The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
) is an office of the United States Department of Justice
and a component of the Office of Justice Programs
OJJDP sponsors research, program, and training initiatives; develops priorities and goals and sets policies to guide federal juvenile justice
issues. OJJDP also disseminates information about juvenile justice issues and awards funds to states to support local programming nationwide through the office's five organizational components.
The office cooperates with other federal agencies on special projects. For example, it formed the National Gang Center
along with the Office of Justice Programs
(OJP) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance
(BJA). The OJJDP has the National Youth Gang Center linked through the National Gang Center.
The office is headed by an administrator
, J. Robert Flores
, since April 2002.
As of May 2008, Flores and the OJJDP were under congressional investigation for how $8.6 million was awarded to programs combating juvenile delinquency. The controversy involves money granted to programs with ties to George W. Bush
. 10 grants were awarded. The organization, Best Friends Foundation
, run by founder and president, Elayne Bennett
, wife of William Bennett
, ranked 51st out of 104 applications, was awarded $1.1 million over a three year period. The organization promotes self-respect, abstinence and rejection of illegal drug and alcohol use.