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First enacted in 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has been due for reauthorization since 2007. More than 35 years after its enactment, the JJDPA is one of the most successful standard-setting statutes at the federal level and at its heart recognizes the value of citizen-driven efforts to prevent and stem delinquency. The success of the JJDPA has been supported in significant part by the national agenda-setting, research, evaluation, oversight, and technical assistance functions of OJJDP. It remains the landmark federal statute—and single most influential piece of federal legislation—providing four substantive safeguards (core protections) for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.
Introduction in the 114th Congress
On April 30, 2015, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced S. 1169, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The bill would strengthen the JJDPA’s core protections for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
This bill serves as the first step towards reauthorization of the JJDPA, which expired in 2007. It would, among other things, eliminate use of the Valid Court Order (VCO) exception, provide further assurances that children who are facing charges are not housed with adult inmates, and require communities to address racial and ethnic disparities within their systems.
H.R. 2728, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015, was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 11, 2015 by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Tony Cardenas (D-CA). The bill would reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and amend in provisions that are currently found in the Youth PROMISE Act.
You can find the following resources related to the reauthorization of the JJDPA here:
- Text of S. 1169
- Text of H.R. 2728
- Act4JJ S.1169 Bill Summary
- Act4JJ S. 1169 Sign On Letter
- Law Enforcement Support for S. 1169
- Faith Groups Support for S. 1169
- List of organizations that have endorsed S. 1169
- Funding in the States (July 2015)