (Oregon), Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians (Maine), Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mooretown Rancheria (California), Native Village of Kongiganak (Alaska), Northern Cheyenne Tribe (Montana), Omaha Nation (Nebraska and Iowa), Prairie Island (Minnesota), Reno\Sparks Indian Colony (Nevada), Seneca Nation of Indians (New York), and Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota).
Youth pointed to a wide variety of urgent issues in their communities, including:
The goal of the Circle was to create a venue for communication between tribal youth and federal government staff as a tool in shaping policy and programs that will affect tribal youth for years to come.
"We've talked a lot about some of the challenges your communities are facing, but I also want you to remember that we are deeply committed to providing opportunities," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Leary. "The Office of Justice Programs . . . is an integral part of the larger Justice Department initiative to provide better servicesand easier access to those servicesfor tribal communities. This session is, in fact, a followup to the regional summits and the listening session the Department held with tribal leaders last year. You are the future leaders, so we really value your perspectives."
Listening to the Voices of Tribal Youth
"We have [a] growing rate of alcoholism and drug abuse. Even elementary kids start trying these things because it's what they see in their environment."
"Underage drinking, if not controlled, will soon surpass other major problems in my community."
"People are giving up their teenage years when they have children too soon. . . . There is no sense of guidance for people until it is too late."
"The young kids see the older kids that are gang members on the streets and, without their parents around, they look up to the gang members and, more often than not, join the gang."
"On our reservation, suicide has become acceptable and even glorified. We see suicide pacts being carried out. Our loved ones feel as though suicide is the only option to escape the realities of our reservation."
"We have had a nuclear power plant on our reservation for 35 years, and 5 of our tribal members are dying of cancer. As tribal youth, that scares us. We don't want to die from cancer. We want to have healthy children. We want to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and have uncontaminated soil to grow traditional foods."
"Too many people are living with three or four families per household."
"Many young men seem to believe we are still in the era when men and women did not have equal rights."
"Culture isn't being passed on to other generations; elders were discouraged by lack of interest from younger generations and it eventually got lost."
The initiative aims to improve communication and collaboration between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and child protection professionals and enhance public participation and notification in cases of child abduction. An advisory team composed of representatives from U.S. and Mexican law enforcement agencies, courts, tribal agencies, social service agencies, child protection organizations, and broadcast media is providing guidance for this project and is assisting in the development of Southern Border Initiative trainings.
The problem of cross-border abduction has reached alarming proportions. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Mexico is the destination for 47 percent of all international child abductions from the United States. OJJDP is addressing this problem through focused discussions, comprehensive training, and technical assistance.
Hundreds of local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers from the United States and Mexico met in El Paso, TX; and San Diego, CA, in February and August 2009, respectively, to train and discuss efforts to stop child abductions in both countries. In May 2009, the Attorney General for Baja California, Mexico, announced the first AMBER Alert Program in Mexico. A second state, Tamaulipas, appointed an AMBER Alert Coordinator immediately after the AMBER Alert Symposium in the fall of 2009. Since that time, training has been provided to all public agencies in Tamaulipas that handle child protection, health, and public safety. Future Southern Border Initiative training and technical assistance is planned for other states in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
The training tracks for Juvenile Justice Specialists and Compliance Monitors will cover a broad range of information critical to these positions. The training is designed for state agency staff who have been working in their current positions for less than 3 years. Attendance at these sessions is by invitation only.
The Juvenile Justice Specialists training track will be led by both federal and state representatives, including OJJDP staff and the Juvenile Justice Specialist for the state of Georgia. This training will offer insights about how close federal-state collaboration can maximize the impact of juvenile justice funds awarded by OJJDP.
The Compliance Monitors training track will provide participants with indepth coverage of the first three core requirements: deinstitutionalization of status offenders, sight and sound separation, and jail removal. The training will also offer detailed information about the roles and responsibilities of Compliance Monitors.
The DMC Coordinators session will focus on promising strategies for systems improvement at the arrest and court-referral decision points in the juvenile justice system. Specifically, the training will cover issues related to effective data collection and analysis, and how assessments can guide decisionmaking.
The SRAD training day will be led by members of OJJDP's DMC team. Additional expert consultants will participate in the training day to ensure that participants receive the most current information available on addressing DMC at the state and local levels. This session is only open to designated state agency staff.
The training day is being held in concert with the Coalition for Juvenile Justice's (CJJ's) National DMC Conference, scheduled for October 2325, 2010, at the same location. The CJJ conference, "Fundamental Fairness: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice," will be cohosted by the New Jersey Association of County Youth Services Commissions and the New Jersey Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee.
For additional information on the SRAD training day, contact Jim Antal, OJJDP State Representative, at 2025141289 or James.Antal@usdoj.gov; or Ann Rodrigues, Training Coordinator, National Training and Technical Assistance Center, at 7033833308 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a keynote luncheon address, Deputy Associate Attorney General Karol Mason highlighted Attorney General Eric Holder's Children's Exposure to Violence Initiative, a multiyear effort to broaden the knowledge of, and promote community investment in, evidence-based strategies for reducing the impact of children's exposure to violence. "I am here today on behalf of the Justice Department to support your work that has demonstrated through research and practice that children exposed to violence is a problem that must be a priority," Mason said.
The University of New Hampshire is a leading center for the study of children's exposure to violence. Dr. David Finkelhor, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory and Director of the University's Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC), directed the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, the most comprehensive nationwide survey of the incidence and prevalence of children's exposure to violence. The survey, cosponsored by OJJDP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measures children's exposure to violence in the home, school, and community from birth to age 17.
Following the keynote address, Deputy Associate Attorney General Mason; Susan Carbon, Director of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women; and OJP and OJJDP staff hosted a listening session with researchers and other experts in the field of family violence to discuss policy and practice needs and gaps, based on current research and evidence in the field.
The Family Research Laboratory and CCRC are independent research units at the University of New Hampshire devoted to the study of children's victimization and family violence. Created in 1998, CCRC grew out of, and expands on, the work of the Family Research Laboratory, which has studied family violence and related topics since 1975.
The Family Research Laboratory engages in an active program of research, teaching and training, and information dissemination. Its researchers have developed many of the tools that social scientists use to estimate directly the scope of family violence. The research group studies a wide range of forms of family violence and has examined in detail the interrelationships of different types of family violence. It also studies the intergenerational aspects of abuse and the relationship between family violence and broader social problems.
For more information about the conference, visit the Family Research Laboratory's Web site.
To learn more about the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, visit the CCRC Web site. See also the article "OJJDP-Supported Research Cited at Conference on Evidence-Based Practices" in this issue of News @ a Glance and OJJDP's bulletin, Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey.
NCSE researchers undertook three studies. The first, a quantitative study, surveyed 1,000 students in the fall and the spring of their 6th-grade year. The data collected were analyzed to determine the connections, if any, between being victimized, being engaged in school, and the outcomes reflected in school records of attendance and achievement (measured by grade point average). In addition, two qualitative studies explored instructional, interpersonal, and structural factors at school that affect the connection between victimization and school attendance, and teachers' experiences in attempting to ameliorate the impact of school victimization.
The forthcoming series of five OJJDP bulletins will provide an overview of the research project, a literature review, and an indepth look at the methodology and findings of each of the three studies.
Latest Issue of Justice Resource Update Features OJP's Evidence-Based Approaches
The June 2010 issue of the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) Justice Resource Update e-newsletter features a closed-caption video in which Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson describes the integration of evidence-based approaches into OJP's activities. The issue also includes a call for peer reviewers, advance notice of upcoming reports from OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics, and an announcement of state and local criminal justice grants from OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance, among other matters.
Report Provides Data and Trends in Juvenile Court Cases
The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) has published Juvenile Court Statistics, 20062007, which was developed with funding from OJJDP. Drawing on data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, the report profiles the nearly 1.7 million delinquency cases handled each year by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction in 2006 and 2007. It also describes trends in delinquency cases processed by juvenile courts between 1985 and 2007 and status offense cases handled between 1995 and 2007. Juvenile Court Statistics, 20062007 is available online, via OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book.
As described in the New Publications section of this issue, OJJDP has released four fact sheets providing data derived from NCJJ's report: Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007; Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2007; Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2007; and Person Offense Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007.
Bulletin on History of Gangs Available
The National Gang Center has released a new bulletin, History of Street Gangs in the United States, which reviews the chronology of major historical events associated with the emergence of street gangs in each of four major geographic regions. This publication also places emphasis on older gangstraditional street gangsand their involvement in violent criminal activity and other serious crimes.
The National Gang Center is a collaborative effort between the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance and OJJDP. This partnership works to provide a comprehensive range of approaches to respond to street gangs, from prevention and intervention to criminal justice strategies such as suppression, prosecution, and reentry.
OJJDP Offers Workshops at Colloquium on Child Abuse
The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children held its 18th Annual Colloquium in New Orleans, LA, on June 2326, 2010. The event offered 95 workshops that addressed all aspects of child maltreatment including prevention, assessment, intervention, and treatment. OJJDP provided workshops on a wide range of topics, including interviewing children about domestic violence, the identification of child mortality due to maltreatment, child forensic interviews, the use of the Internet by child molesters to sexually exploit children, and preparing to defend child interviews in court.
America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010
Each year since 1997, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics has published a report on the well-being of children and families. The forum, which consists of 22 government agencies, including OJJDP, fosters coordination and collaboration in the collection and reporting of federal data on children and families. The yearly report offers the most recently available major federal statistics on children and youth in the following areas: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.
America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010 indicates statistically significant decreases in preterm births, low birthweight, infant mortality, and substantiated reports of child maltreatment. Births to females ages 15 to 17 also decreased. More children had health insurance. Positive trends were found also in academic achievement: reading and mathematics scores for 4th and 8th graders increased, as did reading scores for 12th graders. However, the number of households with children reporting shelter cost burden, crowding, and physically inadequate housing went up, as did the number of children living in poverty. Children in households classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as "food insecure" increased, while the number of children living with at least one parent employed full time year-round decreased.
Copies of America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010 may be ordered from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service Web site.
August 2426: National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention
The 11th Annual Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention will take place August 2426, 2010, at the Marriott Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. Workshop topics include early childhood sexuality and abuse prevention; sexual revictimization in children; school-based intervention programs; sexting, bullying, and online peer harassment; how child abuse impacts Latino families; and educating the community to protect against child abuse and exploitation. Online registration is available. Attendees may also print a registration form.
American Society of Criminology To Meet in November
The annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) will be held November 1720, 2010, in San Francisco, CA, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel. This year's conference, Crime and Social Institutions, will explore the relationship between crime and the economy, the family, education, the polity, and religion. Other topic areas will include the causes of crime and criminal behavior, different types of offending, correlates of crime (gangs, substance abuse, mental health issues, etc.), social responses to crime, and innovative methods in research and training. The conference also will feature poster presentations, roundtable sessions, and "author meets critics" sessions, which consist of one author and three to four critics discussing and critiquing a recently published book relevant to ASC. To learn more about the program and to register, visit the ASC Web site.
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.
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 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 the Act'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, identify key features of successful CSEC prosecutions, and describe how legislation has affected sentences imposed on CSEC perpetrators, as well as the legislation's effects on the provision of services to victims.
To order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.
OJJDP has released four fact sheets derived from the report Juvenile Court Statistics, 20062007, published by the National Center for Juvenile Justice:
Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007 (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet presents statistics on delinquency cases processed between 1985 and 2007 by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The estimates are based on data from more than 2,200 courts with jurisdiction over 81 percent of the nation's juvenile population (youth age 10 through the upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction in each state).
To order a printed copy of Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007, visit the NCJRS Web site.
Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2007 (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet presents estimates of the number of cases transferred from juvenile court to criminal court through the judicial waiver mechanism between 1985 and 2007. The number of delinquency cases judicially waived peaked in 1994 at 13,100 cases. This represented an 81-percent increase over the number of cases waived in 1985 (7,200). Since 1994 however, the number of cases judicially waived declined 35 percent (8,500 cases in 2007). This publication is available online only.
Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2007 (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet presents statistics on delinquency cases resulting in probation between 1985 and 2007. In 2007, courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled 1.7 million delinquency cases. Probation supervision was the most severe disposition in 34 percent of all delinquency cases. Between 1985 and 2007, the overall delinquency caseload increased 44 percent. This publication is available online only.
Person Offense Cases in Juvenile Court, 2007 (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet presents statistics on person offenses handled by juvenile courts between 1985 and 2007. (Person offenses include assault, robbery, rape, homicide, and other crimes involving force or threat of force against persons.) In 2007, U.S. juvenile courts handled an estimated 429,200 delinquency cases in which the most serious charge was an offense against a person. The 2007 person offense caseload was 122 percent greater than in 1985. In 2007, person offenses accounted for 25 percent of the delinquency caseload, compared with 16 percent in 1985. This publication is available online only.
Now Available in Print
Juvenile Transfer Laws: An Effective Deterrent to Delinquency? (Bulletin)
Originally released online in August 2008, this bulletin provides an overview of research on the deterrent effects of transferring youth from juvenile to criminal courts, focusing on large-scale comprehensive OJJDP-funded studies on the effect of transfer laws on recidivism. The bulletin reviews all of the extant research on the general and specific deterrent effects of transferring juveniles to adult criminal court. Several studies have found higher recidivism rates for juveniles convicted in criminal court than for similar offenders adjudicated in juvenile courts. The research is less clear, however, in regard to whether transfer laws deter potential juvenile offenders.
To order a printed copy, visit the NCJRS Web site.
Findings From the Evaluation of OJJDP's Gang Reduction Program (Bulletin)
This bulletin draws on the findings from an independent evaluation, conducted by the Urban Institute, of the Gang Reduction Program's impact in Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; North Miami Beach, FL; and Richmond, VA. The evaluation examined how youth move from delinquency to joining gangs and how gangs form. Successful outcomes related to crime reduction were seen in most of the sites, although results varied. In addition, progress at each site could be attributed in large part to the leadership of a site coordinator, close oversight by OJJDP during the strategic planning and implementation processes, and the availability of technical assistance.
The next meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will be held on September 24, 2010, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Council meets quarterly in Washington, DC. Sessions are open to the public. Visit the Council's Web site to learn more about the 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.
Included among numerous items on the agenda of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice's (FACJJ's) meeting on May 1112, 2010, was the discussion, revision, and vote on the 2010 draft annual reports to the President and Congress and to the Administrator of OJJDP. FACJJ began its review of the drafts under the guidance of the Annual Report Subcommittee.
Because states have indicated in FACJJ's annual request for information questionnaires that disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system remains a top issue, the subcommittee elected to focus the 2010 report to the President and Congress on fairness and equity across the entire juvenile justice system and to include disproportionate minority contact as a component in this theme.
FACJJ meetings are open to the public; anyone may register to attend and observe. Additional information is available on FACJJ's Web site.
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.