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Authorizing Legislation

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 established OJJDP to support local and state efforts to prevent delinquency and improve juvenile justice systems.

In November 2002, Congress reauthorized the JJDP Act. The reauthorization (the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Pub. L. No. 107-273, 116 Stat. 1758) supported OJJDP's established mission while introducing important changes that streamlined the Office's operations and brought a sharper focus to its role. The provisions of the reauthorization took effect in FY 2004 (October 2003). 

In December 2018, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) of 2018 was signed into law, reauthorizing and substantially amending the JJDP Act. The amendments made by the JJRA became effective in FY 2020 (October 1, 2019). Review the amended JJDP Act and the redlined JJDP Act publication, which allows users to see and track changes implemented by the new law. 

However, some provisions of the Act will become effective at a later date (see state plan requirements). Detailed information about the current regulations for the OJJDP Formula Grants program is contained in the OJJDP Formula Grant Regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 31, Subpart A.

Read more about the Key Amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Made by the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018

Information is available to assist states in monitoring and achieving compliance with the core requirements specified in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

JJDP Act Milestones  


  • Act signed into law.
  • Created Formula Grants program.
  • Established the separation requirement.
  • Established the deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO) requirement.


  • Increased and expanded DSO and separation requirements.
  • Emphasized prevention and treatment.


  • Established jail removal requirements.


  • Enhanced and amended jail removal requirements.


  • Addressed disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) as a requirement.


  • Amended DSO, jail removal, and separation requirements.
  • Elevated DMC to a core requirement.
  • Established the Title V Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Grants Program (Title V).
  • Established new programs to address gender bias.
  • Emphasized prevention and treatment, family strengthening, graduated sanctions, and risk-need assessments.


  • Broadened the scope of the DMC core requirement from "disproportionate minority confinement" to "disproportionate minority contact".
  • Consolidated seven previously independent programs into a single Part C prevention block grant.
  • Created a new Part D, authorizing research, training and technical assistance, and information dissemination.
  • Added Part E, authorizing grants for new initiatives and programs.
  • Reauthorized Title V.
  • Required states to give funding priorities of their formula and block grant allocations to evidence-based programs.
  • Reauthorized Title II Formula Grants Program.
  • Revised the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants program, which is now called the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants program (as part of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act).


  • The Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) of 2018 was signed into law, reauthorizing and substantially amending the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (as Amended Through P.L. 115-385, enacted December 21, 2018).

Related Legislation

In addition to the JJDP Act, other pieces of legislation are relevant to OJJDP and its policies and priorities; several are listed below. The United States Government Publishing Office (GPO) govinfo website provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the federal government. Search for public and private laws enacted from the 104th Congress to the present on the govinfo website.

  • The Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 (Pub. L. No. 108-145).
  • Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act (Pub. L. No. 108-096).
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (Pub. L. No. 108-79).
  • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Title I, Pub. L. No. 108-036).
  • PROTECT Act (Pub. L. No. 108-021).
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L. No. 107-110).
  • Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (Division B, Pub. L. No. 106-386).
  • Strengthening Abuse and Neglect Courts Act of 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-314).
  • Immigration Services and Infrastructure Improvements Act (Title II, Pub. L. No. 106-313).
  • Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act (Title XXXVI, Pub. L. No. 106-310).
  • Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998 (Pub. L. No. 105-314).
  • Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, Title I (Part R, Chapter 46, Subchapter XII-F) Juvenile Accountability Block Grants.
  • Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. No. 115-424).

*This list is not comprehensive.