The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (OJJDP), through its Research and
Program Development Division (the Research
Division), supports and promotes science-based
research, rigorous and informative evaluations of
demonstration programs, and meaningful collection
and analysis of statistics. The Research Divisionís
overall mission is to generate credible and useful information
to improve decisionmaking in the juvenile
justice system and thereby prevent and reduce juvenile
delinquency and victimization. To achieve this
goal, OJJDP translates research into action.
This Report summarizes the activities and achievements
of OJJDPís Research Division from August
1999 to the present in three areas:
- Research. The Research Division sponsors
empirical studies on an array of topics related
to juveniles and delinquency, from the roots of
violence to the impact of victimization. Studies
range from exploratory and descriptive to rigorously
- Evaluation. One of the Research Divisionís important
functions is to identify what works. Its
evaluations measure the impact of programs
geared to preventing or reducing the incidence
of juvenile delinquency and victimization. Many
OJJDP-sponsored projects are community-based
initiatives with multiple components. This
type of project presents special challenges to the
Research Division when measuring the impact of
interventions and specific programs.
- Statistics. The Research Division sponsors the
Nationís primary efforts to gather data and statistics
on juveniles and crime, including information
on juvenile detention and corrections populations, probation caseloads, and court activities. OJJDPís
Research Division also has taken the lead in making
such statistical data accessible to the field.
Solutions to juvenile crime and delinquency must be
based on what has been learned about effective programming.
OJJDP strategically sponsors research
that has the greatest potential to improve the Nationís
understanding of juvenile delinquency and victimization
and of ways to develop effective prevention and
intervention programs. The Research Division collaborates
with a number of Federal agencies to carry
out research and evaluation efforts, the findings of
which are useful to an interdisciplinary audience.
The work produced through OJJDP research,
evaluation, and statistics programs is used by:
- Researchers in the field.
- Practitioners on the front lines.
- Policymakers at the Federal, State, and local levels.
In addition, the Research Division works with other
OJJDP divisions to use research to enhance training
efforts, improve program activities, inform the
public, craft effective interventions, and formulate
policies that will have a positive impact on individuals,
families, and communities.
Programs that promote protective factors and help reduce the risk factors that
lead to juvenile crime are among the best investments a community can
make to lower its rate of delinquency. Evaluation and testing must be
used to identify the programs that are effective in keeping juveniles
from being arrested and entering the juvenile justice system in the first
place. At the same time, communities need to identify corrections treatment
and aftercare programs that will effectively reduce the likelihood of
Collaboration With Other Federal Agencies
OJJDP collaborates with
other Federal Government agencies to cofund and oversee research related
to juveniles. Such collaboration enables OJJDP to use its funds more
efficiently and ensure that its efforts do not duplicate those of
other agencies. OJJDP is much sought after as a partner by other agencies.
The Research Division currently works with the Office of National
Drug Control Policy; the U.S. Departments of Commerce (Bureau of
the Census), Education, Health and Human Services (Administration
for Children and Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development, and National Institute on Drug
Abuse), and Labor; the Federal Trade Commission; and other U.S. Department
of Justice offices, including the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the
Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Executive Office for Weed and Seed,
the National Institute of Justice, the Office for Victims of Crime,
the Office of Community Oriented Policing, and the Violence Against
The Research Division is committed to maximizing
the impact of OJJDP research by disseminating its
findings to practitioners and policymakers who
work with juveniles and juvenile offenders. Space
constraints make it impossible to cover fully in
this document the number and scope of projects
undertaken by the Research Division every year.
Instead, this Report offers a current overview of the
Divisionís diverse work, with particular focus on
important new findings and emerging research
areas. The Report includes the following chapters:
- New Findings. This chapter describes important
OJJDP research projects, including the Study
Group on Very Young Offenders, the Program
of Research on the Causes and Correlates of
Delinquency, and research on juvenile transfers
to criminal court.
- New and Emerging Research Efforts. This
chapter highlights new and emerging research
efforts being launched by OJJDP, including
research programs that examine female delinquency,
tribal youth, and mental health issues
and a study that examines the "whys" behind
juvenile crime trends.
- Highlights. This chapter presents information on
some key OJJDP research activities, including
research on child victimization, school violence,
and substance abuse initiatives.
In addition, three appendixes list active research
projects, research-related publications and products,
and research-related online resources.