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Juvenile Justice Information

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) became law in 1974,and was amended in 2002.  Rhode Island has been an active participant since 1975 and receives appropriations annually.  Grant funds may be used for many purposes related to delinquency prevention and improvement of the juvenile justice system.  Funding recommendations are developed by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC) and then approved by the Public Safety Grant Administration Policy Board.

The goal of the JJAC is to carry out the mandates of the JJDPA Act:

  • Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO);
  • Jail Removal (juveniles not to be detained or confined in any jail or lockup for adults);
  • Sight and Sound Separation of juveniles (from adults);
  • Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) addresses efforts to reduce the proportion of juveniles detained or confined in secure detention/correctional facilities, jails, and lockups who are members of minority groups if such proportion exceeds the proportion such groups represent in the general population.

Rhode Island’s primary focus for the Title II Formula Grants Program continues to be the improvement of the Rhode Island juvenile justice system and the ability to respond to juvenile offending behaviors quickly and effectively.  Rhode Island continues to maintain compliance with the core protections afforded youth under the JJDP Act.

Rhode Island attempts to move towards a developmental approach to juvenile justice in developing alternatives to justice system involvement and incarceration through the use of specialty court programs and juvenile hearing boards.  These various efforts attempt to narrow the entry to the juvenile justice system. 

Also, as part of the effort to maintain compliance with the Core Requirements, Rhode Island’s JDAI/Annie E. Casey Foundation project has been partnering with the DMC initiative to include specialized subcommittees and projects with goals and accomplishments in line with reducing racial and ethnic disparities and creating cultural competency in the juvenile justice system. 

For more information contact Gina M. Tocco - (401) 764-5798 or Gina.Tocco@psga.dps.ri.gov