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

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.
safely home cover
by Shaena Fazal, Esq   |   07/16/2014
For some youth, reauthorizing the JJDPA will mean the difference between a high school degree and a productive future or an arduous, expensive and wasteful path into the criminal justice system and disconnection that will cost society in other ways. Together, we can make sure all youth have opportunities to be on a better path.  Shaena Fazal of YAP explains how. 
lgbt flag
by Adam D. Swanson   |   06/23/2014
Pride Month celebrations across the country are more cheerful than ever thanks to recent stories of momentous progress within communities and the federal government. As Congress considers reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), there is an opportunity to substantially improve the way our justice system works with lgbt youth.
by Christina Gilbert   |   06/17/2014
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth are over-represented in the juvenile justice system.  Although LGBT youth represent 5 to 7 percent of the nation’s youth population, they represent 13 to 15 percent of those in the juvenile justice system.
by Jill Ward   |   06/11/2014
After a long wait, U.S. Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) has announced the intention to introduce bipartiasn legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act (JJDPA), a law that was first introduced almost 40 years ago.
the capitol
by Liz Ryan   |   06/02/2014
Congress and states spend more than $5 billion a year to lock kids up in youth prisons. This could be better spent investing in what we know helps youth get their lives back on track.
by Diane Smith Howard   |   05/22/2014
In this week's JJDPA blog series, Diane Howard discusses the harm in school removal for children and youth with disabilities.
capitol city correction
by   |   05/19/2014
(Washington, DC) May 19, 2014 - In 2012, youth in the District of Columbia spent more than 10,000 days - the equivalent of 27 years - in adult jail under a statute that enables federal prosecutors to send DC youth accused of certain crimes to adult court without judicial review, according to a new report released today by 
boy face covered
by Allison Bollinger Miller   |   05/15/2014
In support of National Mental Health Awareness Month, Allison Miller brings awareness to the lack of support for youth with mental illnesses in the juvenile justice system.
suspect sketch
by Keri Nash   |   04/30/2014
We know from the data that racial and ethnic disparities remain a problem throughout the juvenile justice system. Why do these disparities persist and what can we do about them? Keri Nash of the Center for Children’s Law and Policy says studies on human behavior and bias offer some answers.
youth in handcuffs
by Anna Wong   |   04/23/2014
Anna Wong at the W. Haywood Burns Institute explains how the JJDPA bill is improving racial disparities within incarceration rates.
Justice data
by Josh Rovner   |   04/16/2014
Josh Rovner explains the startling disparities between how frequently black and white teenagers encounter the juvenile justice system.