On April 20, 2012, OJJDP convened a Webinar-facilitated meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ). Following are highlights of the meeting:
- OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes discussed, among other topics, OJJDP's draft 2012 Program Plan and the restructuring of the Office. Hanes explained that the plan and the reorganization are designed to more accurately reflect OJJDP's primary work, which she characterized as "prevention, community development, and innovation"; and to assist the Office in better supporting the field in a time of declining resources. Hanes said OJJDP will focus on:
- Research, evaluation, and data collection.
- Development of practices, programming, and innovation.
- Capacity building.
- Policy development and management.
- Information and resource development and dissemination.
- Strategic partnerships and alliances.
To leverage resources and support, OJJDP is forming partnerships with other federal agencies and philanthropies such as the Casey and MacArthur Foundations and Atlantic Philanthropies. Hanes emphasized that collaboration is at the core of many of OJJDP's activities, including Defending Childhood, the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, and the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.
- During the Webinar, OJJDP conducted electronic polling with FACJJ members to get feedback on FACJJ's recommended strategies for achieving the objectives of the Program Plan. Polling results showed that FACJJ members set a high priority on:
- Developing and disseminating new information to the juvenile justice field.
- Expanding partnerships and research to address disproportionate minority contact.
- Conducting further research on youth involved in the juvenile justice system who have a history of abuse and/or neglect, and identifying successful programs to prevent children with such a history from entering the system.
- Creating a consolidated research agenda for youth across federal agencies that puts the priority on youth who are at risk of entering, or who are already in, the juvenile justice system.
- Rewriting and updating OJJDP's Guide for Implementing the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders and building capacity for localities to conduct assessments of their juvenile justice systems and service delivery.
- Developing a best-practices training curriculum to inform police, court, probation, and school personnel on juvenile justice.
- OJJDP staff provided a brief overview of the work of the Office's National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC). The center assists state, local, and tribal entities in their efforts to evaluate their juvenile justice programs and implement evidence-based initiatives. An NJJEC needs assessment of grantmaking agencies found that many of the agencies' grantees need training and technical assistance in the area of evaluation. NJJEC is also developing a sustainability toolkit that will outline important components for continuing evidence-based programs and practices. FACJJ members will provide suggestions on specific project activities at the request of NJJEC.
The committee's meetings are open to the public; anyone may register to attend and observe. Additional information is available on the committee's Web site.
The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice is a consultative body established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (Section 223), and is supported by OJJDP. Composed of members of state advisory groups on juvenile justice, 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.