“Despite clear evidence that federal funding to states is effective to prevent and reduce delinquency, Congress has signaled an abandonment of its commitment to community safety by making drastic cuts,” says the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, which includes governor-appointed juvenile justice advocates from around the U.S. The group says that since fiscal year 2002, federal investments in programs to prevent and reduce delinquency have decreased by 50 percent. House Republicans want to cut federal aid an additional 50 percent.
In a proposal for the federal fiscal year starting Oct. 1, the House appropriations subcommittee handling the Justice Department budget wants to zero out two major programs: local delinquency prevention grants, and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program (JABG). which the coalition calls “the only federal program designed to provide judges, law enforcement and other corrections officials with a range of graduated sanctions to address the needs and behaviors of court?involved youth.” The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on the overall proposal tomorrow. The coalition would like Congress to restore funding for the prevention program to $65 million annually, plus $55 million for the “accountability” program and $80 million for a “formula grants” to states.