The Department of Justice is hoping to help improve Guam's juvenile justice system with training and technical assistance.

The DOJ's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Grants Management Specialist, Tina Borner said they are providing the help to reps from various agencies the Department of Youth Affairs Kattan Youth Center facility.   

The training is required for DYA's compliance for the Title II Formula Grant funding to provide and develop juvenile justice programs. Borner says there is an emphasis on prevention.

"To ensure that if they do have to come into contact with the juvenile justice that it is a very brief and we provide the funding to allow them to do services to keep juveniles out," she said.

The Title II funds require each state and territory to comply with four core areas: Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders, Adult Jail and Lock-Up Removal, Sight and Sound Separation, and Racial and Ethnic Disparities.

Borner's training focused primarily on grant management and effective ways to provide information to the OJJDP to ensure compliance during audits.

"With the new change in administration, we really felt that there was a need to come out and ensure that they really understand what it is that we need in order for them to be successful," she said.

DYA Director Melanie Brennan says one major change was the addition of the core area of Racial and Ethnic Disparities.

"That really helps the territories look at different ethnicities rather than races, like Caucasian or American Indian so the training itself was specific to the territories so I think all of us got a lot out of it," she said.

The OJJDP visit is particularly important because it provides Borner with direct exposure to Guam's challenges as well as an opportunity for real-time dialogue between herself and the island's law
enforcement community. She concludes her trip with a
meeting with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.