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Federal Policy

The National Juvenile Justice Network apprises our members on federal activities that affect justice involved youth, their families and their communities. NJJN's policy priorities are developed in partnership and consultation with its national membership. NJJN's work both informs and is informed by its participation in the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC) and the Act4JJ campaign.

As part of the NJJDPC, NJJN issues statements of concern on pressing federal issues.

NJJN’s current national focus includes:

  • Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA)
    The JJDPA provides core protections and federal guidance and standards to ensure a minimum level of safety and equitable treatment for justice involved youth. Enacted in 1974, it was last reauthorized in 2002, making it more than 10 years past due to be  reauthorized. Strong bipartisan bills passed the Senate and House in 2017. See NJJN’s Snapshot on the JJDPA to learn more about the law and visit the Act4JJ campaign website to learn more about efforts to reauthorize the law.

  • Federal funding
    NJJN educates our members on federal funding as it applies to justice involved youth. The JJDPA’s funding streams have been systematically depleted for more than a decade. Since the law was last updated in 2002, federal appropriation levels have dropped by more than 80 percent. See Act4JJ’s Juvenile Justice Federal Funding Chart and webpage on federal funding for further information.

  • Congressional and presidential priorities
    NJJN keeps our members informed of collaborative efforts to influence the Congress and the president’s priorities and budget recommendations regarding justice involved youth. NJJN participated in updating NJJDPC’s “Promoting Safe Communities; Recommendations for the 115th Congress,” which was released in 2017, and the January, 2017 Transition Letter to the Administration.

National Sign-on Letters

Youth involved with the justice system often intersect with other systems such as child welfare, immigration, public health, and housing. Understanding that the pursuit of justice cannot be siloed, NJJN signs onto national letters in support of intersectional issues. View the national letters that NJJN has supported.


NJJN’s policy analysis and education activities are generously supported by its state members, national partners and other unrestricted sources of revenue.