The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) assists local community endeavors to effectively avert and react to juvenile delinquency and victimization. Through partnerships with experts from various disciplines, OJJDP aims to improve the juvenile justice system and its policies so that the public is better protected, youth and their families are better served, and justice-involved youth are held appropriately accountable. OJJDP develops, implements, and monitors programs for juveniles. The office also supports many research, program, and training initiatives; develops priorities and goals and sets policies to guide juvenile justice issues; disseminates information about juvenile justice issues; and awards funds to states to support local programming nationwide.
Visit the OJJDP website to learn more about OJJDP.
Caren Harp was sworn in as Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention on January 19, 2018.
Ms. Harp is a former director of the National Juvenile Justice Prosecution Center at the American Prosecutors Research Institute. She also served as Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the Family Court Division of the New York City Law Department. Ms. Harp was a member of the American Bar Association's Juvenile Justice Standards Task Force and the National Steering Committee of the Office for Victims of Crime-sponsored Vision 21 Project of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
During her 23-year career as a trial lawyer, Ms. Harp spent 20 years on the prosecution side of the court system, either prosecuting cases or training prosecutors, and 3 years as a public defender. As a deputy prosecutor, Ms. Harp tried a wide range of cases in criminal and juvenile court, including sexual assault, domestic violence, and capital murder. As a trial attorney for the Arkansas Public Defender Commission, she represented indigent defendants charged with major felonies, including capital murder, and managed attorney caseloads and court coverage in six counties.
Prior to being appointed Administrator, Ms. Harp served for 5 years as an associate professor of law at the Liberty University School of Law where she taught courses on children and the law, evidence, professional responsibility, and trial advocacy.
She received her bachelor of science and master's degrees from the University of Arkansas and her juris doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Ms. Harp is admitted to practice in Arkansas and New York.
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