Academic journal article Journal of Juvenile Justice

Foreword

Academic journal article Journal of Juvenile Justice

Foreword

Article excerpt

Historically, the state and local response to delinquency has focused on strategies and tactics as they pertain to the system and its agents-law enforcement, the courts, corrections, and affiliated agencies. Today, a growing body of research on adolescent brain and behavioral development, philanthropic advocacy, and pressing fiscal realities are fueling efforts in states and communities across the country as they rethink their response to juvenile offending. Recognizing that an evidence-based approach must guide innovation and reform, OJJDP supports research that informs juvenile justice policymakers and practitioners about what works, what is worth further exploration, and how to improve existing delinquency prevention and intervention responses.

Significant new scientific findings are expanding what we know about the processes of growth and maturation that are ongoing during adolescence. Simply put, adolescents are on the path to adulthood, but this transitory period between childhood and full maturity presents its own unique challenges for the juvenile justice community. Adolescents are not yet adults, nor should we treat them that way when they offend. Our responsibility to our children is to help them successfully navigate the difficult process of growing up so that they become fully contributing members of their communities. Because violence and trauma can often derail positive development of too many young people, it is important that we examine and discuss the issues that hinder their potential and work to get their lives back on track for healthy growth and wellness.

The Journal of Juvenile Justice is a critical component in OJJDP's efforts to support the infusion of evidence into policy and practice and to ensure that our partners in the field have ready access to the latest juvenile justice research and evaluation findings. …

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