Every year, approximately two million youth under age 18 are arrested, and 60,000 are placed away from home in residential and correctional facilities. Accounting for 16% of the U.S. youth population, African American youth make up 28% of youth who are arrested, 30% of youth who are adjudicated, and 37% of youth placed in locked facilities.
The State Training and Technical Assistance Center (STTAC) is funded from 2011-2014 by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to improve outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system. Through STTAC, AIR and its partners—the National Center for Juvenile Justice and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice—work with state governments, tribes, and non-profit organizations that receive OJJDP funding to reduce juvenile delinquency, improve the juvenile justice system, and promote accountability for offenders.
STTAC helps agencies:
- Improve service delivery.
- Enhance data collection for planning, implementing, and evaluating services.
- Increase implementation of evidence-based programs.
- Support states in dealing with pathways to the juvenile justice system such as trauma, mental health and substance use, gang involvement, and school discipline issues.
STTAC also assists state agencies and other organizations in tackling disproportionate minority representation, site and sound separation between juveniles and adults, deinstitutionalizing status offenders, and removal of juveniles from jail.
The Center has helped about two dozen states write disproportionate minority contact plans and create strategies to reduce the number of minority youth entering the juvenile justice system. STTAC’s website reached tens of thousands of new and returning users in the second and third quarters of 2013 alone.