75th Anniversary Timeline of Events - 1974: The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act created Three Entities

April 3, 2012

In honor of our 75th Anniversary, we're highlighting some ground-breaking events in the field of juvenile and family justice that have helped shape our organization's mission to provide every family and child with access to fair, equal, effective, and timely justice.

 

1974 
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act created the following entities:
  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
  • The Runaway Youth Program, and
  • The National Institute for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (NIJJDP)
Congress enacted the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act (Pub. L. No. 93-415, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq.) in 1974. This landmark legislation took initial strides to reform the juvenile justice system and create several national offices to disseminate federal funds to the states (i.e., The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP); The Runaway Youth Program; and the National Institute for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (NIJJDP)). In order for the states to receive funding, they must be in compliance with the four main core components of the Act:
  • Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO)
  • Adult Jail and Lock-up Removal
  • Sight and Sound Separation
  • Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)
Since 1974, the Act has been reauthorized six times, with the most recent reauthorization in 2002. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) sponsored the latest reauthorization bill in 2009, but the bill was not enacted. Within the reauthorization bill (S.678 (111th)), there were several enhancements that would have strengthened the enforcement of and the core components of the Act. The bill was reintroduced again on July 30, 2010 in the House by Rep. Keith Elison (D-MN) but still has not been passed.
 
The reauthorization of the JJDPA in 2002 is still in effect and technically does not have to be reauthorized at this time. But, juvenile justice professionals agree that the law needs to be strengthened and amended to meet the current needs of youth involved in the system. Several national and state organizations, that work with youth and families in the juvenile justice system and that work to promote training and evidence-based practices, have organized to support of the reauthorization of the JJDP Act.
 
Act 4 Juvenile Justice, an initiative promoting the reauthorization of the JJDPA has developed a set of recommendations. The recommendations include:
  • Extend the jail removal and sight and sound separation core protections to all youth under the age of 18 held pretrial, whether charged in juvenile or adult court.
  • Change the definition of “adult inmate” to allow certain States to continue to place youth convicted in adult court in juvenile facilities rather than adult prisons without jeopardizing federal funding.
  • Strengthen the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) core protection by requiring states to take concrete steps to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.
  • Strengthen the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) core protection, which prohibits the locked detention of status offenders, by removing the Valid Court Order and Interstate Compact exceptions.
  • Provide safe and humane conditions of confinement for youth in state and/or local custody by restricting use of JJDPA funds for dangerous practices and encouraging states to promote adoption of best practices and standards.
  • Assist states in coming into compliance with the JJDPA and establish Incentive Grants to encourage states to adopt evidence-based or promising best practices that improve outcomes for youth and their communities.

 

(Note: Recommendations taken from the Campaign of the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition, which can be found at www.act4jj.org)

These recommendations would enhance and increase enforcement of the JJDPA and may improve outcomes for the youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has signed on to the Statement of Principles created by the initiative and has developed a resolution, passed by its Board, supporting the reauthorization of the Act. As the Council celebrates 75 years as an organization dedicated to the humane treatment of families and youth in the justice system, we can look back on the milestones that have been accomplished through the JJDP Act and rejoice at the reformations that have taken place, as well as have continued hope for new and innovative reformations that will greatly improve outcomes for the youth and families we serve.

 


 
Join us throughout the year as we highlight a selection of our greatest accomplishments here and on our website, and don't miss our 75th Anniversary Celebration this July at our Annual Conference in New Orleans
 
Click here to view a timeline of significant events throughout our 75-year history.
 
If you're looking for another way to join the celebration, make a donation to the Council in any of our 75th Anniversary Diamond Recognition Levels:
 
Precious Diamond Jubilee Club - $75 donation - donor receives a "75th Anniversary Donor" ribbon, recognition on Council website and at events throughout the year, special recognition at 75th Anniversary Celebration
 
Brilliance Diamond Jubilee Club - $750 donation - donor receives donor pin with diamond embellishment, recognition on Council website and at events throughout the year, special recognition at 75th Anniversary Celebration (can be a one-time donation, or pledged over the course of 2012)
 
Flawless Diamond Jubilee Club - $7,500 - donor receives donor pin with diamond embellishment, personalized award honoring your generosity, recognition on Council website and at events throughout the year, special recognition at and complimentary admission to 75th Anniversary Celebration party (can be a one-time donation or pledged over the course of 5 years, at $1,500 a year)
 
*All donors will be recognized on our website, unless otherwise requested.
 
To donate to any of the Diamond Donor Club levels, visit our online donation page by clicking here, or please contact Letitia Jones at lejones@ncjfcj.org or call 775-784-6012.