Justice Department Language Guidance on Criminal Justice Terms
The official language guidance from the Justice Department instructs employees to change the way they refer to several criminal justice topics, including young people charged with crimes and people who are using illegal substances.
LANGUAGE TO AVOID System-involved orjustice-involved youth
LANGUAGE OPTIONS TO USE INSTEAD Youth in the system (or be specific) Offender or at-risk youth (as appropriate)
Smart on JuvenileJustice Initiative (program name)
Rest of program title following colon Reference generally as system improvement work
Defending Childhood Initiative (program name)
Reference work generally as children exposed to violence
Reform (in the context ofjuvenile justice)
Improvement (or similar rewording)
Conference, meeting, etc.
Discussing the criminal and juvenile justice system WITHOUT adding public safety aspect.
Example: Establish culturally speci?c, trauma- informed juvenile justice systems and ensure public safety.
Substance use disorder
Substance abuse issue (unless research/context specifically calls for substance use disorder as in JDTC Guidelines,
Referring to the Obama White House or AG Holder initiatives.
Previous administration and former Attorney General (do not use names)
?Out-of?home placement" or ?in-home placement?
Overrepresentation of minorities. (in the juvenile justice system)
Disproportionate minority contact Minorities are disproportionally represented
Public issue; public concern
Public health issue; public health concern Administration Priorities
Ensuring public safety
Reducing crime, particularly violent crime
Reducing drug use, particularly the opioid epidemic Protecting and supporting law enforcement
Com batting victimization (especially with respect to human trafficking)