National Projects

Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice and Statistics Website (jjgps.org)

The MacArthur Foundation funds a series of legacy activities intended to sustain the momentum of their ten-year investment in juvenile justice reform, Models for Change. Among these concepts was a call to action by the Foundation to establish an online system for charting ongoing state change across fundamental juvenile justice issues. The NCJJ Director proposed a Juvenile Justice Geography, Practice and Statistics (jjgps.org) online repository designed to provide state policy makers and system stakeholders with the information on landscape of reform in the states to use both as a platform for inspiring change and finding solutions that have been applied in other states. The effort was initially funded by the MacArthur in 2013 and a website was launched by NCJJ in May 2014. The product currently addresses over 40 diverse juvenile justice topics, organized in the following six main menu areas:

Juvenile Justice Model Data Project

The purpose of the Juvenile Justice Model Data Project is to enhance the quality and consistency of justice information to advance juvenile justice reform efforts at the national level through data improvements at the state, local, and tribal levels. To meet the goals of the project, NCJJ will work in collaboration with OJJDP and five partner organizations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA), the Performance-based Standards Learning Institute (PbS), and researchers from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FLDJJ).

The goals of the project are to develop:

  • Model data elements with recommended definitions and coding categories
  • Model measures and analyses to monitor trends and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of juvenile justice systems
  • A comprehensive strategy to disseminate and promote use of the model data elements and measures

The goals will be accomplished through a comprehensive review of major information needs across the juvenile justice system and establishing model data elements and measures. The information will be disseminated to the field through a variety of vehicles including reports and web-based modules.

National Juvenile Court Data Archive

The Archive annually collects more than one million automated case records from roughly 2,300 juvenile courts representing 84% of the juvenile population. Currently the Archive houses over 40 million records dating back to the 1970s. These records are the basis for the annual Juvenile Court Statistics reports (a reporting series dating back to 1927) that present a national description of the workloads and activities of the Nation's juvenile courts. .

In addition to the annual Juvenile Court Statistics series of reports, products stemming from the Archive include OJJDP Bulletins, and Fact Sheets, the juvenile court information on OJJDP's Statistical Briefing Book web site, and the interactive web-based analysis package Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics that enables users to conduct their own national analyses of the automated records of delinquency cases.

Visit the National Juvenile Court Data Archive project page to learn more.

National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Project

This project serves as OJJDP's statistical analysis center for responding to the research needs of OJJDP and the juvenile justice community. The project has completed dozens of reports and web-based products on a wide range of topics. These reports are based on analyses of the major juvenile justice national data sets (e.g., the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, the Juvenile Residential Facility Census, the National Incident-Based Reporting System, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, and the National Crime Victimization Survey). The most notable publications are the Juvenile Offenders and Victims series of reports, bulletins, and fact sheets that have become a standard in the field. The web-based products are available through the OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book, a site developed and maintained by the project, that presents the most current statistics on juvenile offenders and the juvenile justice system. The project has also prepared a series of web-based, interactive data analysis and presentation tools that enable users to perform custom analyses of data covering a range of juvenile justice topics. Visit the Data Analysis Tools section of the Statistical Briefing Book to find out what is available. The project, like its predecessor project the Juvenile Justice Statistics and Systems Development Program, also works with national and local data collectors to improve the quality of their data. 

Visit the National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Project project page to learn more.

Pew Charitable Trust's Multi-State Recidivism Study

In partnership with the Pew Charitable Trust’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP), NCJJ and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) will lead a comprehensive study of juvenile recidivism and construct measures to provide meaningful indicators of system performance in five states that are strongly positioned to serve as models for the field. Although reducing recidivism is a key indicator of success for juvenile corrections agencies, a recent survey found that 1 in 4 does not regularly collect and report recidivism data, and fewer than half use measures that provide a comprehensive picture of youth reoffending.

The study seeks to:

  • Empower practitioners and policymakers to accurately measure system performance and create benchmarks over time within their states;
  • Ensure that states are armed with research-informed measures that capture the full picture of subsequent offending and facilitate defensible comparisons of offender groups (e.g., measures that differentiate rates by offenders' risk levels, control for time-at-risk, etc.); and
  • Provide a baseline for state-to-state assessments where careful and equivalent comparisons can be made.

PSPP works with states to advance data-driven, fiscally sound policies and practices in the criminal and juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs. In addition to providing intensive technical assistance to states, PSPP conducts and supports national research; policy evaluations; public opinion surveys; and national, regional, multi-state, and state-level policy forums.

Survey of Juveniles Charged as Adults in Criminal Court

The 2009 Survey of Juveniles Charged as Adults in Criminal Courts (SJCACC) will collect information about the case processing of defendants younger than age 18 in criminal courts. This information is critical to understanding how many youth are charged in criminal court, the characteristics of these youth, the pathways that lead them to criminal court, and the final disposition of their cases. Westat and NCJJ bring complementary strengths and expertise to the 2009 Survey of Juveniles Charged in Adult Criminal Courts. Westat, the prime contractor, is a nationally recognized leader in survey methodology, sampling, and large-scale data collection and has expertise in designing nationally representative samples for the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) surveys. Westat's partner, NCJJ, is a national expert on the transfer of juvenile offenders to criminal courts and brings expertise in administrative records extraction and analysis, and extensive research experience in juvenile justice issues to the design and implementation of this survey. In addition, the related work NCJJ has already undertaken for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, including extensive research into state laws and jurisdiction-specific reports on criminal processing of youth, has served as essential groundwork for this study.