Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act
Requirements of the JJDP Act
The new federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 2002 became effective October 1, 2003. The new Act amends the JJDP Act of 1974. The goals of the Act remain unchanged from 1974: to assist State and local governments to prevent and control juvenile delinquency and to improve the juvenile justice system.
To be eligible to receive JJDP Act grant funds, states must comply with four core requirements of the Act. A state’s level of compliance with each of the four core requirements determines eligibility for its continued participation in the grant program.
- The deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO) provision requires that children who have committed an offense that would not be criminal if committed by an adult (status offenses) such as truancy or running away, and non-offenders, like abused and neglected children, will not be placed in secure detention facilities or secure correctional facilities.
- The separation provision requires sight and sound separation of juveniles from adult inmates in secure institutions.
- The jail removal provision prohibits detaining or confining juveniles in adult jails and lockups for more than six hours, the maximum time allowed by statute for purposes of identification, processing, interrogation, transfer to a juvenile facility, court appearance or release to parents. This federal jail removal exception includes a six-hour time period both immediately before and after a court appearance provided that the juvenile has no sight and sound contact with incarcerated adults during this time.
- The disproportionate minority contact provision requires that states reduce the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.
To be found in full compliance with the requirement on disproportionate minority contact (DMC) [§223(a)(22)], a locality must address the development of a comprehensive system of service which is accessible and available to youth regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status or geographic locale. Localities selected for grant funding may be asked to develop and implement specific plans if the proportion of youth receiving services is not consistent with the demographics of the community.
The Department of Criminal Justice Services monitors Virginia's compliance with the core requirements of the JJDP Act. In general, violations of the JJDP Act are also violations of the Code of Virginia. Beginning in 1994, the monitoring process documented each violation and the locality having made the inappropriate placement. Any locality with a violation rate greater than that allowable under federal policy is not eligible to receive JJDP grant funds through the Department of Criminal Justice Services, except those funds dedicated specifically to compliance improvement. For additional information on compliance monitoring, see Compliance Monitoring Program.
Establishment of Funding Priorities in Virginia
Each state is required to submit to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) a Three-Year Plan and annual updates to address the juvenile justice needs of the state. The Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice determines the state’s priorities. The Advisory Committee meets several times each year, including at an annual retreat at which they review relevant data.
For further information, contact Tracey L. Jenkins via email or by telephone at 804.692.0977.