Reauthorization of the JJDPA

First enacted in 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has been due for reauthorization since 2007. More than 35 years after its enactment, the JJDPA is one of the most successful standard-setting statutes at the federal level and at its heart recognizes the value of citizen-driven efforts to prevent and stem delinquency. The success of the JJDPA has been supported in significant part by the national agenda-setting, research, evaluation, oversight, and technical assistance functions of OJJDP. It remains the landmark federal statute—and single most influential piece of federal legislation—providing four substantive safeguards (core protections) for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Learn more in the JJDPA Reauthorization Fact Sheet. Learn more about CJJ's Platform Position on Reauthorization of the JJDPA and on the Act4JJ website.

Introduction in the 114th Congress

On April 30, 2015, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced S. 1169, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The bill would strengthen the JJDPA’s core protections for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The bill was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 23, 2015. It will next go to the Senate floor for a full vote.

This bill serves as the first step towards reauthorization of the JJDPA, which expired in 2007. It would, among other things, eliminate use of the Valid Court Order (VCO) exception, provide further assurances that children who are facing charges are not housed with adult inmates, and require communities to address racial and ethnic disparities within their systems. 

H.R. 2728, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015, was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 11, 2015 by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Tony Cardenas (D-CA). The bill would reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and amend in provisions that are currently found in the Youth PROMISE Act.

Reauthorization Resources

You can find the following resources related to the reauthorization of the JJDPA here: