The Futures Institute

Juvenile Justice System Reform and Reinvestment Initiative

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Juvenile Justice System Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (OJJDP) ​


The Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Justice System Reform and Reinvestment Initiative, which is administered by the Department of Justice to introduce innovative, non-carceral recidivism-reduction policies and requires the financial savings from these policies to be invested in juvenile justice prevention and intervention programs that are proven to be effective. OJJDP suggests that states work with a diverse set of stakeholders including police, prosecutors, and judges, but this is not required. 

Note: Applicants should be aware that this grant also funds carceral investments in safety like policing programs, prosecution and court programs, and  technology improvement programs for police.

Grant Award

Estimated maximum: $800,000.00 


State governments 


The justice reinvestment framework requires that states develop and implement sustainable strategies for reinvesting costs saved or averted as the result of these system improvements into proven effective juvenile justice prevention and intervention programs

Due Date

July 25, 2022 (it has been repeated previously) 


Department of Justice 

Materials Needed


Application Difficulty


Evidence on Investments in Equitable Education and Youth Development

Investing in youth, education, and community spaces is essential for both boosting the economy and making communities safer and more stable. Increasing educational attainment decreases the likelihood of future incarceration. Improving school quality reduces the probability of serious crimes and incarceration. And increasing investments in counselors, social-emotional learning, and wraparound services—while reducing the use of school police—will help end the school-to-prison pipeline while helping every child succeed. There are numerous studies exemplifying the variety of investments in youth, education, and community spaces that make communities safer spaces for everyone. 

Programs to support students’ social and emotional well-being have been found to reduce total arrests by as much as 35 percent, violent crime arrests by as much as 50 percent, and, for program youth in juvenile detention facilities, recidivism by 21 percent. A recent study looked at the effects of a change in Michigan law that increased spending on schools in low-income areas, focusing on students who experienced the increase in elementary school. The resulting decrease in adult crime rates was so large that the law ended up saving the state money overall.  Robust research shows that correctional education programs are one of our most effective ways to reduce recidivism and increase employment opportunities upon reentry.

Socioeconomic segregation of schools has been found to increase violent crime, suggesting that promoting more diverse and integrated schools could reduce violence. Youth-focused sports and therapy programming can reduce the likelihood of future arrests for a violent crime by 50 percent. High-quality afterschool programs have broadly positive impacts for children. By providing a safe space that promotes students’ health and development, these programs can reduce drug use and decrease arrests and other forms of criminal-legal involvement among children.

Programs focused on wraparound education services in high risk areas have been shown to reduce juvenile arrests as well as child abuse cases.  Research also shows that high school graduation rates are generally associated with positive public safety outcomes and lower crime rates for communities. Early childhood intervention programs, as well as nutrition programs for newborns, are likely to reduce crime.

In short, investing in the next generation is one of the most important ways that communities can promote safety, not just today, but for years to come.

Evidence on Investments in Non-Carceral Crisis Response

Over the years, evidence has shown that programs of violence prevention and non-carceral crisis response dramatically improve community safety—even though they have received far less funding than traditional criminal-legal approaches. 80 percent of gender-based violence survivors report being somewhat or extremely afraid to call the police during a crisis. And yet, many non-police crisis responders have been highly successful at stemming violence. A study of Safe Streets, a Baltimore non-carceral “violence interruption” program, found that its outreach workers reduced serious violence by 69 percent. And robust research has shown that violence prevention programs in schools significantly reduce violent behavior. 

When someone is in crisis or otherwise vulnerable, jurisdictions should have trained professionals who are available to answer these calls and defuse dangerous situations. As this evidence shows, people in crisis need a helping hand, not a gun, to access the support that will help them avoid further harm

Grant Writing Resources

Grants.Gov Resources

Applicant Training Videos (step-by-step guide on how to find grants, set up an account on, and submit an application)

Applicant FAQ page

Other Resources

Community Toolbox’s Applying For Grants Toolkit (Outline of process + example applications)


Q: What is community safety? 

A: We use the term “community safety” as well as “non-carceral safety” to indicate an approach to reducing violence and harm that invests in people over punishment. This can include unarmed civilian first responders and community violence prevention, but must also center preventative and root-caused focused solutions such as investments in schools, healthcare, and the environment. These solutions not only create holistic safety by improving well-being, they have been directly tied to reductions in violence. 

Q: How do the grants in the American Rescue Plan and other recent bills fit into this database? 

A: This database contains grants contained both in specific legislation (like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, and the Inflation Reduction act) but it focuses primarily on grants funded annually through the federal budget process. Please see our resources specifically on ARPA and IIJA for more information on funding opportunities in those bills. 

Q: Where should I go if I have additional questions? 

A: Feel free to reach out to with questions or comments. If you’d like to suggest a grant, please fill out this form


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