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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Volume II • Number 2 Fall/Winter 1995

JUVENILE
JUSTICE
Deinstitutionalizing Status
Offenders: A Record of
Progress
Also
The JJDP Act: A Second Look
Birth of a Partnership
Beyond the Mandates

A Journal of the
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
From the Administrator

T his issue of Juvenile Justice looks back at one of America’s most significant
landmarks: the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. Fortu-
nately, our contributors are well qualified to review this historic legislation and its
aftermath and to help us look toward the future.
“Over the past two decades,” Gwen Holden and Robert Kapler remind us in
Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders: A Record of Progress, “the JJDP Act has funda-
mentally changed the way our Nation deals with troubled youth.”
As noted, the JJDP Act is a touchstone in the development of our juvenile justice
system. Gordon Raley’s overview, The JJDP Act: A Second Look, details the changes
in the Act approved by Congress over the past two decades. The author offers his
thought-provoking recommendations as we approach the dawn of the 21st century.
Additional insights into the history of the JJDP Act and the ensuing Birth of a Part-
nership are provided by Michael Saucier, while James Brown describes some of the
significant accomplishments attained under the aegis of the Act—accomplishments
that go well Beyond the Mandates it established.
As with our predecessors who established the juvenile justice system at the turn of
the century, we are striving to better serve the Nation’s children. Much has been ac-
complished, yet much remains to be done. We can be encouraged by our past, and,
with your participation, we can look forward to the future.

Shay Bilchik
Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention
JUVENILE Office of

JUSTICE
Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention

633 Indiana Avenue, NW


Washington, DC 20531
Volume II • Number 2 Fall/Winter 1995 (202) 307–0751

Administrator
Shay Bilchik

FEATURES Executive Editor


Earl E. Appleby, Jr.

Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders: A Record of Progress Assistant Editor


by Gwen A. Holden and Robert A. Kapler .................................................... 3 Catherine M. Doyle

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act’s central mandate has Managing Editor
dramatically changed the way our Nation deals with troubled youth. Bob Jefferson

Juvenile Justice Staff


The JJDP Act: A Second Look by Gordon A. Raley ................................ 11 Chadwick Bash
David L. Schmidt
The 20th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Marilyn Silver
Greg Varhola
is the best rebuttal to its critics. It is also an opportune time to review its progress.
Juvenile Justice is published by
Birth of a Partnership by Michael E. Saucier ........................................... 19 the Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention
In 1974 Congress created a unique partnership among Federal, State, and local (OJJDP) to advance its man-
governments by enacting the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. date to disseminate informa-
tion regarding juvenile
delinquency and prevention
Beyond the Mandates by James W. Brown .............................................. 22 programs (42 U.S.C. 5652).

The effects of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act go well beyond Points of view or opinions ex-
its primary mandates. pressed in this publication are
those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent the offi-
cial positions or policies of
OJJDP or of the U.S. Depart-
ment of Justice.
IN BRIEF
The Office of Juvenile Justice
Justice Matters
and Delinquency Prevention
Meeting the Mandates ................................................................... 25 is a component of the Office of
Justice Programs, which also
Online Services includes the Bureau of Justice
NCJRS Online ............................................................................ 29 Assistance, the Bureau of Jus-
JUVJUST Listserv ........................................................................ 30 tice Statistics, the National
Institute of Justice, and the
ORDER FORM ............................................................................. 31 Office for Victims of Crime.
Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders: A Record of Progress

Deinstitutionalizing
Status Offenders:
A Record of Progress
by Gwen A. Holden and Robert A. Kapler

O ver the past two decades, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (JJDP) Act has fundamentally changed the way our Nation
deals with troubled youth. State juvenile justice systems that were previ-
ously regarded as intransigent, bureaucratic, and punitive now empha-
size treatment and rehabilitation through community-based programs
and services.

The key to this transformation can be especially those who commit serious or
found in the JJDP Act’s central mandate: violent felonies. Implementing such mea-
the deinstitutionalization of status of- sures, however, will most likely lead to a
fenders (DSO), which requires States to significant influx of new offenders into
remove all status offenders from juvenile the juvenile justice system, creating pres-
detention and correctional facilities. sure to expand and build more youth cor-
Status offenders are youth, such as run- rectional facilities. With increased
aways and truants, who have committed competition for limited funds, DSO pro-
offenses that would not be crimes had grams may become underfunded or lose
they been committed by adults. funding altogether.
Gwen A. Holden is executive vice
Today, a majority of States comply with president of the National Criminal
the DSO mandate and are committed to Origins of DSO Justice Association, with which
she has been associated since
its purposes. Yet DSO faces new chal- 1975. Ms. Holden received a
lenges as public concern over increases in A local precedent for the DSO mandate
bachelor of arts degree in political
juvenile violence spurs elected officials to was established in 1972, when the Com- science and history from Tufts
act to reduce juvenile crime. monwealth of Massachusetts closed the University.
last of its juvenile institutions after years
In this highly charged atmosphere, the of failed reforms had proven inadequate Robert A. Kapler is a senior staff
principles of rehabilitation established by to Jerome Miller, commissioner of Massa- associate at the National Criminal
the JJDP Act may be at risk. Citizens and Justice Association. A former
chusetts’ Department of Youth Services newspaper editor, he received his
lawmakers are calling for more punitive (DYS). 1 bachelor of arts degree in journal-
measures against juvenile offenders, ism from Temple University.

Fall/Winter 1995 3
Juvenile Justice

Miller knew that the success of Massa- Gerald Ford signed the Act into law on
chusetts’ experiment with DSO would September 7, 1974.
depend on his ability to transform an The JJDP Act emphasized prevention
institution-centered juvenile justice pro- much more than earlier Federal juvenile
justice grant-in-aid initiatives had. Its
focus on keeping juveniles out of the ju-
The JJDP Act promoted a strategy that venile justice system contrasted sharply
would divert juveniles from the justice with the law enforcement orientation of
the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe
system. Streets Act of 1968,3 which established
the Law Enforcement Assistance Admin-
istration (LEAA) grant program to help
gram into a community-based network of States enhance their crime control
programs and services for troubled youth. capacities.
Before closing the institutions, Miller de-
centralized DYS by creating seven re- Unlike previous Federal juvenile justice
gional offices and a program through legislative initiatives, the JJDP Act pro-
which it could purchase beds, equipment, moted a strategy that would divert most
and services from private companies.2 juveniles from the justice system and
place those youths requiring intervention
Miller had hoped that dismantling the in intensive, community-based programs.
department’s institutional structure would
prompt growth in the services sector. With The DSO provision was one of the Act’s
few private programs and services for youth original mandates. As enacted in 1974, it
available in the community, many juve- required States to “provide within two
niles affected by the DSO initiative were years . . . that juveniles who are charged
released without services or supervision. with or who have committed offenses
that would not be criminal if committed
The closing of Massachusetts’ juvenile by an adult shall not be placed in juve-
institutions stunned public policymakers nile detention or correctional facilities,
and juvenile justice professionals across but must be placed in shelter facilities.”4
the country. While many of these offi- The JJDP Act also mandated that juve-
cials shared Miller’s frustration with a niles be separated by sight and sound
juvenile justice system that was resistant from adult offenders in detention and
to reform, they had serious reservations correctional facilities.5
about making such a sudden and momen-
tous shift in the system. In 1976, the DSO mandate was clarified
through the formulation of a “substantial
In the same year that the last training compliance standard,” which required
school was closed in Massachusetts, U.S. States to reduce the number of status
Senator Birch Bayh, chairman of the offenders and nonoffenders confined in
Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcom- their detention and correctional institu-
mittee on Juvenile Delinquency, intro- tions by 75 percent over a 2-year period.6
duced a bill—the JJDP Act—calling for
DSO nationwide. The 92nd Congress Congress amended the JJDP Act in 1977
concluded the following year with no fi- to bring “nonoffenders” such as depen-
nal action on the measure. Bayh reintro- dent and neglected youths under the
duced the bill in the first session of the DSO provision and to provide States
93rd Congress. It passed, and President with broader alternative placement

4
Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders: A Record of Progress

options for status offenders and non- the aggregate proportion of minority
offenders, including nonplacement. The groups in the general population.
amendment accomplished this goal by
removing the requirement that
deinstitutionalized youths be placed in
Financial Incentive
shelter facilities. The 1977 amendments To receive JJDP Act formula grant funds,
also gave States an additional 3 years— States are required to comply with the
up to a total of 5 years—in which to Act’s mandates. States are also required
comply with the DSO mandate. to monitor their progress toward achiev-
In 1980, Congress specified that status ing these mandates and to provide
offenders and nonoffenders must be re- annual progress reports to the Office of
moved from “secure” juvenile detention Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Pre-
and correctional facilities and added a vention (OJJDP), which administers the
third mandate that prohibited States JJDP Act.
from detaining juveniles in jails and local Should a State fail to make sufficient
lockups.7 progress toward achieving the Act’s
Congress made another major substan- goals, it could become ineligible for con-
tive change to the DSO mandate that tinued formula grant funding.10
year by approving an exception to the
mandate for status offenders and
nonoffenders who are found to have vio- The majority of States are in compliance
lated a valid court order (VCO).8 The with the DSO mandate.
VCO exception was enacted at the urg-
ing of juvenile court judges who believed
that the DSO mandate unduly hampered In 1992, Congress acted to accelerate
juvenile courts’ ability to deal with cer- States’ progress toward full compliance
tain juveniles, particularly chronic run- with the mandates by requiring that 25
aways. Under the exception, status percent of a State’s formula grant allot-
offenders or nonoffenders can be institu- ment be withheld annually for each man-
tionalized upon a finding that they vio- date the State is not complying with.11
lated a VCO. The VCO procedure Congress further required that a noncom-
provides juveniles with a number of pro- plying State direct the remainder of its
cedural due process rights such as court formula grant funds to achieving full
hearings, confrontation rights, and the compliance.12
right to notification of the charges
against them.
In 1992, Congress added a fourth man-
DSO's Impact
date requiring that States receiving JJDP The majority of the States and territories
Act formula grants provide assurances participating under the JJDP Act are in
that they will develop and implement compliance with the DSO mandate.
plans to reduce overrepresentation of mi- OJJDP’s preliminary analysis of Decem-
norities in the juvenile justice system.9 A ber 1992 monitoring reports indicated
State is subject to the JJDP Act’s dispro- that 5 States and 3 territories had
portionate minority confinement (DMC) achieved full compliance and 29 States
mandate if the proportion of minority were in full compliance with de minimis,
juveniles confined in that State’s deten- or minimal, exceptions.13
tion and correctional facilities exceeds

Fall/Winter 1995 5
Juvenile Justice

Of the remaining States, the monitoring In New York, the DSO mandate ad-
reports of 10 were under review by OJJDP vanced efforts already under way to re-
and another 10 had not submitted a 1992 form the State’s juvenile justice system.
monitoring report as of OJJDP’s release The State used the mandate to focus its
of its preliminary report. One State, reform efforts and marshal criminal jus-
South Dakota, was not due to make a tice officials’ support, and participation
1992 compliance report, having begun its in the Act provided critical seed money
participation in the JJDP Act that year. for developing innovative DSO programs.
While the DSO mandate has been re- In Delaware, legislative change and JJDP
garded as an inappropriate infringement Act funding were key factors leading to
on State prerogatives in some States, in DSO compliance. The result was a DSO
many others it has served as a catalyst for policy that impacted not only status
reform. offenders and nonoffenders, but the
State’s entire juvenile justice system. In
1988, Delaware closed its correctional
The DSO mandate has served as a facility for female juveniles after steadily
reducing its population over the previous
catalyst for reform. decade. Moreover, from 1978 to 1979,
the State’s incarcerated male juvenile
population declined from 240 to 160. An
The Alabama Department of Economic average of 90 juvenile males currently are
and Community Affairs’ Law Enforce- confined in Delaware facilities each year.16
ment Planning Section reports that DSO
In Louisiana, the DSO mandate was the
requirements were met in that State by
impetus to undertake a major juvenile
creating alternatives to institutionaliza-
code reform initiative. A prohibition on
tion for status offenders and nonoffenders
institutionalizing status offenders became
and by enacting legislation that gave the
the foundation for the State’s DSO ac-
State’s DYS exclusive authority to li-
complishments, and a decade after the
cense juvenile detention and correc-
JJDP Act’s enactment, Louisiana was in
tional facilities. DYS will withhold
full compliance.17
licensing from any facility that houses
status offenders or nonoffenders.14
In some States, the DSO mandate en-
DSO and the Courts
hanced ongoing reform initiatives. The Before States adopted legislation or took
New Mexico legislature’s 1972 children’s executive action to comply with the
code revisions included a DSO require- JJDP Act, a number of State courts took
ment that prohibited placement of status the matter into their own hands.
offenders in State juvenile institutions.
The code gave counties until July 1, In 1977, the West Virginia Supreme
1976, to achieve compliance with the Court of Appeals ruled that the secure
requirement and provided an exception detention of status offenders violated the
to the DSO requirement for a 60-day di- State constitution. In Harris v. Caledine,18
agnostic period. Juvenile justice officials Gilbert Harris, a juvenile, was deter-
in New Mexico welcomed the JJDP Act mined to be a truant and placed in secure
as a source of funding to implement the detention. At the time, State statutes
State’s own DSO strategy.15 treated status offenders in the same man-
ner as they treated delinquents. The

6
Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders: A Record of Progress

Court ruled that secure detention of sta-


tus offenders violated the due process and
The Valid Court Order
equal protection clauses of the State con- Exception
stitution as well as its prohibition of cruel
In its 1980 amendments to the JJDP
and unusual punishment.
Act, Congress enacted a provision in-
In 1988, the Tennessee Supreme Court tended to address concerns that the
ruled in Doe v. Norris19 that secure deten- DSO mandate deprived juvenile court
tion of status offenders violated the due judges of a significant option in handling
process and equal protection clauses of certain status offenders. The provision
the State and U.S. Constitutions. As of permits judges to confine status offenders
1988, Tennessee law allowed the commin- in secure detention facilities for limited
gling of status offenders (encompassed un- periods of time if they are found to have
der the State’s definition of “unruly child”) violated a VCO.
and delinquents. Doe brought a class-
The provision allowed a State to autho-
action lawsuit on behalf of all unruly chil-
rize secure confinement for a status
dren in the State who had been placed in
offender who violated a VCO, to adjudi-
secure detention with delinquents, arguing
cate a status offender as a delinquent if
that secure detention of status offenders
the status offender acted in violation of a
was unconstitutional.
VCO, or to use the court’s contempt
The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that power.
the due process clauses of the State and
While the majority of States do not use
U.S. Constitutions were violated because
the VCO exception in any form, some
secure detention amounts to punishment
States’ common laws or statutes allow
of the plaintiffs without an adjudication
the courts to use traditional contempt
of guilt. The court relied on the U.S.
power to “bootstrap” or upgrade a status
Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Schall
offender to a delinquent.
v. Martin20 that held that punishment
imposed without a prior adjudication of OJJDP has indicated that bootstrapping
guilt is per se illegitimate. Because status is not consistent with its policies.21 Al-
offenders are not found “guilty” of any though an adult can commit a criminal
crime, secure detention is an illegitimate contempt of court, OJJDP considers the
punishment.
The Tennessee Supreme Court also ruled
that State practice violated the State and
The majority of States do not use the valid
Federal equal protection clauses. Secure court order exception.
detention of status offenders infringed
upon the fundamental right to personal
liberty. While the court ruled that the juvenile a status offender under the JJDP
State had compelling interests in com- Act and, therefore, the procedural safe-
mingling delinquents with status offend- guards for a VCO violator continue to
ers, it ruled that there were other ways apply.22
to achieve those interests short of This position appears to follow the intent
commingling. of Congress. In 1977, LEAA’s Office of
Subsequently, both West Virginia and General Counsel issued Legal Opinion 77–
Tennessee adopted legislation requiring 25, which stated that a status offender who
the deinstitutionalization of status violates a court order remains a status of-
offenders. fender unless the violation would itself

Fall/Winter 1995 7
Juvenile Justice

be criminal if committed by an adult and The chronic status offender is one of the
until the juvenile was charged with (or most difficult juvenile offenders to place
adjudicated for) committing the particu- and the least amenable to community-
lar offense. This is the case even when a based intervention strategies. A 1992 re-
State code classifies the violation as a de- port by the National Coalition for the
linquent act. Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice
System asserts that “status offenders and
When OJJDP published proposed guide-
delinquents with emotional and behavior
lines regulating the new VCO amendment
problems place great stress on the juve-
in 1982, it stated “[o]ne rationale for the
nile justice system” and that their needs
amendment was to obviate the need for
have been largely ignored.
courts to use their criminal contempt
power as a means of obtaining compliance In 1980, the Illinois Law Enforcement
with court orders. Further, OJJDP’s legal Commission’s (ILEC’s) Juvenile Justice
counsel has ruled that a violation of a court Division reviewed the State’s DSO stat-
order by a status offender is an insufficient ute. ILEC found that the chronic status
legal basis to categorize the juvenile as a offender’s environment is characterized
criminal-type or delinquent offender, thus by failure and rejection beginning with a
removing the juvenile from the deinstitu- total breakdown in the child’s relation-
tionalization requirement.” 23 ship with his family and carrying forward
into out-of-home placements and school.
The ILEC report concluded that “with-
The chronic status offender is one of the out altering the history of rejection and
most difficult juvenile offenders to place. stabilizing the lives of these youth, the
outcome will be a return home followed
by subsequent runaway episodes or a re-
This guideline indicates OJJDP’s intent turn to the streets.”24
that courts follow VCO procedures even
when using their traditional contempt The ILEC report suggested that chronic
powers or a State’s delinquency classifica- runaways, more than any other status of-
tion as the authority to employ the VCO fenders, require “a continuum of services
exception. if their needs are to be adequately ad-
dressed.”25
Many appellate courts have used a ration-
ale similar to OJJDP’s in addressing the For some judges and juvenile justice offi-
bootstrapping of status offenders by lower cials, losing the option to hold these
courts. youth means losing an opportunity to
help them. Placing them in inappropriate
treatment settings or releasing them with
Chronic Status the possibility that they will cause serious
Offenders harm to themselves or others creates the
risk that another major DSO exception
One of the principal issues affecting States’ will be created that may be unnecessarily
compliance with the DSO mandate con- applied to large numbers of status
cerns the handling of youth, such as run- offenders.
aways or juveniles with emotional and
As it stands, the problem of the chronic
behavioral problems, on the periphery of
status offender, like issues concerning the
the status offender classification.
VCO provision, raises the possibility that

8
Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders: A Record of Progress

these youth may be handled in ways that however, will likely reinforce the devel-
effectively undermine State DSO efforts. opment of noninstitutional approaches
to dealing with the least violent and seri-
ous offenders.
Future Prospects
The JJDP Act has survived major
changes in the structure and focus of Fed- Deinstitutionalization of status offenders
eral crime control grant-in-aid programs;
the war on drugs of the 1980’s, which
remains a central theme in juvenile justice.
featured Congress’ creation of a Federal
Office of National Drug Control Policy Moreover, DSO remains a central theme
and enactment of two major anti-drug in the juvenile justice and related social
measures; dramatic increases in correc- services fields. For example, an $800,000
tions spending in the States and by the grant from the Robert Wood Johnson
Federal Government; and a host of Foundation has established a DSO
changes in Federal and State laws to pun- project at the Robert F. Kennedy Memo-
ish perpetrators of serious and violent rial in Massachusetts.26 This National Ju-
crimes, including serious and violent ju- venile Justice Reform Project was created
venile offenders. to help States reduce the use of juvenile
While the majority of States have detention and correctional facilities in
achieved compliance with the DSO man- handling juvenile offenders.27 The
date and remain committed to its purposes, project’s goal is to provide incentives to
they face future challenges. Juvenile crime States and local jurisdictions to expand
is a high priority. Virtually every Governor community-based programs and services
in the Nation has made reducing juvenile for juveniles as alternatives to institu-
crime and improving the quality of preven- tional placements.28
tive and correctional services for juveniles The JJDP Act has had a tremendous im-
a top priority. The challenge to States will pact on this country’s juvenile justice
be to retain their focus on prevention de- practices. Its mandates have spurred pub-
spite the escalating pressures for more pu- lic policymakers and juvenile justice offi-
nitive approaches to resolving the violence cials to reform for over two decades,
problem. weathering extraordinary shifts in the
The survival of a State’s DSO policy demographics of juvenile crime, public
likely will depend in large part on how expectations, and social policy. Without
firmly installed it has become in laws, this legislative bedrock, the Nation risks
policies, and practices. Practical and eco- a wholesale return to policies that place
nomic considerations associated with the youth who are not criminal offenders in
Nation’s correctional crowding problem, jeopardy.

Fall/Winter 1995 9
Juvenile Justice

Notes Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as


amended (Preliminary Report). Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juve-
1. From 1970 to 1972, Miller closed the Institute nile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1994.
for Juvenile Guidance in Bridgewater, Massachu-
setts, and then the Commonwealth’s remaining 14. Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders in Ala-
training schools in Lyman, Shirely, Oakdale, and bama, Alabama Department of Economic and
Lancaster. Background DYS, Massachusetts Depart- Community Affairs, Law Enforcement Planning
ment of Youth Services, October 15, 1993. Section, 1994.
2. Ibid. 15. Response of John C. Patterson, former juvenile
justice specialist for the State of New Mexico, to
3. Pub. L. 90–351, codified as amended at 42 the NCJA DSO Implementation Survey, May 12,
U.S.C. §§3711 et. seq. (1977 and Supp. 1994). 1994.
4. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention 16. Telephone conversation with James Kane,
Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93–415, §223(a)(12). deputy director, Delaware Criminal Justice
5. The sight and sound separation mandate is Council.
codified at 42 U.S.C. §5633(a)(13)(Supp. 1994). 17. Response of Dolores Kozloski, former juvenile
6. Report to the National SPA Conference on the justice specialist for the State of Louisiana, to the
Status of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preven- NCJA DSO Implementation Survey, June 28,
tion Act of 1974, National Conference of State 1994.
Criminal Justice Planning Administrators, July 31, 18. 160 W. Va. 172 (1977).
1976.
19. 751 S.W.2d 834 (1988).
7. The jail removal mandate is codified at 42
U.S.C. §5633(a)(14)(Supp. 1994). 20. 467 U.S. 253 (1984).
8. Pub. L. 96–509, codified as amended at 46 21. 47 Federal Register 21226 (1982).
U.S.C. §5603(16)(Supp. 1994).
22. John J. Wilson, “The Valid Court Order Ex-
9. The overrepresentation of minorities mandate is ception—Meeting the Need for the Enforcement
codified at 42 U.S.C. §5633(a)(23)(Supp. 1994). of Court Orders,” Children’s Legal Rights Journal 10,
1982.
10. 42 U.S.C. §5633(c)(Supp. 1994).
23. 47 Federal Register 21226 (1982).
11. 42 U.S.C. §5633(c)(3)(A)(Supp. 1994).
24. Criminal Justice Newsletter, “Project Aims to
12. 42 U.S.C. §5633(c)(3)(B)(Supp. 1994). Replicate Massachusetts Experiment,” June 15,
13. The eight jurisdictions that have achieved full 1994.
compliance are American Samoa, Minnesota, Or- 25. Ibid.
egon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island,
the Virgin Islands, and West Virginia. Kentucky 26. Ibid.
and Wyoming currently are not participating in
the JJDP Act. 1992 Compliance Monitoring Data, 27. Ibid.
Summary of State Compliance with the Juvenile 28. Ibid.

10
The JJDP Act: A Second Look

The JJDP Act:


A Second Look
by Gordon A. Raley

I n 1985, I collaborated with John Dean, Republican counsel and


my staff counterpart on the U.S. House Education and Labor Commit-
tee, on an article reviewing the progress of the Juvenile Justice and De-
linquency Prevention (JJDP) Act. At the time, there was opposition
that challenged the Act’s relevance. While John and I attempted to re-
fute the critics,1 observing the Act’s 20th anniversary is the best rebut-
tal. It is also a good time to take stock of the progress that has occurred
as a result of the JJDP Act and the challenges still ahead for the juvenile
justice system.

Background duced its report The Challenge of Crime in


a Free Society in 1967. In so doing, they
The JJDP Act was the first Federal law to successfully merged three Federal strate-
address juvenile delinquency in a com- gies into one comprehensive approach:
prehensive manner, combining Federal formula funds to States to promote na-
leadership, State planning, and commu- tional objectives; categorical funds to
nity-based services to promote systemic sponsor innovation; and research funds
improvement. The Act has enjoyed two to provide evaluation and accountability
decades of bipartisan support. Demo- and to fuel further innovation.
cratic Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana and
Republican Senator Roman Hruska of
Nebraska were the primary sponsors of
Retrospect
the law in the Senate. In the House of (1912–1974) Gordon A. Raley is executive
Representatives, bipartisan support came director of the National Assembly
from Representatives Augustus Hawkins, The JJDP Act was not the first Federal of National Voluntary Health and
juvenile delinquency law. In 1912, Con- Social Welfare Organizations and
a California Democrat, and Tom its affinity group, the National
Railsback, a Republican from Illinois. gress charged the Children’s Bureau with Collaboration for Youth. From
They relied, in part, upon the findings investigating the operations and prac- 1978 to 1985, Mr. Raley served
tices of juvenile courts. However, be- as staff director for the U.S.
and recommendations of the Presidential House Committee on Education
Commission on Law Enforcement and tween 1912 and the end of World War and Labor’s Subcommittee on
the Administration of Justice, which pro- II, little happened at the Federal level. Human Resources.

Fall/Winter 1995 11
Juvenile Justice

In 1948, President Truman convened the Start evolved from early projects sup-
Mid-Century Conference on Children ported by Federal delinquency funding.
and Youth to determine methods for
In 1966, public concern about crime es-
strengthening juvenile courts, improving
calated. President Johnson established
police services affecting juveniles, and
the Commission on Law Enforcement
examining the prevention and treatment
and the Administration of Justice. The
capabilities of social service providers.
Commission’s Task Force on Juvenile
Although the Conference recommended
Delinquency proposed six major strate-
an increased Federal role in juvenile jus-
gies to reduce juvenile crime:2
tice matters, Congress enacted no new
legislation. Voters viewed juvenile de- ◆ Decriminalization of status offenses
linquency as a State and local problem. (acts that would not be offenses if com-
mitted by an adult, such as running away
By 1960, however, the “Sharks” and the
from home, truancy, or being in need of
“Jets” of the play West Side Story hit the
supervision).
streets of Broadway, while real gangs hit
the streets of our large cities. Public per- ◆ Diversion of youth from the court sys-
ceptions began to change, and juvenile tem into alternate public and private
delinquency became a national issue. In treatment programs.
1961, at President John F. Kennedy’s urg- ◆ Extension of due-process rights to
ing, Congress enacted the Juvenile De- juveniles.
linquency and Youth Offenses Control
Act. Under this Act, the Department of ◆ Deinstitutionalization (the use of
Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) community group homes or nonresiden-
provided funds to State, local, and pri- tial treatment facilities rather than large,
vate nonprofit agencies to conduct dem- secure training schools).
onstration projects on improved methods ◆ Diversification of services.
of preventing and controlling juvenile
crime. This marked the first time that ◆ Decentralization of control.
the Federal Government encouraged The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention
State and local innovation with targeted and Control Act of 1968 provided assis-
financial assistance. tance to State and local governments
and provided training to juvenile justice
personnel. HEW Secretary John
The JJDP Act was not the first juvenile Gardner testified before Congress that
delinquency law. youth “teetering on the brink of delin-
quency” were too often placed in the cor-
rectional system, and he contended that
These projects were concentrated in the youth, once exposed to the juvenile jus-
Nation’s inner cities, which had the tice system, were likely to return.3 In
highest juvenile delinquency rates. They 1968, Congress passed the Omnibus
mobilized community resources to attack Crime Control and Safe Streets Act,
conditions thought to cause delinquency. which involved the U.S. Department of
Many of the projects served as models for Justice in juvenile justice for the first
later programs under President Lyndon time through its Law Enforcement Assis-
B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. The tance Administration (LEAA).
Neighborhood Youth Corps, the Legal
Services Corporation, and even Head

12
The JJDP Act: A Second Look

Besides Justice and HEW, the U.S. De- ous crimes. Nearly 40 percent of juve-
partments of Labor and Housing and Ur- niles incarcerated committed no criminal
ban Development became involved in act. According to Senator Hruska “The
matters concerning juvenile delinquency. figure is staggering in recognition of the
By 1971, a consensus had emerged that detrimental effects that incarceration has
Federal juvenile justice programs were been shown to produce with first offend-
unfocused, underfunded, and, as a result, ers and juveniles.”5
ineffective. Senator Bayh began work
almost immediately on new legislation to
coordinate Federal programs.4 Financial support alone was inadequate.
There were two main themes in the 1972 Systemic reform was required.
amendments that set the stage for the
JJDP Act in 1974. First, financial aid
From such reflections, three goals for
and technical assistance alone were inad-
Federal involvement emerged:
equate to combat delinquency effec-
tively––comprehensive planning and ◆ Reducing juvenile crime.
coordination were needed. Second, some ◆ Decreasing the proportion of crime
practices such as incarcerating status of- committed by juveniles.
fenders and confining delinquents with
convicted adults were counterproduc- ◆ Improving methods for handling
tive––thus, systemic reform was required. juveniles.
Senator Bayh forged a partnership with
Reform (1974) Senator Hruska, the father of LEAA,
agreeing to assign responsibility for the
By 1974, juvenile crime was widely Act to LEAA. The Senate and House
viewed as a national problem. A presi- approved the bill by overwhelming ma-
dential commission had suggested strate- jorities. President Gerald A. Ford signed
gies to improve the juvenile justice it into law on September 7, 1974.
system, and Congress was dissatisfied
The goals of the new legislation were
with Federal laws designed to facilitate
State and local action on juvenile justice. even more moderate than the strategies
As a result of such considerations, the recommended by the Commission on
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Pre- Law Enforcement 7 years earlier. The
vention (JJDP) Act of 1974 was con- new law did not decriminalize status of-
fenses, as the Commission had recom-
ceived.
mended, but encouraged the use of
In 1974, the seriousness of juvenile crime nonsecure treatment alternatives for
was reflected in the ominous statistics. status offenders.
The arrests of juveniles under the age of
18 for violent crimes such as murder, The Act provided Federal funds to divert
rape, and robbery increased 216 percent juveniles from correctional settings into
restitution projects, neighborhood courts,
from 1960 to 1974. During this same pe-
and other community programs. It au-
riod, juvenile arrests for property crime,
such as burglary and auto theft, increased thorized spending to encourage the juve-
91 percent. Juveniles under age 18 were nile justice system “to conform to
responsible for 51 percent of the total ar- standards of due process.”
rests for property crimes, 23 percent of The JJDP Act was most innovative re-
violent crimes, and 45 percent of all seri- quiring the removal of status offenders

Fall/Winter 1995 13
Juvenile Justice

from secure incarceration. While many confinement but, noting difficulties re-
other Federal programs provided formula ported by some States, extended compli-
or discretionary funds to support projects, ance dates by a year. By 1978, the
the JJDP Act required that States change OJJDP budget had increased to more
specific practices to meet national norms than $100 million.
as a condition for participation. In par-
ticular, Section 223(a)(12) and (13) of
the Act required States to remove status
Revision (1980)
offenders from secure confinement and to The 1980 amendments to the JJDP Act
separate adult and juvenile offenders as a involved modest fine-tuning, reflecting
condition of receiving Federal juvenile overall congressional satisfaction with
justice funds. the legislation and its implementation.
To encourage diversification of services, Testifying before the House Education
the Act required that States dedicate 75 and Labor Committee, OJJDP Adminis-
percent of the Federal funds they re- trator, Ira M. Schwartz, cited the Act’s
ceived to community-based programs, accomplishments:6
including nonprofit programs. To decen- ◆ In the first 3 years following passage
tralize services the Act suggested that of the JJDP Act (1975–1977), the total
when juveniles had to be placed in resi- number of cases referred to juvenile
dential facilities, they be the “least re- courts decreased by 3.6 percent.
strictive alternative” appropriate to the
needs of the child and that they be in ◆ The number of status offenders re-
“reasonable proximity” to families and ferred to juvenile courts decreased by
home communities. The Act promoted 21.3 percent during the same period.
small, community-based facilities instead ◆ The rate of detention of status offend-
of large, warehouse institutions. ers decreased by nearly 50 percent.
However, the National Council of Juve-
The legislation reaffirmed congressional nile and Family Court Judges, while sup-
porting continuation of the Act, asked
support for removing status offenders Congress to repeal the provision requir-
ing the removal of status offenders from
from institutions. secure incarceration. Congress approved
a compromise that allowed incarceration
of juveniles who violated valid court or-
Reauthorization (1977) ders. Many national organizations
With strong bipartisan support, appro- viewed adoption of the valid court order
priations rose from $25 million in 1975 amendment as a retreat from the goals of
to $75 million in 1977, when the Act the Act.
was reauthorized. President Jimmy Carter The 1980 amendments included a major
requested additional funding, named a initiative that required the removal of all
new OJJDP administrator, and proposed juveniles from adult jails and lockups
legislation to extend the program for an within 5 years. The Carter Administra-
additional 3 years. tion supported the initiative, noting that
The 1977 reauthorization reaffirmed con- the most recent census of jails found that
gressional support for removing status more than 12,000 juveniles were in jails
offenders from secure settings and sepa- on any given day. Representative
rating juveniles from convicted adults in Railsback noted that the suicide rate of

14
The JJDP Act: A Second Look

juveniles held in adult jails was approxi-


mately seven times that of juveniles held
Review (1988)
in juvenile detention facilities.7 In 1988, the JJDP Act was extended as
part of the Omnibus Crime Control Act.
All titles were reauthorized for an addi-
Reductions (1981) tional 4 years with renewed focus on im-
Each year from 1981 to 1989, the total proving State practices and secure
allocation to OJJDP decreased. By 1989, facilities. The overrepresentation of mi-
the OJJDP budget was approximately $66 norities in secure correctional settings
million. was a particular concern. The new
amendments required the OJJDP Admin-
istrator to submit to Congress an annual
Reaffirmation (1984) report detailing the number of juveniles
During the 1980’s, the Federal focus in custody, the types of offenses for
shifted from delinquency prevention to which they were charged, their race and
criminal justice, emphasizing: gender, and the number who died while
in custody and their cause of death.
◆ Prosecution of serious juvenile
offenders.
◆ The plight of missing children. Congress reestablished the importance
◆ Mandatory and tougher sentencing of prevention.
laws.
◆ Programs to prevent school violence. Renovation (1992)
◆ National efforts against drugs and
The 1992 amendments to the JJDP Act
pornography.
were more extensive because Congress
A number of criminologists questioned added constructive initiatives addressing
this approach.8 juvenile gangs, youth development,
The 1984 amendments to the JJDP Act mentoring, and prevention.
created Title IV, the Missing Children’s The definition of valid court order was
Assistance Act, intended to locate and revised to ensure due process and to pre-
treat abducted youngsters. The initiative vent possible abuses by those seeking
had considerable support and was heavily to skirt the congressional mandate to
promoted by the media. remove status offenders from secure
The 1984 amendments were significant incarceration.
for many reasons. By rejecting requests to Following the completion of reports re-
abolish the State Formula Grant Program quired by the 1988 amendments, a new
and to repeal the status offender man- mandate required State assurance that
dates, Congress enacted several amend- youth in their juvenile justice systems
ments designed to prevent potential would be treated equitably on the basis of
abuses of grant-making authority by re- gender, race, family income, and mental,
quiring a competitive grant process. emotional, or physical disabilities.
Congress reestablished the importance of
prevention. It added positive youth de-
velopment activities as a purpose of the

Fall/Winter 1995 15
Juvenile Justice

Act and made them eligible for State for- money could easily obscure the signifi-
mula grants. It created national initia- cance of the JJDP Act and its mandates
tives as well: Part D—Gang-free Schools for juvenile justice reform.
and Communities and Part E—State
Yet the JJDP Act still endures. After 20
Challenge Activities. Part E provided
years of legislation and amendments,
funding opportunities for States willing
through changing political climates and
to embark on innovative activities such
leadership, it has continued to balance
as improving health services in correc-
efforts between justice system reform and
tional settings; improving secure, com-
prevention.
munity-based correctional alternatives
for violent juveniles; removing gender
bias from system services; creating State Record
ombudsman offices; and developing alter-
natives to suspensions and expulsions to Currently, 49 States are in full compli-
keep more youth in school. Congress au- ance with requirements for removing sta-
thorized new spending for mentoring and tus offenders and nonoffenders from
the treatment of offenders victimized by secure incarceration, while 40 States are
child abuse or neglect. in full compliance with the mandates to
separate juveniles from convicted adults
Title V established incentive grants for and to remove youth from adult jails.
local delinquency prevention programs. From 1980 to 1992, the average daily
These grants covered a broad range of population of youth in adult jails fell
activities, including recreation, tutoring, from 12,000 to slightly more than 2,000.9
remedial education, work skills enhance-
ment, substance abuse prevention, and While juveniles are responsible for one
leadership development. The 1992 in three arrests for property crime, 17
amendments authorized the President to percent of violent crime, and 29 percent
convene a White House Conference on of serious crime, the situation is better
Juvenile Justice. than before the enactment of the JJDP
Act.10

After 20 years of amendments, the JJDP Recommendations


Act endures. The question that remains to be an-
swered is what should happen to the
JJDP Act in the future. First, the U.S.
Recommitment (1995) Department of Justice should extend the
The Administration has made crime one mandates to cover appropriate funding
of its national priorities, and OJJDP has under the Violent Crime Control and
seen its appropriation nearly doubled to Law Enforcement Act. In its conference
$144 million for 1995. However, this in- report, Congress provided the following
crease has been dwarfed by the $5 billion guidance:
appropriated for crime prevention over It is the intent of the Conferees
the next 5 years under the Violent Crime that, with the exception of Subtitile
Control and Law Enforcement Act of B of Title II (which provides for
1994. For prevention professionals, correctional programming for of-
starved for resources to serve more youth fenders up to the age of 22), all pro-
with dwindling State, local, and private grams and activities for juvenile
dollars, the prospect of such Federal offenders funded under this legisla-

16
The JJDP Act: A Second Look

tion shall be carried out in a man- haps it is time to give all youth who com-
ner consistent with the mandates of mit criminal offenses the full due-process
the Juvenile Justice and Delin- protections of adult court, with age ap-
quency Prevention Act (42 U.S.C. propriate treatment and correctional al-
5600 et seq.).11 ternatives, and place those who have not
Thus, States receiving assistance under committed criminal offenses under the
any section of the Violent Crime Con- jurisdiction of social service agencies,
trol and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
(except subtitle B of Title II) should, be-
fore receiving that assistance, agree to
the following:
The President should convene a White
◆ Remove status offenders and House Conference on Juvenile Justice.
nonoffenders from secure incarceration.
◆ Separate juveniles from convicted where their needs will be more reliably
adults in correctional settings. met.
◆ Remove juveniles from adult jails. The Act should continue its strong em-
phasis on prevention. It remains the
◆ Carefully examine biases in correc- most cost-effective way to control crime.
tional placement based on race and Among preventive approaches, it should
income. stress those with a specific focus on posi-
This will encourage State reform and tive youth development, which seeks to
should pay real dividends in juvenile produce positive outcomes for young
crime reduction. people, beyond the simple cessation of
“bad” behaviors.
Second, President Bill Clinton should
convene a White House Conference on Lastly, the JJDP Act should be reautho-
Juvenile Justice. It has been nearly a rized in 1996. It has proven itself and
quarter century since professionals and has more to offer in encouraging State
experts have been called together to re- and local innovations. New reforms
view the Nation’s juvenile justice system. should focus on secure juvenile correc-
A White House Conference is needed to tional facilities. We need to find alterna-
examine which programs sponsored by tive treatments for young people who do
the JJDP Act have worked and which not belong in secure settings, but after
have not. doing so, we need to invest heavily to
make correctional settings places where
The conference should examine recent correction can truly occur. If we do not
trends of binding juveniles over to adult invest in serious delinquents before the
court at younger and younger ages. age of adulthood, we will surely invest in
Should such trends continue, maybe it is our own victimization and their long-
time to reexamine decriminalization of term incarceration afterwards. Juvenile
status offenses. If we bind youngsters as correctional facilities are not their last
young as age 12 to adult courts (some chance but ours, as a Nation.
States are considering bind-over provi-
sions for youth age 7), perhaps the need
for a separate juvenile court is past. Per-

Fall/Winter 1995 17
Juvenile Justice

10. Uniform Crime Reports for the United States.


Notes Federal Bureau of Investigation. Washington,
1. G.A. Raley and J. Dean. “The Juvenile Justice D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974 and
and Delinquency Prevention Act: Federal Leader- 1992.
ship in State Reform,” Law & Policy 8(4)(October 11. U.S. Congress. House Conference Report to
1986):397. Accompany H.R. 3355, Violent Crime Control
2. L.E. Ohlin. “The Future of Juvenile Justice and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Report 103–
Policy and Research,” Crime and Delinquency 711. 103d Congress, Second Session, 1994.
29(1983):465.
3. U.S. Congress. House Committee on Education Supplemental Reading
and Labor, General Subcommittee on Education.
Hearings on the Juvenile Delinquency Act. 90th Congressional Record, Washington, D.C.:1972.
Congress, First Session. 1967, p. 16. Raley, G. A. “Removing Children from Adult
4. U.S. Congress. Senate Committee on Judiciary. Jails: The Dance of Legislation,” Children’s Legal
Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delin- Rights Journal 3 (June): 4–9.
quency. Hearings on Juvenile Delinquency Pre- Oversight Hearing on the Administration of the
vention and Control Act. 92d Congress, First Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Pre-
Session, 1971. vention. 98th Congress, First Session, 1983.
5. R. Hruska. Congressional Record. Washington, Hearings on Juvenile Justice, Runaway Youth, and
D.C., 1974:S23937. Missing Children’s Act Amendments of 1984.
6. U.S. Congress. House Committee on Education 98th Congress, Second Session, 1984a.
and Labor. Subcommittee on Human Resources. Oversight Hearing on the Office of Juvenile Jus-
Hearings on the Juvenile Justice Amendments of tice and Delinquency Prevention. 98th Congress,
1980. 96th Congress, Second Session, 1980:43. Second Session, 1984b.
7. Congressional Record, Washington, D.C., Hearings on Ford Administration Stifles Juvenile
1980:H10922. Justice Program. 94th Congress, First Session,
8. Adolescent Health––Volume II: Background and 1975.
Effectiveness of Selected Prevention and Treatment Summary of Substantive Provisions of the Juvenile
Services. U.S. Congress. Office of Technology As- Justice and Delinquency Prevention Amendments
sessment. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government of 1992 (H.R. 5194, 106 Stat. 4982, Pub. L. 102–
Printing Office, 1991:OTA–H–466. 586, November 4, 1992 (Unpublished).
9. Annual Juvenile Justice Report: 1992. U.S. De- The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society. U.S.
partment of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and
Delinquency Prevention. Washington, D.C.: U.S. the Administration of Justice. Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1994:42–44. Government Printing Office. 1967.

18
Birth of a Partnership

Birth of a Partnership
by Michael E. Saucier

J ames Reston called 1974 “a time of testing for the American sys-
tem of constitutional government.” During that year of testing,
Congress created a unique and effective partnership among Federal,
State, and local governments. Yet, the birth of this partnership went vir-
tually unnoticed in the shadow of Watergate and ensuing events. Even
The New York Times failed to mention the proposed law—the Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974—during con-
gressional debate and voting or when it was signed by President Ford on
September 7, 1974.

Two decades later, in September 1994, vention and control of juvenile


the Coalition for Juvenile Justice cel- delinquency.
ebrated the 20th anniversary of the JJDP
Establishment of a fully coordinated Fed-
Act and reflected on the circumstances
eral effort was a critical component of
surrounding its entry into the Nation’s
the JJDP Act. The lack of coordination
legal heritage. The legislative history of
had been a key point raised during the
what was to become the JJDP Act of
hearings. Milton Rector, president of the
1974 actually began 2 years earlier on
National Council on Crime and Delin-
February 8, 1972, when Democratic
quency, advised the Senate Subcommit-
Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana intro-
tee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency
duced the Juvenile Justice and Delin-
that:
quency Prevention Act of 1972 (S.
3148). During 4 days of hearings, 43 wit- A major weakness [in the Federal
nesses testified; however, the 92d Con- effort] is the lack of a structure
gress adjourned without taking final present where Federal juvenile and
action. criminal justice planning can be
coordinated with other human re-
Senator Bayh and Republican Senator
source agencies. Such a structural Michael E. Saucier is a former
Marlow W. Cook of Kentucky jointly
linkage is recommended as essential chair of the Coalition for Juvenile
reintroduced the legislation with modifi-
if the Federal Government is to Justice. To advance the mandates
cations (S. 821) on February 8, 1973. and goals the Juvenile Justice and
help prevent as well as to help con-
Five days of congressional hearings fol- Delinquency Prevention Act, the
trol crime and delinquency. Coalition supports research, educa-
lowed, during which 36 witnesses pre-
tion, communication, and commu-
sented testimony on the bill and the When Rector testified, there were 116 nity programs.
adequacy of Federal response in the pre- separate Federal juvenile justice and de-

Fall/Winter 1995 19
Juvenile Justice

linquency prevention programs con- could avoid duplication of Federal and


ducted by six Cabinet-level departments State efforts without delaying develop-
responsible for administering some ment of needed programs. The commit-
120,000 different grants. The JJDP Act tee noted LEAA’s exemplary efforts in
was a badly needed effort to develop a prevention and diversion through finan-
coherent national planning process, es- cial support of the Youth Service Bureaus
tablish priorities, and focus Federal lead- in local law enforcement agencies.
ership efforts. LEAA Associate Administrator Richard
W. Velde reported to the Senate Com-
mittee on the Judiciary that in FY 1972
The JJDP Act was a badly needed effort the agency awarded nearly $140 million
for a wide range of juvenile services, in-
to develop a national planning process. cluding prevention ($21 million), diver-
sion ($16 million), and rehabilitation
The debate over which Federal agency ($41 million). Citing comments by Dr.
would lead the “concerted, effective, na- Jerome Miller, then Commissioner of
tional attack on the prevention and Youth Services for Massachusetts, the
treatment of juvenile delinquency” was committee concluded that LEAA would
significant. Although Senator Bayh had be highly effective in dealing with serious
proposed the creation of an Office of offenders through its efforts with police,
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency courts, and corrections agencies.
Prevention (OJJDP) within the execu-
In separate remarks accompanying the
tive branch, the subcommittee placed
bill, Senator Bayh expressed “mixed feel-
the new agency in the Department of
ings” about giving LEAA primary respon-
Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).
sibility for Federal leadership in juvenile
On May 8, 1974, the Senate Committee justice and delinquency prevention. He
on the Judiciary amended the subcom- said that one of the major inadequacies
mittee bill to locate the new program in of the juvenile justice system was that it
the Justice Department’s Law Enforce- was “geared primarily to react to youthful
ment Assistance Administration offenders rather than prevent the youth-
(LEAA). Committee members con- ful offense.” He worried about the conse-
cluded that HEW had not fulfilled ex- quences “to the youth of this country
pectations in its national leadership role who may have to be identified in a law
in developing new approaches to address enforcement context in order to receive
juvenile delinquency through the Juve- services.” Over the years, youth workers
nile Delinquency Prevention and Con- and police officers have echoed Senator
trol Act of 1968. A number of reasons Bayh’s concern about youth having to
were cited for this failure, including the commit crimes before they can get help.
LEAA’s dominance in criminal justice Senator Bayh urged his colleagues to pro-
planning, weak administration, and inad- vide a one-word description of the JJDP
equate funding. Act—“prevention.” The need, Senator
Bayh wrote, “is to prevent young people
LEAA had already established a network
from coming into contact with the juve-
of 50 State planning agencies, and the
nile justice system.”
committee believed that the LEAA

20
Birth of a Partnership

Unquestionably, the political events of President Nixon’s resignation in the


Watergate overshadowed the remainder wake of the Watergate affair. In signing
of congressional activity on the JJDP the bill, President Ford called the Act “a
Act. The overwhelming, bipartisan vote
for the bill in the Senate (88 to 1) can be
credited to the efforts of Senator Bayh Senator Bayh urged a one-word
and his Republican colleague on the
Judiciary Committee, Senator Roman
description of the Act: “prevention.”
Hruska of Nebraska, who received little
public acknowledgment at the time. The national commitment of partnership
bill also received strong bipartisan sup- with State and local governments” that
port in the House of Representatives, represented a consolidation of policy and
where it was approved 329 to 20 on July a restructuring and coordination of Fed-
31. Final approval of the JJDP Act oc- eral programs to better assist “State and
curred on August 19 in the Senate and local governments to carry out the re-
on August 21 in the House following sponsibilities [in juvenile justice] which
should remain with them.”

Fall/Winter 1995 21
Juvenile Justice

Beyond the Mandates


by James W. Brown

T he effects of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


(JJDP) Act have been enormous and far-reaching. Today, 55 States and
territories, hundreds of juvenile justice planners and practitioners, and
more than 1,000 State Advisory Group members pursue the Act’s goals
and objectives.
The impact of the JJDP Act goes far be- ◆ Development of flexible networks of
yond its primary mandates: deinsti- community services to address the chang-
tutionalization of juvenile status ing needs of youth.
offenders, separation of juveniles and
adults in confinement, removal of juve-
niles from jails and lockups, and address-
Public Awareness
ing the problems of disproportionate Opinion surveys demonstrate public sup-
minority confinement. Indeed the Act’s port for delinquency prevention and re-
greatest contribution has been to estab- habilitation. Increased public awareness
lish the foundation for a wide array of of juvenile justice and delinquency pre-
improvements in the juvenile justice sys- vention issues have moved concerns
tem that have come about during the higher on State and local agendas. Not
1980’s and 1990’s. Among its accom- long ago, the only way to assure the en-
plishments, the JJDP Act has led to: actment of juvenile justice legislation
◆ Increased public awareness of juvenile was to include its provisions as a rider on
justice and delinquency prevention a “must pass” bill. Today, State legisla-
issues. tures regularly pass such bills on their
own merits.
◆ Creation of forums for discussing ju-
venile justice issues. States are willing to review and reassess
program goals and objectives and to con-
◆ Establishment of a clear, accurate sider new ways of doing things. After a
data base on which to base policy 1-day judicial training program, the num-
James W. Brown is president of
decisions. ber of juveniles placed in adult jails de-
Community Research Associates creased by 40 percent in one State.
◆ Initiation of a cooperative planning
(CRA), a position he has held for
process. Incarceration of juveniles was virtually
over 11 years. CRA assists States
in their compliance with the Juve- eliminated in another State after public
nile Justice and Delinquency ◆ Adoption of legislation and policies officials became aware of the State’s po-
Prevention Act mandates. enhancing the quality of juvenile justice. tential legal liability for youth in custody.

22
Beyond the Mandates

New Forums policymakers in determining program ef-


fectiveness and cost-benefit analysis.
During the past two decades, forums have
been created for discussing juvenile jus-
tice issues that were unavailable prior to
Cooperative Planning
enactment of the JJDP Act. State Advi- Effective juvenile justice and delin-
sory Groups address such issues as dispro- quency prevention programs are devel-
portionate minority confinement. oped through a statewide planning
Regional youth councils hold public process that promotes cooperation and
hearings, help establish local priorities, collaboration between State and local
and seek long-term commitments from governments and among different agen-
public officials to pursue specific im- cies and organizations. State and local
provements in juvenile justice and delin- officials work with public and private
quency prevention. A number of States agencies, including the police, courts,
hold annual youth conferences to allow and corrections, to prevent and combat
for exchange of ideas among practitioners juvenile crime and to improve the juve-
and interested individuals. Several States nile justice system.
have replicated the State Advisory
Group model at the local level. Cooperative planning helps to focus
State and Federal funds at the commu-
nity level, where juvenile justice pro-
Accurate Data grams have the greatest chance of
success. Such planning facilitates effi-
Today’s policymakers have access to
cient statewide training and promotes
clear, accurate data regarding youth in
development of consistent standards.
the justice system; effective programs,
The Juvenile Services Commissions in
practices, and policies; and resources.
Oregon, the Local Crisis Units in Illi-
The availability of sound data has led to
nois, and the Community and Family
sound solutions for such difficult and
Crisis Programs in New Jersey are ex-
complex issues as disproportionate mi-
amples of successful State-local efforts
nority confinement, removal of juveniles
derived from implementation of the JJDP
from adult facilities, and waiver of juve-
Act.
nile cases to adult criminal court.
States use community and statewide
needs assessments and other measure- The availability of sound data has led to
ment tools to amass vital information on
juvenile justice issues. Many States have
sound solutions.
established commissions to obtain and
provide this information and to conduct Juvenile Justice
regular and unannounced inspections of
youth facilities. The commissions exam- Legislation
ine records and budgets, subpoena wit-
Virtually every State has enacted laws
nesses, hold public hearings, and issue
implementing such JJDP Act mandates
reports on their findings. Many States
as deinstitutionalization of status offend-
have gone beyond initial Federal or State
ers and removal of juveniles from adult
monitoring requirements to develop
facilities. State juvenile justice legislation
comprehensive, ongoing data collection
and policies, however, have gone well
programs to provide information for
beyond the mandates in many States to

Fall/Winter 1995 23
Juvenile Justice

address such important issues as condi- role, other youth services agencies pro-
tions of confinement, quality of care, and vide a wide array of effective services.
program effectiveness. Today, States For example, service networks now pro-
look not only at programming, but at vide immediate, round-the-clock screen-
classification, health, access, and staff ing, referral, and crisis intervention for
training, and the myriad issues involved youth taken into custody by police.
in the development of an effective juve-
The expanding range of residential and
nile justice system. While there has been
nonresidential services addresses the
occasional backsliding, States have made
problems of youth in rural communities
considerable progress in meeting and
as well as those in urban neighborhoods.
transcending beyond the JJDP Act
mandates.
Successful Programs
The steps taken since enactment of the A number of key characteristics are
found in practically all successful juvenile
JJDP Act are a good beginning. justice programs. Effective programs:
◆ Facilitate mutual respect and affec-
A review of State plans for the Formula tion between youth and their parents.
Grants Programs in 1991 found that 51 ◆ Provide frequent and accurate feed-
percent of these funds were used to gain back to positive and negative behavior.
compliance with the JJDP Act mandates.
However, funds were also earmarked for a ◆ Require youth to recognize when
variety of other programs and services, they are making excuses for negative
including prevention (16 percent), ad- behavior.
dressing the problem of serious and vio- ◆ Create opportunities for juveniles to
lent youth crime (7 percent), combating discuss important issues in an open
the use and sale of illegal drugs (4 per- atmosphere.
cent), and a range of other programs
(22 percent). ◆ Offer a wide range of effective after-
care programs.

Service Networks Many miles remain to be traveled to re-


duce youth crime and improve the juve-
The past two decades have seen great ad- nile justice system. But if a journey of a
vances in the development of networks thousand miles begins with a single step,
of effective community services. In 1974 the thousands of steps taken since enact-
the juvenile courts were virtually the ment of the JJDP Act 20 years ago are a
only agencies that delivered effective ser- good beginning to our journey beyond
vices to youth in trouble. While juvenile the mandates.
courts continue to play an important

24
IN BRIEF

JUSTICE MATTERS
Meeting the Mandates
Need for the Mandates President’s Commission on Law En- and psychological and physical ter-
forcement and the Administration ror. Congress responded by amend-
Bobby Nestor was sent to Camp of Justice, the National Council on ing the JJDP Act in 1980 to require
Hill correctional facility, an adult Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), removal of juveniles from adult jails
prison, to “learn a lesson.” After and the National Advisory Com- and lockups.
more than 4 months of incarcera- mission on Criminal Justice Stan-
tion, he hung himself after being In 1988 and 1992, Congress focused
dards and Goals. In 1967, the
sexually assaulted by adult attention on the disproportionately
President’s Commission recom-
inmates. high number of minority juveniles
mended that “serious consid-
arrested and confined in secure de-
Bobby Nestor was sent to Camp eration . . . should be given to
tention and correctional facilities.
Hill for incorrigibility. He was not complete elimination of the court’s
Data demonstrated that incarcera-
unlike most juveniles confined with power over children for noncriminal
tion rates for minorities in many
adults at the time. In 1980, only 12 conduct.” In 1966, at the request of
States were two to four times that of
percent of juveniles in confinement the President’s Commission, NCCD
whites. The 1988 and 1992 reautho-
with adults were charged with seri- surveyed State and local correc-
rizations of the JJDP Act include
ous offenses against persons. A re- tional agencies and institutions
provisions requiring States to gather
view of family and social back- across the United States. The sur-
additional data, analyze the issue,
grounds of confined juveniles re- vey documented extensive use of
and provide appropriate program-
vealed that most had experienced detention facilities to house juve-
matic responses where minority
extensive family problems. The niles accused of noncriminal con-
overrepresentation was found to
most likely candidate for confine- duct. In 1974, the National
exist.
ment was a juvenile like Bobby, Advisory Commission on Criminal
who had been in trouble at school, Justice Standards and Goals ob- The Mandates
with parents, or with police for mi- served that at least 50 percent of
nor delinquent or status offenses, detention populations were status The following summarizes the four
acts that would not be a crime if offenders who had committed no system mandates of the JJDP Act.
committed by an adult. crime and who were often held un- These mandates, which primarily
der deplorable conditions. address custody issues, are essential
Tragic stories, such as that of Bobby to creating a fair and consistent ju-
Nestor, combined with compelling In 1980, Congress found that
venile justice infrastructure that ad-
statistics on confinement of status among the adverse effects of detain-
vances a key goal of the JJDP Act:
offenders, provided the impetus for ing juveniles in adult jails and lock-
to increase the effectiveness of juve-
Congress to enact the Juvenile Jus- ups were a high suicide rate among
nile delinquency prevention and
tice and Delinquency Prevention the juveniles (more than five times
control.
(JJDP) Act of 1974, as amended, the rate of suicides in juvenile de-
Public Law 93–415, 42 U.S.C. 5601 tention facilities); physical, mental, Deinstitutionalization of
et seq., requiring the deinstitution- and sexual assault; inadequate care Status Offenders
alization of status offenders and and programming; negative label-
ing; and exposure to serious offend- The Deinstitutionalization of Status
separation of juvenile and adult of-
ers and mental patients. As a result Offenders (DSO) mandate, Section
fenders in institutional settings.
of a jail or lockup experience, juve- 223(a)(12)(A), provides, as a gen-
Passage of the JJDP Act was aided niles often learned antisocial behav- eral rule, that no status offender or
by the strong consensus of three ior from habitual criminals and had nonoffender may be held in secure
groups assembled, in part, to exam- to fight for survival in an inmate detention or confinement.
ine the juvenile justice system—the culture characterized by rigid rules
Fall/Winter 1995 25
IN BRIEF

JUSTICE MATTERS
The Formula Grants Program regu- prohibiting juvenile handgun sound separation from adults during
lation issued by the Office of Juve- possession. the 6 hours is required.
nile Justice and Delinquency
Separation of Juvenile and The statute and regulations provide
Prevention (OJJDP), 28 CFR Part
Adult Offenders a rural exception for jails and lock-
31, creates an exception for accused
ups outside a Standard Metropolitan
status offenders and nonoffenders in The separation mandate, Section Statistical Area (SMSA). Facilities
juvenile detention centers. Status 223(a)(13), provides that juveniles outside an SMSA may hold an ac-
offenders or nonoffenders may be shall not be detained in a secure in- cused delinquent for up to 24 hours,
held for 24 hours, excluding week- stitution in which they have con- excluding weekends and holidays,
ends and holidays, for purposes of tact with incarcerated adults, while awaiting an initial court ap-
identification, investigation, release including inmate trustees. This re- pearance, if State law requires such
to parents, or transfer to a nonse- quires complete separation so that a detention hearing within 24
cure facility or to court. there is no sight or sound contact hours, and provided no existing al-
The 24-hour exception only applies with adult offenders in the facility. ternative facility is available. If
to accused status offenders, and be- Separation must be provided in all weather or road conditions do not
gins when the juvenile enters a se- secure areas of the facility, including allow for reasonably safe travel, the
cure custody status in a detention sallyports; entry/booking areas; hall- facility may detain the juvenile un-
facility. A second 24-hour grace pe- ways; and sleeping, dining, recre- til conditions allow for safe travel,
riod may follow an initial court ation, educational, vocational, and up to an additional 24-hour period.
contact. health care areas. If conditions of distance or lack of
highway, road, or other ground
Another statutory exception pro- Jail and Lockup Removal
transportation do not allow for
vides that a status offender accused
The jail and lockup removal man- court appearances within 24 hours,
of violating a valid court order may
date, Section 223(a)(14), estab- a brief delay (not to exceed 48
be held in a juvenile detention fa-
lishes as a general rule that all hours) is authorized. Again, separa-
cility for longer than 24 hours. In
juveniles who may be subject to the tion from adult offenders must be
order for a State to invoke this ex-
original jurisdiction of the juvenile maintained at all times.
ception, the juvenile must have re-
court based on age and offense crite-
ceived all constitutional due process A final regulatory exception con-
ria cannot be held in jails and law
protections at the initial hearing cerns juveniles under the jurisdic-
enforcement lockups in which
and must be afforded a detention tion of a criminal court for a felony
adults may be detained or confined.
hearing within 24 hours. In addi- offense. It applies only after such
tion, prior to a dispositional com- The OJJDP Formula Grants Pro- jurisdiction has been invoked
mitment to secure placement, a gram regulations provide a 6-hour through the official, direct filing of
public agency, other than a court or hold exception for accused delin- criminal felony charges or after a
law enforcement agency, must have quent offenders, for the limited pur- juvenile has been officially waived
reviewed the juvenile’s behavior poses of identification, processing, to adult court through a judicial
and possible alternatives to secure interrogation, transfer to a juvenile waiver process.
placement, and submitted a written facility or court, or detention pend-
The International Association of
report to the court. ing release to parents. The 6-hour
Chiefs of Police (IACP) has en-
hold exception does not apply to
Finally, the 1994 Crime Act pro- dorsed jail removal and developed a
status offenders, nonoffenders, or
vides an exception for juveniles who model policy and training key that
adjudicated delinquents. Sight and
violate the Federal Youth Handgun addresses the custody of juveniles.
Safety Act or a similar State law
26
IN BRIEF

JUSTICE MATTERS
Nonsecure custody criteria. To ac-
commodate the needs of law en-
where the proportion of minority
youth in confinement exceeds the
mines its strategy and program pri-
orities based on the characteristics
forcement, OJJDP policy guidance proportion those groups represent in of its particular juvenile justice sys-
allows juveniles, including criminal- the general population. To meet the tem. The State’s plan is amended
type offenders, status offenders, and DMC mandate, States must go annually to reflect new program-
nonoffenders to be held nonsecurely through stages of data gathering, ming and initiatives to be under-
in an adult jail or lockup facility, 53 analysis and problem identification, taken by the State and local units of
Federal Register 44366 (1988). assessment, program development, government.
OJJDP has established criteria to and systems improvement
Of the 57 eligible States and territo-
guide law enforcement officers in initiatives.
ries, 55 are currently participating
providing nonsecure custody for ju-
in the JJDP Act Formula Grants
veniles in their custody. These cri- Compliance
Program. Each State submits an an-
teria include:
A State’s participation in the JJDP nual compliance monitoring report,
◆ The juvenile is held in an un- Act Formula Grants Program is vol- which details its progress toward
locked multipurpose area not nor- untary. To be eligible for the pro- implementing its plan and achiev-
mally used as a secure area or, if it is gram, a State must submit a ing or maintaining compliance with
a secure area, used only for process- comprehensive 3-year plan setting the mandates of the JJDP Act. The
ing purposes (fingerprinting and forth the State’s proposal for meet- level of compliance determines the
photographing). ing the mandates and goals outlined State’s eligibility for continuing par-
in the JJDP Act. Each State deter- ticipation in the program. Data for
◆ The juvenile is not physically
secured to a stationary object.
◆ The use of the area is limited to
providing nonsecure custody only Violations of JJDP Act Mandates
long enough for the purposes of
identification, processing, release to
parents, or transfer to an appropri- 200
ate juvenile facility or court.
◆ The area is not designed or in- 150
tended to be used for residential
Violations
(Thousands)

purposes.
◆ Continuous visual supervision is 100
provided by a law enforcement of-
ficer or facility staff during the pe-
riod of nonsecure custody. 50

Disproportionate Minority
Confinement 0
DSO Separation Jail Removal
The disproportionate minority con-
finement (DMC) mandate, Section JJDP Act Mandates
223(a)(23), requires States to ad- Baseline 1993
dress efforts to reduce the number of
minority youth in secure facilities
Fall/Winter 1995 27
IN BRIEF

JUSTICE MATTERS
the annual monitoring report are
collected by the State from secure
879 (99 percent), and jail removal
violations decreased 96 percent,
by their compliance with the JJDP
Act mandates.
juvenile and adult facilities. All from a baseline total of 159,516 to
State agencies administering the 6,878 violations. Resources
Formula Grants Program are re-
The trend toward fewer violations A list of sources cited in this article
quired to verify data reported by fa-
in all areas is expected to continue is available from OJJDP’s Juvenile
cilities and data provided from other
as more States and territories Justice Clearinghouse. Telephone:
State agencies.
achieve higher levels of compliance (800) 638–8736.
Eligibility for Fiscal Year 1995 For- with the mandates of the JJDP Act.
The IACP policy model is available
mula Grant funds was determined In coming months, OJJDP will con-
from the International Association
by each State’s 1993 monitoring re- tinue to closely monitor the progress
of Chiefs of Police. Telephone:
port. Data gleaned from the reports of the States, especially as they di-
(703) 836–6767.
show an overwhelming majority of rect their attention to the dispro-
the States and territories in full portionate minority confinement For further information on the dis-
compliance with the first three ma- mandate. Pilot programs to address proportionate minority confinement
jor mandates. As the figure on page the causes of disproportionate mi- mandate, see OJJDP Fact Sheet #11,
27 illustrates, a substantial reduc- nority confinement have been es- Disproportionate Minority Confine-
tion in the number of violations was tablished in five States. As these ment; and “Disproportionate Minor-
achieved. It should be noted that programs are evaluated, information ity Representation: First Steps to a
the States’ baseline years range from and strategies will emerge that Solution,” and “Disproportionate
1975 to 1992 for DSO and separa- will enable other States to benefit Minority Representation,” Eugene
tion, and from 1980 to 1992 for jail from the experience of the pilot Rhoden, both in OJJDP’s Juvenile
and lockup removal. DSO viola- programs. Justice, Spring/Summer 1994
tions were reduced from a baseline edition.
The States and territories are to be
total of 171,872 to a level of 3,214,
congratulated on their continued
a reduction of approximately 98 per-
commitment to youth as evidenced
cent. The number of separation vio-
lations were reduced from 85,002 to

28
IN BRIEF

ONLINE
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of Juvenile Justice
Information via
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juvenile justice information via the Internet––the world's largest computer
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NCJRS Online also offers access to the NCJRS Bulletin Board System.
Access options include:
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Telnet: ncjrsbbs.aspensys.com
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ftp://ncjrs.aspensys.com
◆ JUSTINFO Electronic Newsletter
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Fall/Winter 1995 29
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ONLINE
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Delinquency Prevention Helping Victims and Witnesses in the Juve- Juvenile Correctional Education: A Time for
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Matrix of Community-Based Initiatives Juveniles Taken Into Custody: Fiscal Year
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America: Public Housing and High-Risk
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Strengthening America’s Families: Promising (90 min.), $14.00.
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Missing and Exploited Children Rising Above Gangs and Drugs: How To General Juvenile Justice
The Compendium of the North American Start a Community Reclamation Project
Symposium on International Child Abduction: (Training Manual). 1995, NCJ 133522 Balanced and Restorative Justice. 1994, NCJ
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Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and
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Liability and Legal Issues in Juvenile Restitu-
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Victim-Offender Mediation in the Juvenile
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Law-Related Education for Juvenile Justice
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Law Enforcement Policies and Practices
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