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

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.
by Benjamin Chambers   |   04/09/2014
For National Crime Victim's Right Week, Benjamin Chambers at the National Juvenile Justice Network talks about the pervasiveness of racial disparities in both the treatment of youth in the justice and in the numbers of youth who are victims of crime.  
by Dick Mendel   |   04/03/2014
Journalist Dick Mendel takes a close look at the over-representation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system and some good news on the horizon when it comes to reducing this disproportionate minority contact.
by Marie Williams   |   03/28/2014
Each year, hundreds of young people are locked up for actions that would not be criminal if they were adults, like breaking curfew or smoking. A new set of National Standards could end the jailing of children for these "status offenses."
Crittenton Logo
by Jeannette Y. Pai-Espinosa   |   03/25/2014
With the JJDPA undergoing reauthorization, new approaches have been suggested in order to insure that all youth, including girls and young women, get the help they need to heal and thrive.