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Federal Policy

The National Juvenile Justice Network apprises our members on federal activities that affect justice involved youth, their families and their communities. NJJN's policy priorities are developed in partnership and consultation with its national membership. NJJN's work both informs and is informed by its participation in the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC) and the Act4JJ campaign.

As part of the NJJDPC, NJJN issues statements of concern on pressing federal issues.

NJJN also issued the following statement with its national partners the Campaign for Youth Justice and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice:

NJJN supports the federal priority recommendations in NJJDP’s Policy Platform for the Biden/Harris Administration, “The Future of Youth Justice 2021.” NJJN’s current national focus includes:

  • Rescinding the harmful 2020 COVID-19 guidance from OJJDP and issuing new guidance consistent with health care experts’ recommendations
During the pandemic it is more dangerous than it has ever been for youth to be locked up. We need guidance that reflects this fact and encourages states to reduce new admissions to facilities and remove youth currently in facilities, ensuring community support for returning youth.

  • Full and robust implementation of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA)

The JJDPA provides core protections and federal guidance and standards to ensure a minimum level of safety and equitable treatment for justice involved youth. The JJDPA was reauthorized and strengthened in 2018 but states need the support of the federal government to ensure that it’s promise is realized. This includes guidance on how to implement the new requirements on reducing racial and ethnic disparities, removal of all youth from adult jails, and deinstitutionalizing youth charged with status offenses.

  • Strong federal funding for youth justice

NJJN educates our members on federal funding as it applies to youth justice. The JJDPA’s funding streams have been systematically depleted for more than a decade. Since  2002, federal appropriation levels have dropped by 41.5 percent. See Act4JJ’s Juvenile Justice Federal Funding Chart and webpage on federal funding for further information.

National Sign-on Letters

Youth involved with the justice system often intersect with other systems such as child welfare, immigration, public health, and housing. Understanding that the pursuit of justice cannot be siloed, NJJN signs onto national letters in support of intersectional issues. View the national letters that NJJN has supported