Youth under the age of 18 who are accused of committing a delinquent or criminal act are typically processed through a juvenile justice system1. While similar to that of the adult criminal justice system in many ways—processes include arrest, detainment, petitions, hearings, adjudications, dispositions, placement, probation, and reentry—the juvenile justice process operates according to the premise that youth are fundamentally different from adults, both in terms of level of responsibility and potential for rehabilitation. The primary goals of the juvenile justice system, in addition to maintaining public safety, are skill development, habilitation, rehabilitation, addressing treatment needs, and successful reintegration of youth into the community.
Learn more about the juvenile justice process.
1States, however, have the right to set lower age thresholds for processing youth through the adult system. In addition, some states automatically process any individual, regardless of age, through the adult criminal justice system for some serious offenses.
Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs
The recent Juvenile Justice bulletin, published by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP), presents a compilation of current research on gangs, including data on the state of gang problems in the United States today, why youth join gangs...
Keeping youth in school and out of the justice system
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the launch of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a collaborative project between the Departments of Justice and Education that will address the "school-to-prison pipeline" and the disciplinary policies and practices that can push students out of school and into the justice system.
CrimeSolutions.gov Website Launched
Washington, D.C. – The Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today launched www.crimesolutions.gov. This new website is a central, credible resource to inform practitioners and policymakers about what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.
Map My Community is a tool designed specifically to assist you in locating resources in your community to help you build and strengthen your youth program. Get ideas for new partnerships, identify gaps in your community, and learn about resources to avoid duplication of effort.
FindYouthInfo.gov is the U.S. government Web site that helps you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs. Included are youth facts, funding information, and tools to help you assess community assets, generate maps of local and federal resources, search for evidence-based youth programs, and keep up-to-date on the latest, youth-related news.