FY 2018 Omnibus Bill Signed into Law
Campaign for Youth Justice
Aprill O. Turner
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
(202) 467-0864 ext. 113
The legislation provides a slight increase for funding of juvenile justice programs.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 1625, the $1.3 trillion FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. The bill includes small increases in spending for the key provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The omnibus provides $60 million for Title II of the Act, up from $55 million in FY 2017. Title II supports innovative state efforts to adhere to standards that reduce the risk of harm to court-involved youth, ensure fair treatment of minority youth, improve the way systems address delinquent behavior, and ensure citizen involvement and expertise through the State Advisory Groups. The omnibus also provides $27.5 million for Title V of the Act, which is one of the only federal programs specifically designed to prevent delinquency at the local level. Title V funding is up from $17.5 million the previous year; however, that increase is partially due to new line items in the bill, including $8 million to fund an opioid-affected youth initiative.
Federal investments play an essential role in state juvenile justice efforts to protect youth and promote safe communities. For more than 40 years, the JJDPA has provided critical federal funding to states to comply with a set of core requirements designed to protect children from the dangers of adult jails and lockups; keep status offenders out of locked custody; and address racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. Overall federal support of key juvenile justice programs has declined by more than 50 percent since FY 2002. To that end, we were so pleased to see an increase funding for the JJDPA over FY17 levels.
"We are glad to see an increased investment from the federal government in these critical programs that help keep our kids and communities safe. States rely on this money to ensure that children receive the services they need to lead safe and productive lives. Without serious investments in the JJDPA, we put our children, our communities, and the programs that serve them at serious risk," says Naomi Smoot, Executive Director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and Co-chair of the Act4JJ Campaign.
While we are happy to see an increase in funding, the omnibus does fall short of the funding amounts provided for in H.R. 1809 and S. 860, which reauthorize the JJDPA. The bill authorizes $1.1 billion over the 2019-2023 period for the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to operate programs to reduce juvenile justice delinquency, assist runaway, homeless, and trafficked youth, and improves public safety outcomes.
As the focus turns to the FY 2019 appropriations process, we stand ready to work with Congress to help secure increased funding levels as provided by the reauthorization bills. Any less would move even further away from the targeted federal involvement that has historically provided critical national leadership to states in preventing youth from entering the justice system.
For more information go to www.ACT4JJ.org
About Act 4 Juvenile Justice - Act 4 Juvenile Justice (ACT4JJ) is a campaign of the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC), which represents over 80 national organizations who work on youth development and juvenile justice issues. ACT4JJ is composed of juvenile justice, child welfare and youth development organizations advocating for the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and increased federal funding for juvenile justice programs and services.