JJDPA Matters Blog Project



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About this Blog

Each month leading up to the 40th anniversary of the landmark Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) in September, member organizations of the Act4JJ Campaign will blog on aspects of the JJDPA and why it matters.

JJDPA at a Glance

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  • JJDPA is the main federal juvenile justice law
  • JJDPA protects kids and promotes safe communities
  • JJDPA funding has been cut significantly over the last decade

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Blog Posts to Date

juvenile justice funding
by Gary Gately   |   02/13/2015
When congressional lawmakers last reauthorized the landmark Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, in fiscal year 2002, they appropriated about $547 million for juvenile justice.Today, federal spending on juvenile justice totals less than half that amount — about $251 million.
by Irasema Garza, J.D.   |   02/13/2015
Youth have suffered harm because the nation’s juvenile justice system is in urgent need of fixing. States that have instituted reforms to reduce youth incarceration rates have curbed crime without compromising public safety and substantially lowered costs. At the national level there is bipartisan recognition that legislation is needed to accomplish similar goals.
by Steve A. Drizin   |   01/21/2015
President Obama's approval ratings have improved and he's working to fulfil some of the promises he campaigned on, but there's one issue that still needs his support, juvenile justice.  It is time for the President to speak out about "mass incarceration" and the way our criminal justice policies are devastating communities of color.
Rikers Island
by   |   12/22/2014
As stories emerge about the mistreatment of youth at Rikers Island, the bipartisan agreement to reautorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention couldn't have come at a more necessary time.
by A. L. Carlisle   |   12/12/2014
An activist and mother applauds the bipartisan leadership it took to reintroduce the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) on Dec. 11, 2014.
by   |   12/11/2014
Bipartisan bill strengthens federal law to reduce incarceration, make state juvenile justice systems more fair, improve public safety. Youth, family and juvenile justice advocates endorse legislation to support states efforts to improve their juvenile justice systems, protect kids, and build safer communities.  
by Marcy Mistrett   |   11/25/2014
Despite a universally recognized need to further reduce delinquency and improve juvenile justice systems, federal appropriations for key federal juvenile justice programs have suffered in the last decade. Read why Act-4-JJ Campaign submitted a letter to President Obama to encourage adequate funding for juvenile justice in his fiscal year 2016 budget recommendations.
by Jessie Domingo Salu   |   11/05/2014
Vice President of The National Crittenton Foundation, Jessie Salu, discusses the importance of advocating for girls who are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system for status offenses.
by Maheen Kaleem   |   10/21/2014
Federal law defines any commercial sex act involving someone under the age of 18 as a “severe form of trafficking.” And yet every year in the United States, hundreds of girls and gender-nonconforming children are arrested for prostitution, solicitation, and other-related crimes. Learn how the reauthorization of the JJDPA can protect girls from incarceration.
by   |   10/15/2014
In celebration of National Youth Justice Awareness Month, the latest data on youth confinement is being compared. While there has been a significant reduction, a disproportioante number of minority youth being confined shows there's still work to be done.
by Marcy Mistrett   |   10/01/2014
September marked the 40th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA)—the nation’s main law governing state juvenile justice programs. However, the law is in need of reauthorization. Learn how to help strengthen this landmark law.
by Lashon Amado   |   09/16/2014
Under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), the nation’s main federal juvenile justice law, states must establish State Advisory Groups to monitor state compliance with the law. SAGs must include young people—but engaging them can be a challenge.
by Richard Ross   |   09/15/2014
Each night, more than 60,000 of our children fall asleep in juvenile detention facilities and other residential placements. Ready why we need to improve juvenile incarceration.
by Liz Ryan, Jill Ward   |   09/10/2014
Tired of sending out action alerts, op-eds, Facebook posts, and tweets about why the #JJDPAMatters? We hear you. But, this landmark law is important in protecting youth. Learn why the JJDPA matters.
JJDPA 40 anniversary
by   |   09/09/2014
Photographer Richard Ross takes us inside the country’s juvenile detention facilities in an exhibit on display this week in Washington, DC, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Check out some of the powerful photographs. 
jjdpa at 40
by Jill Ward   |   09/08/2014
On Sept. 7, 2014, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA)—the nation’s main law governing state juvenile justice programs—turned 40. This week, advocates from across the country will be taking time to reflect on the importance of this landmark federal law and how it can be made even stronger.
children smiling
by Shaena Fazal   |   09/02/2014
Did you know using the average daily cost of incarceration, states across this country spent a combined $539,599 for one day to incarcerate kids fortruancy, incorrigibility and running away? Learn how the JJDPA can save the lives of youth facing incarceration and reduce costs.
CJJ members
by Yosha Gunasekera   |   08/14/2014
As the anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act draws near, read about young changemakers who are making a difference through the help of activism and the act at the National Youth Summit in DC.
statue of liberty
by Liz Ryan   |   08/08/2014
With virtually no accountability for staff actions, the report concludes that the conduct of staff at Rikers violates the constitutional rights of adolescent inmates. Liz Ryan explains the harm youth are put in whent they're being incarcerated in adult jails.
by Jeannette Pai-Espinosa   |   07/29/2014
ACEs or Adverse Childhood Experiences can provide insight into the impact of childhood exposure to abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. Learn how understanding ACE helps us to more clearly define the challenges and root causes of the involvement of girls and boys in the juvenile justice system.