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OJJDP News @ a Glance, March/April 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2011
12 pages
Publication Series
This issue presents information on recent activities and policies pertinent to the mission of the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
The "Top Story" in this issue is the Justice Department's discouragement of the use of "Scared Straight" programs, which have been used throughout the United States since the 1970s in order to deter juveniles at risk for delinquency from beginning or continuing criminal behaviors. "Scared Straight" programs typically involve taking groups of at-risk youth on visits to adult prisons, where they hear directly from inmates about the harshness of prison life. Decades of evaluation research on these programs have shown, however, that they are not only ineffective in preventing juvenile crime, but are possibly harmful to youth. In an op-ed piece published January 31, 2011, in the Baltimore Sun, Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie O. Robinson and the OJJDP's Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski discussed the ineffectiveness and potential harmfulness of "Scared Straight" programs. The "Special Features" section focuses on April as Child Abuse Prevention Month; OJJDP's National Girls Institute holding its first listening session; announcement of OJJDP's National Conference to be held at National Harbor, MD, on October 12-14, 2011; the Gang Symposium to be held in June 2011; and other upcoming events. The issues section on "News in Brief" addresses the White House's hosting of a conference on bullying prevention; bullying addressed in an op-ed piece from representatives of the Departments of Justice and Education; and the Obama administration's revision of a proposal on "Race to the Top" funding for juvenile justice. Other news reported includes the Attorney General's call for improvements in the juvenile justice system, the OJJDP's search for peer reviewers, and an online course in preventing truancy. A listing of new publications

Date Published: April 1, 2011