May | June 2012

News in Brief

DOJ Releases Final PREA Rule for Adult and Juvenile Facilities

On May 17, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice released a final rule to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in confinement facilities, in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. The final rule sets national standards protecting inmates in adult prisons and jails, lockups, community confinement facilities, and juvenile facilities at the federal, state, and local levels. An executive summary is available on the Office of Justice Programs Web site. To learn more about the Act, and to access PREA-related resources, including training and technical assistance, visit the National PREA Resource Center.

Defending Childhood logo.OJJDP and COPS Office Host Meeting on Law Enforcement Response to Children's Exposure to Violence

As part of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Defending Childhood initiative, OJJDP and DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office held a meeting of national experts in law enforcement and other key stakeholders who come into contact with children exposed to violence. The goal of the meeting, which was held in Washington, DC, on May 21–22, 2012, was to discuss strategies to better identify, prevent, and respond to children's exposure to violence. The meeting will help lay the groundwork for the creation of a toolkit for law enforcement and other agencies that serve children.

OJJDP-Supported Study Examines Evidence on the Effectiveness of Juvenile Court Sanctions

In the article "Evidence on the Effectiveness of Juvenile Court Sanctions" published in the November/December 2011 issue of the Journal of Criminal Justice, researchers present the findings of an OJJDP-supported study. The researchers found that few evaluations take into account the significant variations in sanctions and in the programming used to administer the sanctions. They argue that, despite substantial advances in evaluation research, this variability significantly restricts the generalizability of evaluation outcomes and it raises questions about whether enough is known about the effectiveness of many juvenile justice sanctions to consider them proven and effective practices. To read the abstract of the article, visit the Web site of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

Attorney General Eric Holder Convenes Third Federal Reentry Council Meeting

On May 10, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder convened the third meeting of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The council represents 20 federal agencies working to make communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization, assisting those who return from prison and jail in becoming productive citizens, and saving taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration. Among the topics discussed at the meeting were important new efforts to reduce barriers to employment. To access DOJ's press release about the meeting, visit the DOJ Web site.

DOJ Releases Tribal Youth Summit Videos

Photo of youth participating in the 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit video.
Still from "That's My People" PSA.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has posted an 8-minute video highlighting its 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit held last July in Santa Fe, NM. The "2011 National Tribal Youth Summit" video covers activities from the week-long event, attended by more than 160 youth representing nearly 50 tribes.

In addition, a public service announcement (PSA) video—"That's My People"—is available on the DOJ Web site. In the PSA, developed at the summit, tribal youth talk about issues that they have identified as important to address with their tribal leaders.

National Gang Center Launches Newsletter on Gang Reduction

The National Gang Center has released the inaugural issue of its quarterly newsletter. The issue features articles on the challenges to schools' anti-gang policies and gang activity amid the falling crime rate, among other topics. The newsletter aims to inform practitioners, researchers, law enforcement, and others with a shared interest in gangs about current trends, significant court decisions, trainings, and strategies being used in communities to address gangs. The center is supported by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Safe Start Center's Antibullying Blog Receives AwardSafe Start National Resource Center logo.

The Safe Start National Resource Center's National Bullying Prevention Month blog series has been honored as a 2011 AVA Gold Winner. The AVA awards are sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals and recognize outstanding achievement in concept, direction, design, and production of media. Funded by OJJDP, the Safe Start Center works to broaden the knowledge of and promote community investment in preventing and reducing the impact of children's exposure to violence.

OJJDP Updates Statistical Briefing Book

OJJDP has updated its Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) to include the latest data on FBI arrests and victims of domestic violence, a redesigned Compendium of National Juvenile Justice Datasets, and new Frequently Asked Questions on teen mothers, juvenile educational characteristics, child maltreatment victims, and school crime victimization.

SBB offers easy access to online information about juvenile crime and victimization and about youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Developed for OJJDP by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the SBB provides timely and reliable answers to questions OJJDP most frequently receives from the media, policymakers, and the general public.

OJJDP Holds Webinars on Trends for Youth in Custody, Leadership Development

On June 13, 2012, OJJDP's National Center for Youth in Custody (NC4YC) presented the Webinar, "Is the Juvenile Justice Realignment Train Slowing Down?" After nearly two decades of falling crime, downsizing juvenile corrections and detention is a central theme in a growing number of juvenile justice systems. The Webinar discussed whether these trends indicate a permanent shift in policy and practice, or merely a temporary reaction to tight budgets and low rates of violent crime.

On May 9, 2012, NC4YC held a Webinar entitled "Leadership: Keys to Leading Juvenile Justice Reform." Presentations focused on collaborative leadership, leadership in culture change, and leadership in empowering youth and families in the rehabilitative process.

Material from the Webinars is archived and accessible on NC4YC's Web site.

Upcoming Webinars include Conditions of Confinement (September 12), Family Engagement (October 17), and Continuum of Services (November 14).

OJP Releases 2012 Program Plan

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently posted its Program Plan for 2012, a searchable online document of current funding opportunities and new initiatives. The plan features information for each of the component offices within OJP regarding both competitive and noncompetitive grants, training and technical assistance, research, and other resources available to the justice community. Also, the plan provides a glossary of acronyms and definitions, answers to frequently asked questions, and an alphabetized index of the programs found in the plan.

AMBER Alert logoNew Report Analyzes AMBER Alert Cases in 2011

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's recently released 2011 AMBER Alert Report provides an analysis of AMBER Alert cases from January 1–December 31, 2011. During that period, a total of 158 AMBER Alerts, involving 197 children, were issued in the United States. Of the 158 alerts issued, 144 cases resulted in a recovery. Twenty-eight of the recoveries occurred as a direct result of AMBER Alerts.

Education Department Seeks Information on Disconnected Youth

The U.S. Department of Education has released a request for information (RFI) on Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth. The RFI invites organizations to recommend effective approaches to increase the rate at which young people ages 14 to 24 who are homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, unemployed, or not enrolled in an educational institution meet educational, employment, and other key development goals. Submissions must be received by July 5, 2012. Submit responses to the RFI via regulations.gov.

NJJEC logoMay Issue of NJJEC Bulletin Now Available

The National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC), funded by OJJDP, has released the May 2012 issue of its newsletter, the NJJEC Bulletin. The bulletin features articles on how to better use “what works” databases for juvenile justice, collecting outcome data for prevention programs, activities at NJJEC, upcoming events, and a state spotlight on Georgia.