Coalition Leaders Applaud Administration’s Budget Recommendations for Critical Juvenile Justice Funding
WASHINGTON, DC– Yesterday, President Obama and his Administration released their Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) budget plan. On behalf of our broad network of more than 300 organizations representing all states, territories and D.C., we strongly applaud the President for including $339 million for critical juvenile justice programs in his budget proposal. Specifically, we are pleased that the President is requesting the following:
- $70 million for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) Title II, Part B State Formula Grants Program;
- $42 million for the JJDPA Title V Delinquency Prevention Program, with $10 million directed to stop the school to prison pipeline;
- $30 million for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) Program;
- $30 million for the new Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative;$18 million in community-based violence prevention initiatives;$4 million for grants and technical assistance in support of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Initiative; and
- $2 million for competitive grants that focus on girls in the juvenile justice system.
“President Obama and his Administration did a good job of preserving money for states to implement the core protections of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), the only federal law that sets out national standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system.” said Marcy Mistrett, CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice. “We are especially pleased with the $30 million investment in smart juvenile justice reform, which incentivizes states to foster better outcomes for system-involved youth.”
“With this budget, the President demonstrates the critical importance of targeted federal investments in state and local juvenile justice programs,” said Marie Williams, Executive Director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. “These programs pay huge future dividends in the form of better outcomes for youth, reduced recidivism and safer communities.”
In fact, Title II of JJDPA supports state compliance with federal law and creates incentives for research-based practices and innovations to build effective and equitable juvenile services aimed at positive youth and family outcomes. Due to Title II’s proven effectiveness, the Act-4-JJ Campaign will seek to build on the President’s proposal by working with Congress to restore and increase Title II funding further to help counteract the deep cuts to these funds over the past decade.
Title V is the only federal program that provides delinquency prevention funding at the local level to reach youth at risk and help keep them out of the juvenile justice system. It has been used to bring together local government, law enforcement, the courts, youth service providers, youth development organizations and others to build sustainable
prevention efforts and we are encouraged that the President has requested an increase for this program. We also support the commitment to provide dedicated resources to help communities reduce the use of arrest and engagement with the juvenile courts that unnecessarily push more young people into the justice system. However, we believe these dollars should not detract from Title V, but rather be appropriated separately and we will work with Congress to try to move it forward in that manner.
We support the President’s proposal for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program. These funds support vital state efforts to effectively strengthen juvenile court services, such as behavioral health screening and assessment for court-involved youth and alternatives to detention.
Finally, we strongly support the recommendation to invest federal dollars in a competitive grant program designed to help states and localities better address the needs of girls in the juvenile justice system. Girls are the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice population and this program will help provide specific, targeted support for state efforts to implement best practices with respect to at-risk and system-involved girls. To view the budget plan, click here.
Attribute statement to the Act-4-JJ Campaign co-Chairs: