Over the last few decades, there has been an explosion of empirical research on child and adolescent development in general and on the psychological and neurobiological basis of adolescent behavior in particular. In addition, a strong body of research has emerged on pathways of youths offending, the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs, and the consequences of juvenile court interventions and of transfer of youths to criminal court for adult prosecution and sentencing. Taken as a whole, these findings raised many concerns over the extent to which the corrections-oriented philosophy of the 1980s and 1990s was an effective response to juvenile delinquency. By the start of the 21st century, as noted in Chapter 1, many localities and states had begun reforming their systems based on this impressive body of research on adolescent development and the effects of justice system interventions.
The National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform recognized in its 2013 report that adolescents differ from adults in three important ways. As compared with adults, adolescents are (1) less able to regulate their own behavior in emotionally charged contexts, (2) more sensitive to external influences to their own behavior such as the presence of peers and the immediacy of rewards, and (3) less able to make informed decisions that require long-term consideration (National Research Council, 2013, p. 2; hereafter, the 2013 NRC report). In general, these capacities improve as adolescents get older and progress into young adulthood.
That committee postulated that the overarching aim of the juvenile justice system is to support prosocial development of youths who come in contact with legal authorities or are involved in the system and thereby ensure the safety of communities. The specific goals of the juvenile court and affiliated agencies of the juvenile justice system are to hold youths accountable for wrongdoing, prevent further offending, and treat juveniles fairly (see National Research Council, 2013, pp. 4-7.) The 2013 NRC report demonstrated that all three goals of the juvenile justice system can be aligned with the emerging science of adolescent development. Specifically, the authors observed:
- Being held accountable for wrongdoing and accepting responsibility in a process perceived to be fair promotes healthy moral development and legal socialization.
- Being penalized, especially with severe sanctions, in a process perceived as unfair reinforces social disaffection and antisocial behavior.
- Predominantly punitive policies and programs do not foster prosocial development or reduce recidivism.
- No convincing evidence exists that confinement of juvenile offenders beyond the time needed to deliver intensive services reduces the likelihood of re-offending.
- Programs that aim to reduce risk factors associated with delinquency and violence, by fostering prosocial development and by building promotive (protective) factors at the individual, family, school, and peer levels, have been shown to be successful at preventing re-offending with benefits several times the costs.
- Racial and ethnic disparities, even if unintentional, contribute to perceptions of unfairness among justice-involved youth, their families, and members of minority communities.
National Research Council, 2013, pp. 1-14)1
The 2013 NRC report further translated these findings into a set of guiding principles to offer actions that can be taken to achieve the goals of the juvenile justice system in a developmentally informed manner (see Box 11-1 in the 2013 report or the guiding principles box in Appendix B.) This process of applying what is known from developmental research on adolescence to policies and practices of juvenile justice is characterized, quite simply, as the developmental approach.
Although there have been policies and practices across the history of the juvenile justice system that were appropriate to the developmental needs of adolescents, this current period of reform is uniquely characterized as taking a developmental approach because of the growth in research knowledge on adolescent development and effective interventions as well as the rethinking of punitive policies from the 1980s and 1990s that have been shown to have adverse consequences on youth development and their re-offending (for further discussion on historical developments, see National Research Council, 2013, pp. 45-47).
The 2013 NRC report made four broad recommendations based on these findings and conclusions and on the central idea that a developmental approach should guide juvenile justice system improvement: (1) state and tribal governments should create oversight bodies to design, implement, and oversee a long-term process of juvenile justice reform; (2) the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) should assume a strengthened federal role to support juvenile justice system improvement; (3) federal agencies should support research to advance the science of adolescent development and improve understanding of effective responses to delinquency; and (4) OJJDP should guide a data improvement program. The report emphasized that laws, policies, and practices at every stage within the justice system should align with the evolving knowledge of adolescent development (National Research Council, 2013, Chapter 11).
This report focuses on OJJDP’s role in implementing these recommendations, most notably how OJJDP can assume a strong leadership role and guide jurisdictions in the process of reform. In this chapter, the committee outlines a foundation for carrying out this facilitative role that draws on the literature of organizational and policy change as well as the principles for a developmentally informed juvenile justice system articulated in the 2013 NRC report.
Like the earlier 2013 NRC report and many advocates for reform, this committee envisions a juvenile justice system, guided by OJJDP, in which all participants understand the developmental differences between adolescents and adults and use that knowledge to create and use alternatives to juvenile system involvement, to provide the right services at the right time in the right setting for each youth who is formally involved in the system, and to ensure that every youth becomes a successful, productive member of the community. The committee that wrote the 2013 NRC report sought to articulate how the science of adolescent development can align with the goals of the juvenile justice system and produced a set of guiding principles for that purpose (see Box 11-1 in the 2013 report or the guiding principles box in Appendix B.)
This committee aims to show how the developmental approach can guide juvenile justice reform. To that end, we identified seven hallmarks of a developmental approach: (1) accountability without criminalization, (2) alternatives
1For more information, see the briefing slides of the 2013 NRC report. Available: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CLAJ/dbasse_088932 [August 2014].
to justice system involvement, (3) individualized response based on assessment of needs and risks, (4) confinement only when necessary for public safety, (5) a genuine commitment to fairness, (6) sensitivity to disparate treatment, and (7) family engagement. While these hallmarks draw from and complement the guiding principles from the 2013 NRC report, we found it useful to have a distinct list of hallmarks that captures what is currently known from developmental science and that can be pulled out easily for policy and programmatic discussions. The rationale and intended meaning of each hallmark are explained below.
Holding offenders accountable is predicated on the universally recognized precept that persons who cause harm, especially serious personal victimization, should be held responsible and accountable and that their behavior should be subject to corrective action. Although confinement is one option for holding adolescents accountable for their actions, it should be used sparingly and only when public safety concerns are especially heightened (see discussion below). The 2013 NRC report documents that, in order to develop into prosocial adults who appreciate the legitimacy of justice systems, adolescents need opportunities to accept responsibility for their actions and, where appropriate, to make amends to affected individuals and communities. Having a criminal record impedes education and employment opportunities, disrupts relationships, and limits access to social services (National Research Council, 2013, 2014). Given that adolescence is a transient period, official records of a juvenile’s encounters with the juvenile justice system should be strictly confidential, except in extraordinary circumstances involving a compelling need to protect public safety, so as to fully preserve the youth’s opportunities for successful integration into adult life.
Knowledge is growing about the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve decision making and those designed to address health and mental health problems of youths (National Research Council, 2013; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2009). Interventions aiming to prevent re-offending often are more effective if services needed by adolescents are provided with minimal penetration into the system, as long as accountability is also achieved when appropriate. The 2013 NRC report notes that well-designed community-based programs are more likely than institutional confinement to facilitate healthy development and reduce recidivism for the majority of youths who come to the attention of the juvenile justice system (National Research Council, 2013, Chapter 6). It is important to recognize that programs or facilities in which justice-involved youths are placed provide the “social context” for their ongoing development and that interventions should be designed to provide positive influences and to strengthen available family relationships and supports.
Responses by law enforcement and school disciplinary personnel should be governed by the “first, do no harm” axiom that is inherent in a developmental approach; an approach consistent with this is to routinely and informally divert youths suspected of less serious offending to parental supervision or other community resources in lieu of initiating the juvenile justice process. Pre-petition diversion is an effective and often used approach for nonviolent, first time offenders (National Research Council, 2013). However there is also potential to develop procedures for post-petition diversion which, if coupled with an automatic expungement upon successful completion of the diversion program, would achieve accountability without criminalization.2
Once youths become involved in the juvenile justice system, a range of decision makers play a role in the response (see Box 2-1). Individualized assessment of the treatment and intervention needs of the adolescent, as well as the risk of subsequent offending, helps to match needs (particularly those associated with the likelihood
The juvenile process involves a range of decision makers and participants who interact with adolescents who are at various stages of cognitive and emotional development. Training justice personnel and associated service providers on findings from developmental science can help them understand adolescent behavior and how best to respond to youths involved in the system. Instituting policies informed by developmental science can lead to practices that hold adolescents accountable for their actions and administer services consistent with needs while promoting prosocial development.
- Community-based service providers (e.g., mental health and drug treatment providers, educators, and employment services providers) offer and administer treatment to juveniles placed outside the home, sometimes as options for diversion out of juvenile justice, as well as after youths become system involved. Assignments to programming should be based on a careful assessment of each adolescent’s needs for a successful transition back into the family and community.
- Defense counsel stand in a unique position in that they can gather a lot of the requisite information regarding the youth’s background and life circumstances, including the nature of the criminal event and the circumstances surrounding the adolescent’s motivation. Defense counsel also can help to explain the juvenile court proceedings to adolescents and their families. They prepare material for the court regarding the youth’s competency to rationally understand and engage in the proceedings against him/her and mount the appropriate defense.
- Judges play a central role in any case in which a delinquency petition is filed. Depending upon the jurisdiction, judges have substantial power to determine whether diversion is an option. If the case continues to court, judges have responsibility to ensure that the court process is fair, that individualized determinations are made, and that adolescents and their families understand all aspects of the court proceeding and their options and are given a voice in the process.
- Juvenile justice case managers supervise system-involved youths who are living in their homes or communities and coordinate the provision of community-based services such as tutoring, vocational services, family counseling, mentoring, and mental health or behavioral health services. Assessments and assignments should be based on a careful understanding of each adolescent’s needs for a successful transition back into the family and community.
- Law enforcement officers have a unique opportunity to practice procedural justice so that interactions are fair and just and follow the law and legal procedure. They can also make individual judgments whether to divert youths to services agencies or parental control without initiating formal system involvement.
- Prosecutors wield a sizable amount of power and discretion in that they can divert or charge adolescents with various crime types and also, where it is an option, can transfer the adolescent to adult criminal court for processing. Prosecutors using a developmental approach will make individualized determinations that balance holding youths accountable for their actions with providing the interventions they may need, while taking into account the developmental differences between adolescents and adults.
- Residential facilities provide out-of-home placement for system-involved youths. Depending on the state, out-of-home placement can refer to shelter programs (typically 24 hours to 30 days), residential treatment programs (e.g., mental health or behavioral health treatment, substance abuse treatment), correctional facilities (detention or pre-adjudication and commitment or post-disposition), foster homes (family-based), or group homes. Residential facilities provide a more developmentally appropriate environment by ensuring that all placement staff are trained to understand normal adolescent risk-taking behavior and the developmental need for prosocial interactions between peers and with adults and opportunities for decision making.
- School administrators and personnel, including teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, administrators, and school-based officers, are involved on the front end and also on the back end when youths are returned to their communities and schools. With appropriate training, they are positioned to know when to engage the juvenile justice system versus other services based on assessment of risk and needs of the youths.
of further offending) appropriately to available levels of supervision and services (Aos et al., 2004; Howell, 2009; Mulvey, 2005; Mulvey and Iselin, 2008; Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1995). Collection of a wide variety of information ensures a more dynamic view of adolescents and their behaviors and reflects a shift from predicting risk (20th-century juvenile justice) to managing risk (21st-century developmentally informed juvenile justice). This approach places less emphasis on categories of offending and more emphasis on the malleable factors that may contribute to antisocial behavior in each case.
These assessments also can identify factors that help to differentiate youths at lower risk of re-offending—who can be handled through diversion or in community-based settings from higher-risk youths—for whom more intensive and/or expansive interventions should be provided. The use of these tools focuses system resources where they are most likely to provide a return in reduced offending and positive adolescent development. Successful matching of the adolescent to requisite services (e.g., with validated risk/need assessment tools) is thus critical for several goals: successful treatment, reintegration into the community, and reduced recidivism.
Among youths charged with serious offenses who are subject to prosecution in the criminal justice system, individualized determinations by prosecutors and judges are needed about whether an adolescent will be tried as an adult and what sentence is imposed upon conviction in a criminal court. These judgments would take into account the features of adolescent decision making and judgment that affect their culpability and amenability to change, compared with adults who have committed similar transgressions (Grisso et al., 2003; National Research Council, 2013, pp. 130-136; Scott and Grisso, 2005).3
Consistent research findings show that negative effects and outcomes for juveniles are associated with lengthy confinement and severe conditions. In extreme cases, youths who are confined have been exposed to sexual abuse, extended isolation or solitary confinement, use of restraints, inadequate educational and behavioral health services, and untrained staff (American Civil Liberties Union, 2013; Beck et al., 2013; National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center, 2010; Wasserman et al., 2004). According to the 2013 NRC report (National Research Council, 2013, p. 155):
… institutional treatment programs generally have an unimpressive record for reducing reoffending and that large, overcrowded facilities with limited treatment programs (in which custody trumps treatment concerns) often have high recidivism rates (Ezell, 2007; Trulson et al., 2007). At the same time, there are empirically sound and convincing reports indicating that theoretically grounded, adequately staffed, and well-documented programs for seriously violent youth that involve institutional care can produce impressive and fiscally advantageous effects (Barnoski, 2004; Caldwell, Vitaceo, and Van Rybrock, 2006; Caldwell et al., 2006).
As noted above, a key hallmark of a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform is developing alternatives to justice system involvement. Even when youths are adjudicated as delinquent, alternatives to confinement often serve the goals of the system. This does not necessitate all service provision being outside of placement settings, as residential placement of some adolescents is necessary from a public safety perspective. Studies have shown, however, that confinement of juveniles beyond the minimum amount needed to deliver intensive services effectively is not only wasteful economically but also potentially harmful, and it may impede prosocial development (National Research Council, 2013). When adolescents are assigned to residential placements, their environments should be conducive to positive development as well as providing appropriate services and treatment to address
3The Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Roper v. Simmons (2005), Graham v. Florida (2010), and Miller v. Alabama (2012) emphasize that adolescents’ diminished culpability and amenability to change preclude the most severe punishments altogether and also should discourage lengthy mandatory sentences. As noted by the 2013 NRC report, this principle also should require individualized assessment of a juvenile as a prerequisite to trial in criminal court. See, for example, Roper v. Simmons (2005), p. 568, where the Supreme Court recognized that the choices of adolescents are influenced by factors integral to their stage of development, stating “… blameworthiness is diminished, to a substantial degree, by reason of youth and immaturity,” and Graham v. Florida (2010), pp. 50-51, where the Supreme Court recognized that a juvenile offender may exhibit a “capacity for change” and should be given “a chance to demonstrate maturity and reform.”
their needs. One way to ensure such environments is through standards for facilities. Performance-based standards, as discussed in the 2013 NRC report, provide an example of a juvenile corrections data collection system that has been highly effective. These standards include standard measures in areas such as education, safety, behavior management, service provision, and resource connections, and they use analytical tools that allow comparisons of facilities within a state and across states.
Ensuring fairness is important in individual cases and also throughout the administration of justice more generally. Empirical studies have found that treating youths fairly and ensuring that they perceive that they have been treated fairly and with dignity contribute to several important features of prosocial development, including moral development, belief in the legitimacy of the law, and the legal socialization process more generally (National Research Council, 2013, pp. 183-210). A developmentally informed juvenile justice system and its personnel would ensure that adolescents are represented by properly trained counsel, understand the proceedings in their entirety, appreciate their own jeopardy, and are able to participate meaningfully in their own cases throughout the process (Grisso et al., 2003; Scott and Grisso, 2005). Fairness could also be ensured by formulating and implementing performance measures throughout the process to ascertain whether victims, justice-involved youths, and their families perceive that they were treated fairly and to assess perceptions and attitudes of relevant communities regarding the fairness, as well as effectiveness, of the juvenile justice system.
In ensuring fairness, jurisdictions’ efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities are extremely important because perceptions of unfairness are so deep and so corrosive to minorities, their families, and communities. As discussed in Chapters 3 and 4, the federal government and many jurisdictions are interested in reducing racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice system involvement. Efforts to reduce disparities have included monitoring of rates of system involvement and confinement overall and among minorities and implementing policy changes to reduce unnecessary system involvement or confinement, particularly where such responses have had an uneven impact on minorities. Although actions by the juvenile justice system, as acknowledged in the 2013 NRC report, are only part of a much larger array of forces that lead to these disparities, a developmentally informed system can ameliorate the effects of disadvantage and discrimination by reducing unnecessary system involvement and confinement (National Research Council, 2013, p. 239):
The literature reflects continuing uncertainty about the relative contribution of differential offending, differential enforcement and processing, and structural inequalities to these disparities. However, the current body of research suggests that poverty, social disadvantage, neighborhood disorganization, constricted opportunities, and other structural inequalities—which are strongly correlated with race/ethnicity—contribute to both differential offending and differential selection, especially at the front end of juvenile justice decision making. Because bias (whether conscious or unconscious) also plays a role, albeit of unknown magnitude, juvenile justice officials should embrace activities designed to increase awareness of these unconscious biases and to counteract them, as well as to detect and respond effectively to overt instances of discrimination. Although the juvenile justice system itself cannot alter the underlying structural causes of racial/ethnic disparities in juvenile justice, many conventional practices in enforcement and administration magnify these underlying disparities, and these contributors are within the reach of justice system policy makers.
During adolescence, family and peer influences as well as school and community influences operate in interconnected and complex ways in youth development. “Family can provide a source of supervision, guidance, and protection” (National Research Council, 2013, p. 117). A positive family experience is a central feature of positive youth development, even for system-involved youths. A number of community-based treatment programs with
positive effects on reducing recidivism include the youth’s family in the program and give attention to features of the youth’s social environment (National Research Council, 2013). Evidence from the mental health and child welfare fields indicates that familial involvement throughout system processes can lead to better outcomes for youths (Burns et al., 1995; Dawson and Berry, 2002; Kemp et al., 2009; Robertson, 2005). The juvenile justice system has the opportunity and responsibility to encourage family involvement whenever possible, including interactions with law enforcement, court proceedings, service delivery, intervention, and re-integration, in order to produce successful outcomes and reduced re-offending. Parent(s) and/or other family members should be involved in individual cases (to the extent deemed necessary and legally appropriate) and should have an opportunity to participate throughout the process of delivering services to the youth and the family. According to the 2013 NRC report (National Research Council, 2013, p. 159):
[g]iven all that is known regarding the significance of parenting and of the parent-child relationship, expecting that a youth [within the juvenile justice system] might experience significant and lasting change with only superficial family involvement seems illogical. The juvenile justice system, however, appears to have a long way to go toward integrating parents and families into interventions and court processes. Despite the centrality of parental involvement in many successful programs, focus groups reveal that parents continue to be, or perceive being, blamed for the youth’s problems, to be regarded as obstacles, and to be insufficiently involved in crucial decision-making and planning processes during disposition, placement, and preparation for aftercare.
Some efforts to involve families in system processes are under way, but models for family engagement are in the early stages of development. Not all families are similarly situated and have the requisite resources or equal desire for involvement. However, a developmentally informed system and its personnel would aggressively seek to work with all families and family-focused organizations based on the understanding that they are necessary and critical partners. As a whole, these hallmark features of a developmental approach to juvenile justice provide a vision to guide system reform.
OJJDP had been the driver of juvenile justice improvement in the 20th century. Since then, reform has been propelled forward by a combination of drivers, including vanguard initiatives in several states and localities, civil rights litigation, and most importantly, transformative investments by foundations (National Research Council, 2013, Chapters 9 and 10). However, major investments made by philanthropic organizations are likely to diminish significantly in the coming years. In the committee’s view, the time is right for OJJDP to take the lead in a nationwide effort to facilitate, support, and sustain developmentally oriented juvenile justice reform. OJJDP should begin to develop and enhance the capabilities that will be needed to carry out the activities that have characterized the foundations’ commitments: supporting program innovation and policy development, disseminating knowledge, providing technical assistance for reform, convening stakeholders, and facilitating consensus building.
This report addresses two types of institutional change. The first, and primary focus of this report, is the change needed within the federal government and particularly within OJJDP to enable the agency to facilitate juvenile justice reform in states and other jurisdictions. The second is the change that will be needed to achieve reform at the state, local, and tribal levels and within individual agencies that are part of the complex relationships that comprise local juvenile justice systems. Both types of change have to be undertaken in a concerted and planned way, informed by what is known about effective juvenile justice and intervention practices and about facilitating and implementing institutional change in general. Ingrained structures, cultures, and routines can present significant obstacles and resistance to change (Marquis and Tilcsik, 2013). Unsupportive policies, regulations, or funding directives from entities external to but with authority for an institution (e.g., the Department of Justice for OJJDP or the governor’s office for a state system) can also present obstacles to change (Fixsen et al., 2005; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2009).
To be successful, institutional change and reform should be based on specific and concrete steps shown to be effective in large organizations. Knowledge about managing change and the science of implementation are far
from complete: there are only a handful of case studies and summary reports and virtually none that describe and rigorously evaluate reform and systems change in a program agency such as OJJDP, which exists in a much larger agency, the Office of Justice Programs, of the U.S. Department of Justice. However, the research is sufficiently robust to offer general guidance on institutionalizing a new culture and a new way of operating to overcome the inevitable challenges.
Within the body of literature on changing organizations and systems, a number of models exist to describe the change process. More recent models argue that change should be seen as a process of learning instead of distinct stages (Barnard and Stoll, 2010). However, even these models offer a sequence of actions. In a comparison of models, Todnem (2005) observed that creating a vision and operationalizing that vision through policies and cultural structures were common across all models examined. While a clear vision can initiate institutional change, implementing and sustaining change will require resources aligned to the vision as well as stakeholder support (Todnem, 2005). Although these basic principles may seem obvious, studies have shown that they can be overlooked or their importance underestimated by leaders or managers looking to implement change (Fernandez and Rainey, 2006; Kotter 1995, 1996).
Helping states, tribal jurisdictions, and localities implement and sustain developmentally oriented policies and programs is an important part of OJJDP’s mandated role and should be encompassed by the services and guidance OJJDP provides. This is not an easy task, and in a system as complex as the juvenile justice system—with its myriad patterns and variations present in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, tribal jurisdictions, and territories and possessions, as well as variations at the local level—many challenges will present themselves along the way toward this goal.
As detailed in the 2013 NRC report (pp. 269-279), the organizational culture of juvenile justice agencies may impede innovations; many lack the leadership, staff capacity, or resources to enact and sustain meaningful reform over time. Policies and practices based on a confinement-oriented correctional approach may still exist in tandem with polices aimed at increasing the use of community-based services. This creates cultural tensions and obstacles that will need to be resolved to achieve reform. In addition, although many reforms promise budgetary savings, implementing change can often be an added cost in the short run. Structural barriers between participants in the juvenile justice system at different levels of government, as well as issues that arise from the separation of legislative and executive powers, may also present challenges for reforms. The differences between juvenile justice agencies; the courts; and other family, health, and welfare agencies make collaboration difficult and often require structural and bureaucratic changes and a recognition of shared goals and vision among partners before reform can take hold. Implementing a developmental approach presents unique challenges because certain justice system stakeholders will invariably be resistant to change. As the transformation from an institution-based correctional model to a community-based services model proceeds, experience from efforts to close state prisons and mental health facilities demonstrates that often local governments, correctional workers’ unions, and legislators who support the unions may be opposed to the resulting shifts. Similarly, as community-based service models take hold, many jurisdictions have difficulty identifying programs at the local level capable of providing necessary services, including secure residential programs.
A historical review of the juvenile justice system shows that a number of drivers—although they surely are not the sole factors influencing change—have provided an impetus for reform throughout the years. In recent years, civil rights litigation, transformational state models, influential foundation initiatives, and community advocacy, in response to mounting scientific evidence, have pushed reform agendas in many state and local juvenile justice systems. There is no magic formula for success, of course, and different approaches may be fruitful. However, the 2013 NRC report observed that one promising formula for achieving system change would include the following elements: cultivating strong and influential leadership; building consensus among stakeholders; nurturing grassroots support; shaping and being responsive to public opinion on key reform issues; and incorporating data-driven policies, models, and evaluations (for more discussion, see National Research Council, 2013, pp. 244-266).
Clarity of vision and consensus on the goals of that vision are integral prerequisites to change. Without
consensus and buy-in from stakeholders at all levels, reform efforts will be at cross-purposes and can be easily undermined and discarded. A range of different stakeholders work within juvenile justice; their level of interest and capacity to support system change may vary. The use of data for description and information and the dissemination of research results in ways that may be consumed across a range of constituents are critical functions in the systems change process. OJJDP cannot direct change, but it can be in a position to guide jurisdictions to a state of readiness, help them build the necessary capacity and knowledge, and support state and local leaders when they are ready to implement reform.
In this report, the committee presents a roadmap for OJJDP to redefine itself as a “change agent” for juvenile justice reform. The roadmap has three parts, which will be presented in greater depth in Chapters 3, 4, and 5. Each part can be understood as answering a specific question: First, what should OJJDP do to prepare itself organizationally? Second, what should OJJDP do to facilitate and support system change in states, tribal jurisdictions, and localities? Third, what should OJJDP do to forge the collaborative partnerships with other federal agencies and stakeholder groups that will be needed to leverage its own resources, promote consensus-building, and harness the energies and activities of these organizations to facilitate a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform?