OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS ANNOUNCES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels today announced increased opportunities for children and young adults to have caring adults in their lives through a national mentoring recruitment initiative by the National Network of Youth Ministries (NNYM). AAG Daniels also acknowledged mentoring as a primary tool for preventing delinquent behavior and for providing our nation's youth with opportunities for developing their talents, interests and academic pursuits.
"Adult mentors are a valuable asset in a child's life. A caring mentor can change children's lives by giving them refuge, hope and a solid path to follow," said Assistant Attorney General Daniels. "The important work of recruiting mentors will be advanced through this important partnership."
The Bush Administration supports a national agenda aimed at protecting children that includes efforts to prevent at-risk children from becoming involved in delinquency. As President Bush has said, "We need more mentors in our society. If you're a citizen in this community or any community around the country who want to know what you can do to help America -- mentor a child. Teach a child to read. Love a child."
The Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at OJP works to improve the juvenile justice system and to provide treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of families and individual juveniles. OJJDP is providing funding to support the outreach efforts of NNYM to recruit caring adults to serve as mentors. The Network's 24-year history of collaborating with various faith-based agencies and well-established network provides a unique capability to launch a significant national recruitment initiative through a new website at www.mentoryouth.com.
Since 1994, OJJDP has sponsored programs that provide one-to-one mentoring, with the ultimate goal of providing volunteer adult mentors and youth with the specific intent of improving academic performance and reducing school dropout rates, youth gang involvement, and delinquency. OJJDP Administrator Robert Flores said that "a strong connection to a positive, caring adult can be a deciding factor in a child's life." More information about OJP is available on the website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist crime victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and two offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education, and the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed program.