Training and Technical Assistance

Section 4.11

Federal and Local Policymakers and Advocates Should Strengthen Relevant Federal Agencies to Provide Research, Training and Technical Assistance to State and Local Authorities to Better Assist State Status Offense System Reform Efforts

Since 1974, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) within the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice has provided federal leadership to states on juvenile justice reforms.  Under the JJDPA, OJJDP is mandated to provide training and technical assistance to JJDPA-participating states to help them achieve a sustainable level of compliance with the core requirements of the JJDPA, including the DSO core requirement.1  OJJDP is also authorized to engage in research and evaluation of prevention, intervention and juvenile justice administration policies and practices in order to identify best practices and policies, disseminate those findings and work with states to replicate those practices and policies across the nation.2

Over the last decade, appropriations to OJJDP to carry out these and other functions has declined precipitously, hindering the agency’s ability to identify, uplift and promote replication of status offense systems reforms that are proving effective and cost-efficient.  With increased funding and strong federal support and leadership, OJJDP is poised to meaningfully engage states in significant efforts to help create better systems for families and youth at risk.

In addition to OJJDP, the federal government should also ensure financial and legislative support for the other agencies whose missions and programs intersect with youth who engage in behaviors labeled status offenses, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of Education, as well as the Administration for Children and Families and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

1 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act § 221(b).

2 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act § 204(b)(3).