If a budget cut proposed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger goes through, 197 programs designed to prevent juvenile crime – including about a dozen after-school programs of the kind the governor has championed – could find their funding in serious jeopardy, the Sacramento Bee reports. Schwarzenegger’s budget writers have targeted for elimination $75 million of an estimated $100 million in annual Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act funding. Juvenile justice officials say the likely result will be more youths winding up in the California Youth Authority or other alternatives that are far more costly.
The proposed cut to the juvenile program funds is drawing the most heat in the governor’s proposed $7 billion youth and adult corrections budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. A proposal to slash $95 million in spending on inmate and parolee educational and vocational programs has also left some budget watchers scratching their heads at a time when the governor is proposing to re-emphasize rehabilitation in the state’s correctional philosophy. Schwarzenegger’s latest correctional budget is a 1.2 percent increase over the $6.9 billion allocated last year.