adolescent development and the effects of specific juvenile justice interventions and programs.
b. Develop a strategy for modifying current laws, policies, and practices, for implementing and evaluating necessary changes on an ongoing basis, and for reviewing any proposed juvenile justice legislation.
c. Intensify efforts to identify and then modify policies and practices that tend to disadvantage racial/ethnic minorities at various stages of the juvenile justice process and publish periodic reports on the nature and extent of disparities and the effects of specific interventions undertaken to reduce them.
Strong Supporting Role for OJJDP
The policies and principles reflected in OJJDP’s legislation are now buttressed by a strong body of scientific knowledge regarding adolescent development as well as an impressive array of research on juvenile offending. Strengthening the legislation will send a strong message regarding the need for state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to assume greater responsibility for complying with the requirements and achieving a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system. It will also enable OJJDP to redirect its resources in a way that best supports the efforts of state, local, and tribal jurisdictions.
Recommendation 2: The role of OJJDP in preventing delinquency and supporting juvenile justice improvement should be strengthened.
a. OJJDP’s capacity to carry out its core mission should be restored through reauthorization, appropriations, and funding flexibility. Assisting state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to align their juvenile justice systems with evolving knowledge about adolescent development and implementing evidence-based and developmentally informed policies, programs, and practices should be among the agency’s top priorities. Any additional responsibilities and authority conferred on the agency should be amply funded so as not to erode the funds needed to carry out the core mission.
b. OJJDP’s legislative mandate to provide core protections should be strengthened through reauthorizing legislation that defines status offenses to include offenses such as possession of alcohol or tobacco that apply only to youth under 21; precludes without exception the detention of youth who commit offenses that would not be punishable by confinement if committed by an adult; modifies the definition of an adult inmate to give states flexibility to