Urge your members of Congress, especially those who serve on the House Education and Workforce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which provides critical resources to state and local juvenile crime prevention and deterrence efforts and was last reauthorized in 2002. Additionally, please urge House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to fund juvenile justice programs in annual appropriations bills.
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is the principal federal law through which the federal government sets standards for the care and custody of juveniles. JJDPA also improves juvenile justice systems at the state and local levels by providing direct funding to states and counties for research, training, technical assistance and evaluation of the entire youth system. Originally enacted in 1974, JJDPA has been amended several times over the past 30 years, but its basic framework has remained largely the same and has proven to be effective.
Since its inception, JJDPA has provided critical federal funding to counties to help them comply with a set of guidelines that aim to shield youth from the dangers of adult jails, keep status offenders out of locked custody and address the disproportionate treatment of minorities in the justice system. Title II of the law establishes State Formula Funds to support state compliance with these guidelines, helping to ensure that states have the resources to build effective statewide systems that reduce recidivism and promote public safety.
The Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Program, commonly known as the Community Prevention Grants Program and authorized under Title V of JJDPA, provides funding to local governments for collaborative, community-focused and community-based delinquency prevention efforts aimed at youth in high-risk situations. JJDPA programs are critical to many communities nationwide, and allow counties to identify gaps in their continuum of services and to implement innovative programming and evidence-based screening for children and youth.
The continuing success of nationwide juvenile crime prevention and deterrence depends on Congress’s reauthorization of JJDPA, as well as the continued provision of funds for the program in the annual appropriations process. Congress must continue to support and improve the four core principles of JJDPA: deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO); sight and sound separation; jail removal; and disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) as part of any multi-year JJDPA reauthorization bill.
KEY TALKING POINTS
- Counties are the principal providers of juvenile court and detention services for youth and operate and fund a wide majority of local health, human service and social service agencies that provide a continuum of care for juveniles and high-risk youth.
- The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) provides critical federal funding, research and technical assistance to states and counties to help them comply with a set of core protections that shield youth from the dangers of adult jails, keep status offenders out of locked custody and address the disproportionate treatment of minorities in the justice system.
- Programs funded in JJDPA assist counties in investing in collaborative, community-based delinquency prevention efforts aimed at high-risk youth. Title V delinquency prevention funds are used by counties to support prevention programs targeted at youth who are at risk of becoming delinquent or to intervene with first-time and non-serious offenders to keep them out of the juvenile justice system.
- JJPDA is currently being funded as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-31), which remains in effect through September 30, 2017.
- The ongoing success of effective nationwide juvenile crime prevention and deterrence depends on Congress’s reauthorization of JJDPA and the continued provision of appropriations needed to fulfill the program’s goals.
For further information, contact: Hadi Sedigh at 202.942.4213 or email@example.com