Two National Juvenile Justice Groups Oppose Obama’s Reform Initiative


Two national juvenile justice organizations are strongly opposing President Obama's proposal to overhaul federal funding for juvenile justice, reports Youth Today. The Coalition for Juvenile Justice, which represents the state advisory groups, said the plan would “jeopardize ongoing state efforts to achieve and sustain compliance” with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act . Obama would create a $120 million incentive grant system to replace $130 million of formula funds and block grants to states. Only states that complied with the four key federal requirements could compete for the funds. Even then, a compliant state might not get funding.

The coalition eight states would be ineligible because they are not in compliance. “If states are denied equal access to federal resources,” said the group, “this number would likely increase.” The Campaign for Youth Justice, which campaigns against the practice of prosecuting juvenile offenders as adults and incarcerating them in adult facilities, said the proposal is “inconsistent with the Administration's position on the law.” The administration is misleading, the campaign said, when it compares the proposal with Obama's Race to the Top initiative in the Department of Education.

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