There is a clear pattern affecting juvenile justice emerging in states with enormous budget shortfalls for 2010 and beyond, reports Youth Today: Many states are passing the buck to the counties; or rather, passing the responsibility for juvenile justice to the counties – without the buck. Counties are not happy about it.
In Tennessee, 30 juvenile justice programs faced extinction last year when the state zeroed out $7 million in juvenile prevention grants. Federal Recovery Act money alleviated pressure enough for Tennessee to restore the grants, but some of the programs are expected to shut down this year. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has proposed shutting the state juvenile corrections department and pushing all responsibility to counties. In Iowa, a Senate bill would eliminate a fund that has provided counties with nearly $8 million to operate detention centers. That loss of funds, with counties already budget crunching, would almost certainly be the end of some of Iowa's 11 county-run detention centers.