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Project Title:

Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform
PIN: DBASSE-CEGIS-09-11        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Sub Unit: Committee on Law and Justice

RSO: Chemers, Betty

Subject/Focus Area: Behavioral and Social Sciences

Project Scope
Juvenile justice is at the threshold of a new period of legal and policy reform in which policymakers are more open to the relevance of scientific knowledge about adolescents in responding to juvenile crime. Accordingly, an ad hoc committee will conduct a study to assess the implications of advances in behavioral and neuroscience research for the field of juvenile justice and the impact of such knowledge. Of particular interest will be the role of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in supporting scientifically based reform efforts to improve the fair and equal treatment of delinquent youth.

The primary tasks of this study will be to:

1. review the science of childhood and adolescent development and identify relevant findings for juvenile justice;
2. describe the history of juvenile justice reform, its stages, major legislative and judicial changes and the driving forces behind the current rethinking of policies and programs;
3. provide a current context for understanding the implications of developmental behavioral and neuroscience for juvenile justice policies and programs;
4. identify current juvenile justice reform efforts occurring at the state and local level and review available evidence regarding the effectiveness of these initiatives;
5. review the activities of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Prevention in carrying out the legislative mandates in the JJDP Act of 1974 as subsequently amended;
6. assess OJJDP’s capacity to promote and support scientifically based reforms aimed at reducing crime and providing for the fair and safe treatment of juveniles; and
7. make recommendations to advance theory and research and to improve state and federal juvenile justice policies and practices.

The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The approximate start date for the project is June 1, 2010.

A report will be issued at the end of the project in approximately 24 months

Note (03-16-2011): The Project Scope has been revised. The updated version is as shown above.

Project Duration: 24 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 08/04/2010
 Meeting 2 - 10/11/2010
 Meeting 3 - 01/19/2011
 Meeting 4 - 04/27/2011
 Meeting 5 - 07/27/2011
 Meeting 6 - 09/14/2011


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach