OJJDP's National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) has released National Needs Assessment of Juvenile Justice Professionals: 2010, a report that provides the most comprehensive and detailed picture to date of the needs of agencies and organizations serving the juvenile justice field. More than 1,600 juvenile justice professionals from across the country completed the survey, which was available online from October 19, 2009, through January 22, 2010. The primary populations served by respondents are at-risk youth and youth on parole, probation, or under community supervision.
Survey participants were asked to rate their needs in five categories: program operations, information technology, sustainability, working with youth, and topics of interest. Respondents rated their needs using a five-point scalefrom "1 (no assistance needed)" to "5 (a great deal of assistance needed)." The following items were identified by respondents as areas of greatest need:
Working With Youth
Other Topics of Interest
Survey participants were asked to select the types of assistance that would be helpful. The majority of respondents cited peer-to-peer learning, conference-style training, and training of trainers as the most effective forms of assistance.
The survey also requested information about the greatest challenges to providing effective services. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the respondents cited a lack of adequate funding and resources as the primary challenge. Other barriers to effective services included a lack of support for prevention efforts and a lack of adequate training and technical assistance for staff members.
Sixty-four percent of the respondents intended to use the information learned from OJJDP-sponsored training to implement evidence-based programming; 57 percent planned to improve outreach, treatment, and supervision of their target populations; and 51 percent cited securing funding as a primary application of the OJJDP training they receive.
Top 10 Unmet Training Needs
Following are the areas most often cited by respondents as having unmet training needs:
Top 10 Emerging Trends and Issues
The survey participants also offered their perspectives on the most important emerging trends and issues in the juvenile justice field. The top 10 issues cited by survey participants were
Established in 1995, NTTAC helps practitioners and communities indentify and implement evidence-based prevention and intervention programs to address juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and other issues affecting youth in the juvenile justice system.
Resource:National Needs Assessment of Juvenile Justice Professionals: 2010 may be accessed at the NTTAC Web site.