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The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is pleased to announce the inaugural issue of the Journal of Juvenile Justice (JOJJ). This semi-annual, peer-reviewed journal, sponsored by OJJDP, is designed to be an accessible, practical tool for a diverse audience of researchers and practitioners. We believe this Journal is an overdue contribution to the world of criminal justice research periodicals and will fulfill a critical need in the juvenile justice field. Its creation is both a tribute to OJJDP’s rich research legacy and an acknowledgment of OJJDP’s unique mandate.
Created in 1975, as a result of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act, OJJDP was charged with the coordination of programs, policies, and research related to juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice. Within the Act is authorizing language that requires OJJDP to coordinate federal juvenile delinquency programs; administer formula funds to States, as well as award discretionary grant funds; provide training and technical assistance to juvenile justice practitioners; develop juvenile justice standards; conduct research and evaluate juvenile justice programs; and disseminate juvenile justice information to the field.
The JJDP Act was revolutionary in many respects—not only in codifying broad systemic changes, such as the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, but in recognizing the value of research and ensuring it was among OJJDP’s fundamental responsibilities. Since its establishment, OJJDP has developed a wide-ranging research program that includes ground-breaking longitudinal work; unprecedented data collections and surveys; and many comprehensive program evaluations focusing on juvenile crime, delinquency, and victimization. Housing a juvenile research program within an office that also funds juvenile justice programs and services has allowed OJJDP to seed its research into many other activities. Consequently, knowledge gained through research, evaluation, and statistical efforts has informed and strengthened the development of victimization and delinquency prevention and intervention programs; standards; and training and technical assistance. In addition, OJJDP’s responsibility to disseminate information to the field ensures that new research findings make their way into the hands of practitioners and policymakers.
The development of a research journal for OJJDP’s constituency is both a natural progression and complement to the Office’s research and dissemination duties. Topics covered within each journal will address a variety of issues in juvenile justice, ranging from delinquency prevention to evaluation of treatment approaches. Moreover, the Journal’s articles are not limited to OJJDP-funded research. We recognize that while OJJDP’s research agenda is ambitious, it cannot possibly answer the diversity of questions generated by an evolving juvenile justice field. Innovative research is being conducted across the country and around the world, and OJJDP welcomes credible submissions from all arenas. Our sole criterion is that all articles are subject to a rigorous peer review and represent sound scientific principles on topics of concern to the field. With that in mind, we anticipate a robust exchange in which the juvenile justice field will be both the journal’s contributors and its consumers.
This inaugural issue includes much that will be of interest to our constituents. Topics range from the unique risk factors associated with crossover youth to the benefits of comprehensive restorative justice programs. Articles that report the findings from evaluations of Parents Anonymous and King County’s Child Protection Mediation Pilot showcase programs that demonstrate promise in reducing child maltreatment and increasing the efficiency of case processing, respectively. Additionally, the Journal includes items on the development of standards for defining and measuring recidivism and a method that may be used to improve the reliability of juvenile justice screening and assessment instruments. This information is both timely and practical.
In fact, practical application of research knowledge is a key tenet of the Journal of Juvenile Justice. The Journal has been developed with a realistic view of the current fiscal environment. Perhaps at no other time in OJJDP’s history has there been such urgency to examine our current programs and policies to identify efficiencies. Evaluations offer us helpful information about programmatic effectiveness, answering the question, “What works?” But it is also important to answer the question, “What works at low cost?” In addition, there is strategic value in understanding the populations we serve. Longitudinal and basic research address questions about the nature and extent of juvenile crime and victimization that help us determine how we may target limited programmatic resources for the utmost benefit.
Of course, pursuing the answers to these questions will do no good if the knowledge does not reach those who need it. It is vital that once credible information is available, it is disseminated quickly and widely so that it can inform the decisions of practitioners and policymakers. The Journal’s electronic format ensures that it is accessible to all of OJJDP’s stakeholders—from rural Alaska to inner city Baltimore and beyond.
The advent of this journal has afforded us the opportunity to reflect back on OJJDP’s history as well as contemplate our future. Looking ahead, we have developed three goals that find their roots in our authorizing mandate: 1) set a research agenda for OJJDP that is scientifically rigorous, timely, and promises maximum impact to the field; 2) seek out opportunities to partner with other research offices and organizations, within the Department, across Federal government, and with private partners; and 3) disseminate relevant research findings widely using the latest tools and resources to increase accessibility. We believe this Journal is a means to help achieve these goals.
We hope you share in our excitement about the Journal of Juvenile Justice and join us in looking forward to the many issues to come.
Editor in Chief:
Monica L.P. Robbers, Ph.D.
Deputy Editors and e-publishing:
Kimberly G. Taylor
2107 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1000
Arlington, VA 22201
Dr. Matt Hiller, Temple University
Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Arizona State University
Ms. Willa Farrell, Office of the Attorney General of Vermont
Ms. Nancy Fishman, New York State Courts
Dr. Holly Hills, University of South Florida
Dr. Stephanie Ellis, Marymount University
Dr. Phillip Harris, Temple University
Dr. Katherine Courtney, State of New Mexico Government
Dr. Jennifer Fratello, Vera Institute
Dr. Stephen Cureton, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Dr. Zachary Hamilton, University of Wisconsin
Ms. Jennifer Anderson, Childrens org, Minnesota
Dr. Christopher Mallet, Cleveland State University, Ohio
Dr. Jimmy Bell, Jackson State University, Mississippi
Dr. Charles Corley, University of Michigan
Mr. Michael Baglivio, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
Mr. Dale Davis, Rochester RR, New York
Dr. Olivier (Heng) Choon Chan, City University of Hong Kong
Mr. Dori Barnett, California State K-12
Dr. Cris Burton, Texas Youth Authority
Ms. Danille Fields, Regents of Virginia
Dr. Mara Schiff, Florida Atlantic University
Dr. Lauren Abramson, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
Dr. Emily Gerber, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Dr. Kathleen Hart, Xavier University
Ms. Anne Danneback, Missouri Court System
Dr. Audrey Hickett, University of Utah
Dr. Susan Chibnall, Manila Consulting, Virginia
Dr. Janet Davidson, University of Hawaii
Dr. Sami Abdel-Salem, University of Delaware
Ms. Joanne Hobbs, Catalyst for Youth, California
Dr. Carol Bonham, University Southern Indiana
Dr. Joan Abbey, University of Michigan
Ms. Shannon Trahore, Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Dr. Judith Davis, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Ms. Susan Davis, Capitol Region Education Council, Connecticut
Dr. Jerry Miller, University of South Florida
Dr. Scott Ronis, University of New Brunswick, Canada
Mr. Rick McElfresh, Office of the State Courts Administrator, Missouri
Dr. George Day, East Texas Baptist University
Dr. Steven Egger, University of Houston at Clear Lake
Ms. Janice Iwama, Justice Research and Statistics Association, Washington D.C.
Mr. Derek Fenner, Collaborative Organization, Massachusetts
Dr. Lauri Goldkind, Fordham University, New York.
Dr. Paul Anderson, University of Chicago, Illinois
Ms. Angela Irvine, National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Dr. Sonia Frison, University of North Carolina, Greensboro