Congress enacted the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) (Public Law No 93-415, 42 U.S.C. 5601 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.
On November 2, 2002, Congress reauthorized the JJDP Act. The reauthorization (the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law, No. 107-273, 116 Stat. 1758) supports OJJDP's established mission while introducing important changes that streamline OJJDP's operations and bring a sharper focus to its role. The Provisions of the reauthorization took effect in FY 2004.