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OJJDP Administrator’s Words on Racial Disparities Shock Us

Standing before a room packed with youth, juvenile justice advocates, system practitioners, law enforcement officials and judges last week, Caren Harp, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), made an announcement: OJJDP would be “simplifying” the implementation and compliance of the core protections of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). As her remarks continued, it became clear that Harp’s simplification prioritizes public safety over racial justice. The administrator fails to understand that the two goals are intertwined.