President Obama is proposing to revamp a mainstay of the federal juvenile justice budget: the Title II Formula Grants, which essentially reward states for adhering to basic federal standards on juvenile justice, reports Youth Today. The grants, funded at $75 million in 2010, have provided grants to states contingent upon their compliance with the four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Those are deinstitutionalization of status offenders, barring juveniles from adult jails and prisons, sight and sound separation of juveniles from adult inmates, and addressing treatment of minorities.
Obama proposes to create a $120 million pot called Juvenile Justice System Incentive Grants. It would “consolidate funding targeting juvenile justice improvements into a competitive program that rewards or incentivizes states for progress against key indicators for the juvenile justice system.” The new scheme would nearly double the amount of money available to states that comply with federal law. There is no guarantee a state will definitely get money just for complying. Several states have debated the value of participating in the federal juvenile justice program.