Home News Center Federal Update - May 2022

Federal Update - May 2022

May 26, 2022
Melissa C. Goemann

Liz Ryan Appointed Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

President Biden appointed longtime youth advocate Liz Ryan to head the OJJDP. Liz has been a passionate advocate for youth, most recently as president and CEO of the Youth First Initiative, an organization that she founded to spearhead a campaign to end youth incarceration. Liz previously founded and was president and CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice, which was focused on ending the practice of prosecuting and incarcerating youth as adults. Liz also co-founded Act 4 Juvenile Justice several years ago in order to advocate for the reauthorization and strengthening of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). Liz officially started as Administrator on May 16th, taking over the post from OJJDP’s acting administrator, Chyrl Jones. 

Liz has been an accomplished leader in this field for years and we are excited to see her take the helm of OJJDP. We look forward to working together with her to strengthen the federal role in helping states work to prevent youth from entering the youth legal system and ensure fairness and equity in their youth legal system practices.  

Urge Lawmakers to Make Youth a Priority in FY23 

If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to complete this Act4JJ action alert and reach out to your legislators to let them know that it's vital to provide strong funding for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) in the FY2023 budget. States and local organizations need this funding to help them improve their practices, protect young people, and provide services to young people to divert them from the youth legal system. 

National Sign-on Letters and Comments 

Please see below for a list of the national letters that NJJN has signed since our last newsletter and see the federal policy page of our website for a complete list: 

  • 2/28/22 - Juvenile Law Center sign-on letter to the American Law Institute expressing support for the proposed section 213.11A(3) of the Model Penal Code, which eliminates sex offender registration for nearly all individuals who were under 18 at the time of the offense.

  • 4/26/22 - Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition (FedSDC) sign-on letter to grow the co-sponsor list for the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act, to end corporal punishment in schools that receive federal funding. 

  • April, 2022 – Sign-on letter asking Congress to fund the Labor Department’s Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) program that provides workforce development and reentry services for individuals (including young people) with criminal records.  

  • May, 2022 – Sign-on letter supporting the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act of 2022 (SICAA), a bill being introduced in Congress by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  This is a comprehensive bill that will prevent abuse and neglect by establishing rights and providing funding for the protection and advocacy of institutionalized youth. 

  • 5/9/22 - Sign-on letter to leaders of appropriations committees asking for strong funding for FY2023 for innocence and forensic science programs that increase the accuracy and fairness of the criminal legal system.

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