The Importance of a Federal-State Partnership with State & Local Jurisdictions
Given that there are in effect hundreds of different juvenile justice systems throughout the U.S. states and territories, it is critical that juvenile justice have a dedicated focus and a “home” within federal government for purposes of developing national policies, objectives, priorities and plans, and for providing guidance, support and oversight to states/territories in implementing the JJDPA. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is the agency charged with responsibility for juvenile justice at the U.S. Department of Justice. OJJDP carries out is purposes through research, policies and grants to states and localities to assist them in planning, establishing, operating, coordinating and evaluating projects for the development of more effective education, training, research, prevention, diversion, treatment, and rehabilitation in the areas of juvenile delinquency prevention and systems improvements.
Similarly, it is imperative that the states be in constant and collaborative contact with the federal government in order to develop strategies that work for the states, meet local needs and lead to best and promising practices for children, youth and communities across the nation. The SAGs fulfill this role, individually and collectively, by (1) embodying models for collaborative systems change, (2) providing real-world advice and counsel to their respective Governors and state legislatures, as well as the President and the U.S. Congress, and (3) serving as incubators for cost-effective innovations that create optimal outcomes for the prevention of delinquency.