Research is the foundation for identifying and developing programs to prevent and reduce juvenile crime and delinquency. The best way to identify strategies that work is by learning about the factors that place youth at risk for delinquency, recognizing youths patterns of offending, and identifying strategies that are effective in responding to youths needs and behaviors. Therefore, investing in research is one of the most important ways that OJJDP can respond to the needs of children at risk of delinquency and their families and communities. OJJDP is accordingly committed to sponsoring a program of research, evaluation, and statistics that seeks to determine what the roots of delinquency are, what policies and programs can help protect youth and families from risk factors, and how communities can support these efforts.
The ultimate goal of OJJDPs Research Division is to prevent at-risk youth from pursuing a delinquent career and to help youth already in the juvenile justice system turn away from future delinquency and criminal behavior and become productive citizens. One of the most important concepts demonstrated by this Report is the need to use what researchers have learned to craft solutions and interventions that address the problems of juvenile crime and violence. OJJDP will continue its strong tradition of using knowledge gained through research to inform program initiatives. Together, OJJDP divisions and program units provide a continuum of activity that fully supports the efforts of researchers, policymakers, courts, schools, juvenile justice facilities, practitioners, parents, and juveniles.
Despite the knowledge OJJDP has gained through the efforts of its Research Division, much remains to be done. Over the years, OJJDP has developed strong partnerships with the many highly skilled researchers in the field of juvenile justice and risk behavior. These partnerships will continue, and many new partnerships will be formed as OJJDP continues to support an array of research studies, evaluations, and statistical activities. With the help of researchers in the field, OJJDP will use what it has learned to develop programs and solutions that will make a difference to juveniles, their families, and their communities.