Press Release: Senate Appropriations Support Juvenile Justice Funding

Press Release: Senate Appropriations Support Juvenile Justice Funding
Act 4 Juvenile Justice
April 25, 2016
Coalition Leaders Applaud Senate Appropriations Committee for Sending Strong Message of Support for Federal Funding of Critical Juvenile Justice Programs 
SENATE APPROPRIATORS SUPPORT JUVENILE JUSTICE FUNDING: Coalition Leaders Applaud Senate Appropriations Committee for Sending Strong Message of Support for Federal Funding of Critical Juvenile Justice ProgramsWASHINGTON, DC (April 22, 2016) – Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which included funding for critical juvenile justice programs.  On behalf of our broad network of more than 300 organizations representing all states, territories and D.C., we strongly applaud Senate appropriators for recommending $272 million for juvenile justice programs in its FY17 bill and are particularly pleased with the proposed increases in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDPA) Title II State Formula Grant and Title V Local Delinquency Prevention programs.

Calling Title II and Title V of the JJDPA, “the backbone of programs assisting State and local agencies to prevent juvenile delinquency and ensure that youth who are in contact with the juvenile justice system are treated fairly”, the Committee recommended a $5 million increase for Title II from $58 million in FY16 to $63 million for FY17 and an increase of nearly $10 million for Title V from $17.5 million in FY16 to $27.5 million in FY17. 

“JJDPA supports state compliance with federal law and creates incentives for research-based practices and innovations to implement effective and equitable juvenile services aimed at positive youth and family outcomes,” said Marie Williams, Executive Director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and co-chair of the ACT4JJ coalition.

We were also pleased to see specific allocations to assist in community-based violence prevention efforts and in helping improve juvenile indigent defense . “As the Congress considers legislation to reauthorize this critical law, we are pleased that appropriators are continuing to recognize the important role the federal dollars play in helping states improve outcomes for youth, reduce recidivism and build safer communities, “ says Marcy Mistrett, CEO at the Campaign for Youth Justice and co-chair of the ACT4JJ coalition. “We were also pleased to note that the increase in Title V funding allows for a return to competitive grants at the local level for prevention.  This is a great improvement over the past several years where one-hundred percent of  Title V funding was earmarked for special programs.”

The Senate failed to reinstate funding for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program despite support for this program by this coalition and in the Administration’s FY17 budget proposal. This program has supported vital state efforts to effectively strengthen juvenile court services, such as behavioral health screening and assessment for court-involved youth and alternatives to detention and we will continue to work with Congress and others to try to restore this funding.

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