Juvenile Justice Commission

Offices (units)

Offices (units)

Offices (Units)

Office of Administration

The Juvenile Justice Commission’s (JJC) Office of Administration is comprised of several units that support the JJC’s workforce and the goals and priorities of the agency.

Fiscal and Budget Unit

The JJC’s Fiscal Unit works in conjunction with, and as directed by, the State Treasury to allocate available resources to meet the core missions of the JJC and to ensure that its overall fiscal operations meet the requirements set forth by the State Treasury.

To meet this responsibility, the unit oversees all appropriations and expenditures, including state, federal, and grant funds, as well as third-party contracts. This process ensures that the programmatic aspects of procurement activities and contracts are consistent with the identified needs of the youth in the JJC’s care. This consistent implementation of procedures and processes, as well as routine monitoring and evaluation, ensures the effective delivery of services.

Technical budget and planning documents are provided to the NJ Office Management and Budget (OMB) to determine how to best allocate available resources to meet the agency’s core missions in each budget year.

Link to budget documents:

  • NJ Budget Supplementary Information


  • Fiscal Year 2021 Budget in Brief


  • Fiscal Year 2021 – Seven Year Capital Improvement Plan



Capital Planning and Facilities Unit

The JJC maintains numerous facilities for youth and office spaces throughout the state. It is paramount that the facilities that house youth are well-maintained and provide environments conducive to rehabilitation. In order to meet this priority, the JJC’s Capital Planning and Facilities Unit coordinates with various JJC program areas to create and implement a comprehensive, agency-wide capital improvement plan. It is also responsible for overseeing all JJC construction and maintenance projects.


Human Resources and Employee Relations Unit

The Human Resources and Employee Relations Unit serves the JJC’s approximately 1100 employees and ensures compliance with all applicable Federal, State, Department of Law & Public Safety, Department of Treasury, and Civil Service Commission rules, regulations, policies and procedures.

This unit oversees the payroll process for all JJC staff, including law enforcement and civilian personnel, processes employee time and attendance, health benefits, pensions, retirements, separations and employment verifications, and administers various types of employee leaves of absence. In addition to seeking qualified candidates to join the JJC as employees, a recruitment team manages certifications, maintains employee records and evaluations, processes employment classification decisions and salary adjustments, and oversees the employee orientation process and employee training.

Information on employment opportunities with the JJC can be found here: https://www.nj.gov/oag/jjc/offices_hr_opps.htm


Support Services and Special Projects Unit

This unit provides support services to the JJC’s various programs and staff members in the following areas: vehicles, inventory control, administrative safety and security, record retention, asset management, and lease compliance. It also serves to coordinate with all JJC Offices to ensure that State, Federal and all other appropriations, as designated by the State Treasurer, are regularly reviewed, revised and modified. In addition, the Special Projects component of this unit provides direct analytical assistance to all JJC administrative and operational units on an as-needed basis.


Information Technology Unit

The Information Technology Unit maintains and develops integrated strategic information systems to support and improve the productivity and effectiveness of all areas of operations within the JJC. The core principles and data collection requirements that JJC embeds in its work require specific and detailed data systems to capture information in a meaningful way that allows for analysis and evaluation.  This integral component of the JJC’s work is made possible by the skilled software designers and programmers who are continuously tasked with designing new systems and producing unique data reports.

The unit’s responsibilities also include ensuring the continuity and integrity of the JJC’s computer network and maintaining optimum performance from its equipment and software. The unit maintains a Helpdesk which responds to over 200 requests for support monthly.  To assist the JJC in meeting its goals and initiatives to create a fair, just, and balanced system of care for youth, the unit also researches and evaluates new and innovative technologies on an ongoing basis.


Healthcare and Safety Services Unit

The JJC’s Healthcare and Safety Services Unit manages the delivery of medical and mental health care for the young people in the agency’s care, and tracks workplace injuries and illness among staff to develop intervention strategies and practical solutions to reduce hazards.

The unit, which includes a registered nurse, an occupational health specialist, a health and safety officer and a dietician, works collaboratively with University Correctional Health Care which provides direct medical services for the JJC through a contract. Resources and training for JJC staff are also provided through this unit to ensure that systems, policies, and procedures are in place to deliver high quality and effective care while maintaining a safe workplace environment.


Background and Child Abuse Records Information (CARI)

The Background and Child Abuse Records Information (CARI) Unit is responsible for ensuring that the proper background checks are conducted for all JJC staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors that may have interaction with JJC youth as required by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). This unit coordinates all Live Scan fingerprinting, monthly record validation, biennial Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) audits, and related staff training. In addition, the JJC is required to identify a Terminal Agency Coordinator or “TAC officer” to ensure that the JJC adheres to all policies and procedures related to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as governed by FBI and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP). The unit serves as liaison to various state agencies including the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and works closely with the JJC’s Offices of Investigations (OOI) and Juvenile Parole and Transitional Services (JPATS).







Office of Community Programs

Ten community programs are located throughout the state and accept juveniles from anywhere in the State of New Jersey.

Juveniles are placed in community programs in one of two ways. A judge may make placement to a community program a condition of a juvenile’s probation, or the Juvenile Justice Commission’s classification committee may determine that a community program is the most appropriate setting for a juvenile sentenced to its custody.

JJC Facilities

Office of Local Programs and Services

The Office of Local Programs and Services (LP&S), under the Office of Policy, Research and Planning, brings together four operational units that support the development and enhancement of local continuums of juvenile justice services. Based on the philosophy that communities have a unique understanding of their local youth populations, the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) administers several funding initiatives and state-level services that encourage the development and enhancement of a continuum of community-based services and sanctions, from prevention programs to sentencing options for at-risk, court-involved, and delinquent youth. These four units administer foundation, state, and federal grant funds, monitor compliance with the federal Juvenile Justice Reform Act, monitor county-operated juvenile detention centers, and serve as liaison to and collaborate with the courts and county government.




 Court Liaison Unit 

The Court Liaison Unit, under the Office of Local Programs and Services, collaborates with the courts, county government, and key stakeholders to ensure that youth involved with the juvenile justice system receive appropriate and timely services. Court Liaisons act as the bridge between the Family Court and the JJC and assist counties, via participation on County Youth Services Commissions, in using available funding to develop an innovative continuum of local programs and services.  Court Liaisons also assist with placing appropriate adjudicated youth in community-based programs operated by the JJC; advocate for the diversion of youth who are not appropriate for JJC placement to other systems of care and community-based services; and through their participation on reentry multi-disciplinary teams, help to ensure that youth returning to their communities are properly supported.



Youth Services Commission (YSC) Grants Management Unit

The YSC Grants Management Unit, under the Office of Local Programs and Services, oversees more than $15 million in state grant programs that award formula funding to all 21 County Youth Services Commissions through the State/Community Partnership, Family Court Services, and Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Innovations grant programs (N.J.A.C.13:90-2). County Youth Services Commissions are legislatively established planning bodies within each county charged with implementing programs for at-risk or justice-involved youth. Based on the philosophy that communities have a unique understanding of their local youth populations, the JJC provides funding to the counties through the Youth Services Commissions which then plan, fund, implement, monitor, and evaluate their local programs.  Funding is utilized to support programs and services at all points of the juvenile justice continuum, including prevention, diversion, detention alternatives, dispositional options, and reentry services.



Youth Justice Facility Monitoring Unit 

The Youth Justice Facility Monitoring Unit, under the Office of Local Programs and Services, is statutorily responsible for ensuring county juvenile detention facilities are in compliance with the Manual of Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities (N.J.A.C. 13:92).   The Unit conducts annual programmatic and physical facility inspections and suicide prevention inspections of all county juvenile detention facilities.  Additionally, the Unit approves all juvenile detention construction projects, including new and renovation projects, approves all hardware used in detention centers, and approves all new and updated camera surveillance systems.  The Unit also provides technical assistance; responds to problems and investigates major incidents occurring within juvenile detention facilities to ensure all areas of concern are addressed; establishes rated capacity for detention facilities; and reviews and approves a county’s plans for closing their detention facility and consolidating with another county’s detention facility.



Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP)/Grants Unit

The JJDP/Grants Unit, under the Office of Local Programs and Services, manages federal, state, and foundation grant funds that benefit both JJC youth and youth within the community throughout New Jersey. The Unit also ensures New Jersey’s compliance with the federal Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA), previously titled the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 2002, including ensuring that status offenders and juvenile non-offenders (runaways, truants, etc.) are not held in a secure manner; that delinquent juveniles are not detained in any adult jail or lockup for longer than six hours; and that juveniles do not have sight or sound contact with adult detainees (N.J.A.C. 13:94).  The Act requires a participating state to have a designated State Advisory Group (SAG); in New Jersey, the Governor-appointed JJDP Committee serves as the State’s SAG. The JJDP/Grants Unit staffs the JJDP Committee and its subcommittees.  The JJDP Committee’s mission is to prevent or reduce delinquency by improving systems, mobilizing resources, and engaging in advocacy to improve the lives of youth and families in the state.  The JJDP Committee funds state- and local-level initiatives, community-based programs, and system reform efforts.


JJDP Committee

Congress enacted the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act (Pub. L. No. 93-415, 34 U.S.C. §11101 et seq.) in 1974. This landmark legislation established the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to support local and state efforts to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system. In December 2018, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) was signed into law, reauthorizing and substantially amending the JJDP Act.

The JJRA requires a participating state to have a designated State Advisory Group (SAG). In New Jersey, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee serves as the State’s SAG. The mission of the New Jersey Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Committee is to prevent or reduce delinquency by improving systems, mobilizing resources, and engaging in advocacy to improve the lives of youth and families in the state. The Committee, whose members are appointed by the governor, is required to advise the Governor, Legislature, and Congress, without lobbying, on juvenile justice issues. The Committee funds state and local-level initiatives, community-based programs, and systems reform efforts. It also oversees compliance with the Act’s core protections for youthful offenders.

Office of Juvenile Parole and Transitional Services
Office of Education

The Juvenile Justice Commission’s (JJC) Office of Education (OOE) is challenged to ensure that residents are provided with an educational program that is not only compliant with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (SLS), but also meets the needs of its unique student population and its various education settings.

The OOE provides students in secure facilities and residential community homes with access to high quality educational instruction. This educational experience focuses on student-centered learning environments grounded in rigor, relevance, relationships and real-world problem-solving applications.

The philosophy of the OOE is to engage students in challenging and meaningful educational activities in a learning environment that encourages every youth to succeed. Educators provide engaging instruction in the SLS, while also fostering the importance of personal responsibility and emphasizing high expectations to achieve student academic and personal success.

The OOE is committed to an integrated, culturally diversified educational environment, which treats all students uniquely. The mission of the JJC’s OOE, “… ensures that all students learn. We support their growth into knowledgeable, skilled and confident citizens capable of succeeding in their work, personal and family lives into the 21 Century.”

The vision statement of the JJC’s OOE stresses that, “Every student will have the opportunity to access a high-quality program to prepare to be college or career ready.”

The OOE provides students with a minimum of 200 hours of instruction in the following content areas: mathematics, social studies, science and English. Further, students receive a minimum of 150 minutes per week in health and physical education. Courses in world language, psychology, business, and art are also provided.

In addition, the OOE offers ten Career and Technical Education (CTE) program choices, with the overall goal of providing organized educational activities, structured learning experiences, technical knowledge and skills required to prepare for postsecondary education; and training for careers in emerging and established professions. The CTE programs include: cosmetology, C-Tech, graphic arts and design, carpentry trades, plumbing and pipefitting, computer repair, horticulture, animal husbandry, audio visual technology, music production and culinary arts. The OOE provides students with the opportunity to obtain work-ready certificates in Servsafe, OSHA 10, C-Tech wiring and audio installation, CPR certification, as well as additional work-ready certifications. Students are also provided with career assistance, engaging local businesses to create internships, job opportunities, and community service activities for JJC students.

The OOE provides an academic program combined with a CTE program that serves the unique needs of individual students, utilizing multiple pathways for students to unlock and achieve their true potential with the goal of transitioning students into meaningful careers and lives thus reducing recidivism and increasing positive personal transformation of students.


Office of Investigations

The Commission has an over-riding responsibility to protect the rights and safety of those juveniles placed its care by the courts as well as its employees.

The Office of Investigations conducts prompt and thorough investigations of all allegations of misconduct. This office has both law enforcement authority and administrative authority to conduct investigations concerning any allegation of criminal action, misconduct, compliance with State, Departmental or Commission rules and regulations, standard operating procedures, and orders of the Juvenile Justice Commission.

The Commission is committed to conducting investigations in an objective, unbiased, and professional manner utilizing legal and proper investigative techniques. Investigations are conducted with complete authority of executive management with total regard for confidentiality.

The Office of Investigations is also responsible for implementing the Employee Random Drug Testing Program in accordance with the Attorney General’s and the JJC’s Policy and Procedures. The unit is responsible for conducting employee applicant background investigations for sworn law enforcement personnel, investigating major accidents or emergency response to incidents, and providing liaison with other law enforcement and corrections agencies.

Office of Classification, Intake and Release

The Office of Classification, Intake and Release ensures that the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) relies on data to make informed and deliberate decisions that reflect the needs of the youth served by the JJC. The Office maintains all youth records and tracks youth progress from intake to release, determining each youth’s initial placement, transfers, and release from custody.

Classification Unit
Classification is the process of assigning youth to appropriate custody levels based on an assessment of each youth’s supervision requirements and service needs. The initial classification process for newly admitted youth determines whether committed youth are appropriate for secure care or residential program placement by considering each individual’s offense history and their behavior at any prior out-of-home placements. The process also identifies the type of program that is best suited for each youth within a given custody level based on the youth’s educational, vocational, psychological, substance abuse, and other rehabilitative needs, as well as the location of the youth’s family and support system. This comprehensive and thorough assessment allows the JJC to achieve the goals of fostering rehabilitation and promoting positive youth outcomes while protecting public safety.

A multi-disciplinary committee conducts regular reclassification reviews to ensure that throughout their commitment to the JJC, each young person is placed in the most appropriate and least restrictive environment possible based on his or her rehabilitative and behavioral progress.

Classification staff also monitor pending court actions, including additional sentences which may affect the youth’s classification and/or term of commitment. 

Intake Unit
The intake process for each newly admitted young person is thorough and complete. The Intake Unit receives and processes records and legal information from the Superior Court and coordinates with staff at county holding facilities when transferring youth to JJC custody.  This process includes a review of relevant legal information including accessing information contained in the appropriate criminal justice databases and processing LiveScan fingerprints to ensure accuracy prior to intake at the JJC. This process results in the creation of an official JJC Classification file for each youth.

In addition, this unit is responsible for processing requests for court appearances.

Release Unit
In 2020, the JJC implemented the provision of legislative changes (P.L.2019, c.363/“S-48”) that completed the consolidation of executive branch juvenile justice responsibilities originally envisioned when the JJC was legislatively established in 1995 by integrating juvenile parole release authority within the JJC.

The Release Unit was established to oversee the JJC’s objectively-based parole release system, including the process of awarding automatic and discretionary release credits, determining projected parole dates, directing the JJC’s release review committee, advising the release panel, and implementing the enhanced parole revocation process.

The enhanced revocation process entitles each youth to attorney representation and efficient processing that ensures youth on parole are not unnecessarily returned to secure care and do not remain in out of home placements longer than necessary.

Projected parole dates are established in a manner that incentivizes positive behavior and engagement in rehabilitative programming among youth.  Automatic and discretionary release credits are applied to establish each youth’s projected parole date. A multi-disciplinary review committee allows JJC staff who work directly with youth and who have keen insight into the youth’s behavioral adjustments and rehabilitative growth, to have significant input in the decision-making process.

Finally, a multi-agency panel comprised of JJC executive level staff and a member of the New Jersey State Parole Board utilizes the recommendations of the review committee in conjunction with the established projected parole date to make final parole-related decisions.

Secure Care Facilities
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) & System Reform Unit

The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) & System Reform Unit, under the Juvenile Justice Commission’s (JJC) Office of Policy, Research, and Planning, works actively with County Councils on Juvenile Justice and System Improvement (CJJSI) to facilitate the implementation of JDAI.

What is the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)?
Juvenile detention was designed to be the temporary placement of young people accused of a delinquent act, while awaiting the final outcome of their cases in court. The purpose of detention is to house young people who, by virtue of their alleged offenses or documented prior histories, pose a serious public safety or flight risk. JDAI provides a framework of strategies that help reduce the inappropriate use of secure juvenile detention, while maintaining public safety and court appearance rates. JDAI has earned the broad support of government at both the state and local level, exemplifying the best of interagency and intergovernmental collaboration. The Attorney General’s Office and the New Jersey Judiciary have been instrumental in working with the JJC to develop and support JDAI.

The goal of JDAI as a systems-change initiative is to create more effective and efficient processes surrounding the use of detention. A primary goal of JDAI is to make sure that secure detention is used for only serious and chronic youthful offenders, and that effective alternatives are available for other youth who can be safely supervised in the community while awaiting final court disposition. JDAI also works to redirect resources toward successful reform strategies and to improve conditions of confinement in detention facilities for those youth who require this most secure level of supervision.

Why is JDAI necessary and how did it start in New Jersey?
JDAI was developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in response to national trends reflecting a drastic increase in the use of secure detention for youth despite decreases in youth arrests, and the resulting overcrowding of youth detention centers nationwide. In New Jersey, between 1993 and 2002 juvenile arrests for “index” offenses (i.e., the most serious offenses) decreased by 44.8 percent and overall juvenile arrests decreased by 24.7 percent. However, during the same 10-year period, the average daily population in detention increased by 37.7 percent. These changes led to serious overcrowding in New Jersey’s county-operated detention facilities. In 1996, New Jersey’s detention facilities were operating at 166 percent of approved capacity.

In 2004, the JJC submitted an application to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for New Jersey to be among the first states to implement JDAI, a nationally recognized youth justice reform initiative that had previously been implemented at only the county level. The application was accepted, and New Jersey’s JDAI journey began. 

What is the role of the JDAI & System Reform Unit?
The JJC is the lead agency for JDAI in New Jersey, providing the management and staffing infrastructure integral to New Jersey’s success as a JDAI site. At the state level, the New Jersey Council on Juvenile Justice System Improvement (CJJSI), whose members are jointly appointed by the JJC Executive Director and the Administrative Director of the New Jersey Courts, oversees JDAI and considers statewide policy and practice reforms. At the local level, County Councils on Juvenile Justice System Improvement are directly responsible for implementing local reform strategies.

The JJC assigns a Research & Reform Specialist (Specialist) from the JDAI & System Reform Unit to support each County CJJSI as it works to implement JDAI and achieve youth justice reform goals. The Specialists provide guidance on JDAI core strategies and youth justice best-practices, work to develop local policy and practice that achieve system-reform goals, and monitor progress by documenting and tracking policies and practices implemented. Most importantly, the Specialists ensure all reform efforts are data-driven by establishing mechanisms to collect youth justice data, conducting comprehensive data analyses, presenting findings to the CJJSIs, and making recommendations based on those findings. The Specialists then evaluate whether strategies implemented achieve intended outcomes. Finally, the Specialists serve as liaisons between the JJC, the County CJJSI, the New Jersey CJJSI, other New Jersey JDAI sites, and national JDAI sites. 

What has JDAI achieved?
Reliance on data to inform policy and program development is key among JDAI’s core strategies.  Through the JDAI process, jurisdictions use data to examine the detention process to determine where opportunities for improvement exist, and to measure the impact of any reforms implemented.  As one part of these data-driven efforts, each year, the JDAI & System Reform Unit prepares an Annual Data Report, which documents the impressive changes in local detention systems – changes that are consistent with the application of JDAI core strategies and with the goal of safely reducing the unnecessary detention of New Jersey’s kids.

Overall, when comparing the year prior to JDAI implementation in each site to the current data across sites, the average daily population of youth detention centers had decreased by more than 70 percent, resulting in more than 8,000 fewer youth admitted to detention annually. Youth of color have accounted for the vast majority of this drop. The success rates for youth placed on community-based detention alternatives are high, and youth crime has dropped by more than 70 percent since JDAI implementation, indicating that JDAI’s public safety goals are being met. These results are further detailed in the JDAI Annual Data Reports https://www.njoag.gov/about/divisions-and-offices/juvenile-justice-commission-home/jjc-library-reports-forms/

The results achieved through JDAI partnerships have brought New Jersey national recognition. While JDAI is operational in more than 300 local jurisdictions spanning 40 states and the District of Columbia, New Jersey is the only site to be designated a national model for statewide detention reform by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which spearheads the national reform effort. This designation was bestowed upon NJ in late 2008 as a result of the impressive outcomes New Jersey has achieved since JDAI inception. In its role as a model site, New Jersey is routinely called upon to conduct training and provide technical support to other states seeking to replicate New Jersey’s success.

Rehabilitative and Treatment Services Unit (RTSU)
Research and Evaluation Unit

The Research & Evaluation Unit (R&E Unit), under the Juvenile Justice Commission’s (JJC) Office of Policy, Research, and Planning, is responsible for research, evaluation, and planning activities that support the development and implementation of the overall policy and programming agenda of the JJC. This unit works collaboratively with various JJC offices and units to develop, implement, and assess various JJC initiatives, policies, programs, reform efforts, and budgetary needs. The R&E Unit carries out an annual, legislatively mandated evaluation of recidivism rates among youth departing JJC custody, which is included in the Outcomes Report released each year by the Department of Corrections. The R&E Unit also Chairs the JJC Research Review Board, which reviews and makes recommendations to the Executive Director regarding the approval of requests by outside entities to conduct research in JJC settings, and oversees the implementation of any approved research projects.

Links :

Request to Conduct Research Policy research-policy.pdf (nj.gov)


Jim Doone, Ombudsman
(O) 609.376.0610
(C) 609.954.1279
E-mail: jim.doone@jjc.nj.gov

The safety of the juveniles placed in the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission by the courts is one of the Commission’s highest priorities. In order to ensure that the rights of each juvenile committed to the custody of the Commission are protected, and individual issues are addressed, the Commission employs an Ombudsman who reports to the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission.

The Ombudsman acts as a liaison between the juveniles and the office of the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director. Routine visits to each institution, residential group center, and day program allow the Ombudsman to interview juveniles regarding grievances, complaints and other problems. The Ombudsman also acts as an information source to juveniles and their families.

The Ombudsman attempts to forestall problems for the juveniles in its care by facilitating early recognition of complaints and problems, and providing an avenue for prompt redress. The majority of the issues brought to the attention of the Ombudsman are addressed internally and can be resolved by the institution/program officials via recommendation, negotiation, direct action, or appropriate referral. It is also the responsibility of the Ombudsman to identify larger and more complex problems that may require action beyond the jurisdiction of the Commission and prompt notification of the appropriate authorities.