This resource outlines OJJDP’s three priorities, its underlying philosophy, and the programs and resources implemented to support these priorities and this philosophy.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) three priorities reflect its guiding philosophy: to enhance the welfare of America’s youth and broaden their opportunities for a better future. To bring these goals to fruition, OJJDP is leading efforts to transform the juvenile justice system into one that will treat children as children; serve children at home, with their families, in their communities; and open up opportunities for system-involved youth. The juvenile justice field's decision making must be informed by science and research to ensure young people are adjudicated fairly and given opportunities to learn and recover from youthful mistakes. OJJDP programs and resources help ensure children are diverted from adult courts and facilities as well as provide community-based support to help them succeed. Community-based programs that involve families as a critical component enhance youth outcomes, increase public safety, and strengthen neighborhoods. OJJDP programs and resources strengthen and expand the use of community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement. When youth become involved with the juvenile justice system, they typically face repercussions that extend beyond the immediate consequences. OJJDP programs and resources open up opportunities for justice-involved youth and help ensure that they have the same access to opportunities that other youth have.