September | October 2012

News in Brief

OJJDP Mourns the Passing of Joe Fedeli

Photo of Joseph FedeliJoseph Fedeli.
Joseph Fedeli, Vice President for Administration for Development Services Group, Inc., and project director of OJJDP's National State Advisory Group Training Grant, passed away on September 4, 2012. Joe was a nationally recognized executive, manager, facilitator, and trainer in the juvenile justice and social services fields.

As a subject matter expert in institutional confinement and conditions, Joe advised the Department of Justice's Office of Civil Rights and members of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission as they collected data in preparation for recommending standards to enhance the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of inmate sexual assault.

Among many other achievements during his nearly 40-year career, Joe served as project director of the OJJDP Formula Grants Training and Technical Assistance Project for the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia. He also directed Court Services and Residential Services for the Fairfax County (VA) Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Virginia's largest court. In this capacity, he oversaw a $20 million budget. He designed and directed the first community residential treatment program for adolescent girls administered by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Joe also worked on behalf of youth and families as a psychotherapist, a management and program consultant for juvenile programs, a correctional officer for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, and a counselor for community drug-abuse treatment programs.

In addition to his consummate professionalism, Joe will be remembered for his easy laughter, quick wit, ever-present compassion, good counsel, and keen insight.

DOJ, United Way Partner To Assist Children Exposed to Violence

Defending Childhood logoOn September 28, 2012, in Cleveland, OH, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice and key stakeholders will partner with the United Way's 2–1–1 "call-for-service" line to identify and assist children exposed to violence. The 2–1–1 community access line, which connects the public with human services, will now give citizens access to screening, assessment, and treatment services for children who have been victims of or witnesses to violence. More information about the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative and about 2–1–1 is available online. OJJDP publications on children's exposure to violence are also available online.

October Is National Youth Justice Awareness Month

Poster promoting National Youth Justice Awareness Month.An estimated 250,000 youth under the age of 18 are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system every year. Most of these young people have committed nonviolent offenses. Youth in the adult system face a higher risk of violence and sexual assault, and a criminal record often makes it difficult for youth reentering their communities to access educational and vocational opportunities.

To raise awareness about the impact of prosecuting youth in the adult criminal justice system, the Campaign for Youth Justice offers a range of resources for communities to use as they advocate for reform, including guides to working with the media and legislators, talking points, and a free DVD and discussion guide designed to promote dialog about the issue. The DVD and discussion guide may be ordered from the Campaign for Youth Justice Web site.

National Report on System-Involved Youth and Their Families Released

On September 10, 2012, Justice for Families and the DataCenter released a new report, Families Unlocking Futures: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice, which details the challenges families face when their children come into contact with the juvenile justice system and offers policy and practice recommendations to address these challenges. The report is based on more than 1,000 surveys with parents and family members of incarcerated youth and 24 focus groups nationwide.

More than 80 percent of parents surveyed said they were not consulted by a judge during courtroom proceedings about what should happen to their child. Seventy-five percent of respondents with a child in residential placement said they faced serious impediments to visiting their children, and more than half of family members said it was difficult or impossible to contact staff to get information about their child's progress or safety. Only 32 percent of parents and families reported discussing release plans with justice system personnel before their child's release. The full report, including recommendations for juvenile justice reform, is available online.

Juvenile Justice, Law Enforcement, School, and Health Professionals Join Other Stakeholders To Forge Consensus on School Discipline Policies

On October 9, 2012, the Council of State Governments Justice Center convened a group of more than 100 policymakers, national experts, educators, law enforcement and court officials, health professionals, students, parents, and others committed to improving school disciplinary policies. The diverse, bipartisan national group commenced work on consensus-based recommendations for approaches to school discipline that keep children in school and out of the juvenile justice system while providing a safe, positive learning environment. More information about the event is available online.

OJJDP Seeks Nominations for Missing Children's Day Awards

Each year the Department of Justice recognizes the extraordinary efforts of individuals, organizations, and agencies that have made a significant contribution to protecting children during the prior calendar year. The awards are presented at OJJDP's annual Missing Children's Day Ceremony in May. Nominations must be received no later than January 18, 2013. Nomination forms and information about eligibility requirements and judging criteria are available online.

OJJDP Announces 2013 National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest

Photo of winning artwork from 2012 National Missing Children's Day poster contest.OJJDP encourages fifth grade students to participate in the National Missing Children's Day poster contest. The annual contest creates an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and other child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and/or exploited children with children, parents, and guardians and to promote child safety. OJJDP will invite the contest winner to Washington, DC, to participate in the National Missing Children's Day commemoration in May 2013, at which time he or she will receive an award for the winning artwork.

For additional information, including contest rules and submission deadlines, visit the poster contest resource page.

Safe Start Center logo.OJJDP's Safe Start Center Develops Toolkit on Children's Exposure to Violence

The Safe Start Center has released a toolkit focused on children's exposure to violence (CEV) and its impact on the child's educational environment. The toolkit defines CEV, discusses the impact of CEV in the school, and explains how the educational community can help. It also provides links to free Safe Start Center resources, including tip sheets, issue briefs, and guides.

Online Bullying Prevention Training Modules Available

stopbullying.govFree, online bullying prevention training modules are now available on stopbullying.gov. The training modules offer a PowerPoint presentation for community events, speaker notes with suggested talking points, a Community Action Toolkit, and a video for use in bullying prevention efforts in communities.

Research Briefs Examine Interventions Specifically for Girls and Boys

Child Trends has released two fact sheets: What Works for Female Children and Adolescents: Lessons From Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions and What Works for Male Children and Adolescents: Lessons From Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions. Each research brief synthesizes findings from more than 100 evaluations of interventions to reduce risk factors for children and youth, presenting what works—and what doesn't—for girls and boys.

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Released

On September 10, 2012, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, announced the release of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The strategy emphasizes the role all Americans can play in protecting their friends, family members, and colleagues from suicide. An archived video of the announcement is available online.

On September 14, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Mary Lou Leary posted a blog on OJP programs that address suicide prevention. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young Americans ages 15 to 24, and the second leading cause of death among adults ages 25 to 34.

BJS Report Summarizes Violent Crime Among Households With Children

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Prevalence of Violent Crime Among Households With Children, 1993–2010. The report describes nonfatal violent crime involving members of a household as victims and the annual prevalence of that violent crime among U.S. households with children from 1993 to 2010. To read the report, visit the BJS Web site.

Cover of Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001–2011.Report Highlights State Trends in Juvenile Justice Legislation

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001–2011, which examines state legislative activity over the past decade on a number of juvenile justice issues, including prevention and intervention, disproportionate minority contact, reentry/aftercare, and corrections reform. According to the report, during this period, legislatures have tended to realign fiscal resources from state institutions toward more effective community-based services. The report may be viewed and downloaded online.

OJJDP Updates Statistical Briefing Book

Statistical Briefing Book logo.OJJDP has updated its Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) to include 2011 data on juvenile populations, 2010 data on victims of domestic violence, and FBI supplementary homicide reports through 2010. Data from 2010 on homicide victims and perpetrators have also been added to the Frequently Asked Questions section.

The SBB offers easy access to a host of juvenile justice information. Its data analysis tools allow users to create custom analyses of juvenile populations, arrests, court cases, and residential placement. The National Center for Juvenile Justice developed the SBB for OJJDP.

Five Family Drug Courts Selected as Peer Learning Courts

On September 5, 2012, OJJDP and the Center for Children and Family Futures (CCFF) announced the selection of five family drug courts to serve as peer learning courts. The courts—Baltimore City (MD) Circuit Court/Juvenile Division, Chatham County (GA) Juvenile Court/Family Dependency Treatment Court, Hillsdale County (MI) Family Drug Court, Jackson County (MO) Family Drug Court/16th Judicial District, and Pima County (AZ) Juvenile Court—will highlight national best practice models and offer peer-to-peer technical assistance. The peer learning court program is part of the range of technical assistance opportunities available through CCFF. The announcement was made at Family Drug Courts: A National Symposium To Improve Family Recovery, Safety, and Stability, which was sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with OJJDP.

OJJDP Guide Assists Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities in Preparing for Emergencies

September was Emergency Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages everyone to learn how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. OJJDP's Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities is the first comprehensive planning guide to address the specific needs of facility staff and children, youth, and families involved in the justice system during an emergency. The publication may be viewed and downloaded online. To order a printed copy, visit the National Criminal Justice Reference Service Web site.

New Issue of NJJEC Bulletin Available

NJJEC logoThe National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC), funded by OJJDP, has released the September 2012 issue of its newsletter, the NJJEC Bulletin. This issue includes articles on risk assessment and screening tools, anecdotal evidence to supplement collected data, Arkansas' juvenile justice reform, and NJJEC activities and upcoming events.

Fall 2012 Issue of National Gang Center Newsletter Released

This issue features articles on the following topics: the Cure Violence program (formerly known as CeaseFire); Operation Hardcore, a specialized prosecution unit focused on violent gang crimes; street outreach and the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model; the Massachusetts Shannon Community Safety Initiative; and the report, "Gang Homicides From Five U.S. Cities." The National Gang Center is funded by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.