The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 aims at "focusing on juvenile delinquency prevention programs, as well as programs that hold juveniles accountable for their acts and which provide opportunities for competency development." (Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act 2002). The Act strikes a balance between concern for public safety and the need to offer healthy guidance to at-risk children. The support it provides to states through grant funds, research, and technical assistance is essential to enhancing the well-being of children and communities in Massachusetts and across the country.

The Act requires that states address four core requirements in order to receive full grant funding. The core requirements are:
 

  • Deinstitutionalization of status offenders
  • Sight and sound separation of juveniles from adult detainees and inmates
  • Removal of juveniles from adult jails
  • Disproportionate minority contact reduction