Federal aid to states for juvenile justice efforts are not getting any new help from Congress under the first cut at Justice Department spending for the fiscal year starting October 1. The House subcommittee that oversees DOJ appropriations would cut basic juvenile justice aid to $45 million from $55 million this year and continue to zero out the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program, which was eliminated this year after a long history of support from Congress. The Obama administration is seeking to reinstate the program. The panel would still allocate $90 miliion for juvenile mentoring, up slightly from this year.
The subcommittee would create a new $36 million pot to help localities deal with the backlog in analyzing evidence from victims in sexual assaults. The panel would cut hiring in the federal COPS (community oriented policing program) from $180 million to $70 million, but in recent years, the Senate has restored COPS funding. Other major anticrime programs, such as Byrne Justice Assistance Grants and “justice reinvestment,” would get about the same or a little more in the House panel’s proposal, although the Second Chance Act for prisoner re-entry aid would be cut from $68 million to $63 million. Final numbers must go through the entire appropriations process in the House and Senate but the House committee plan is the first indication of Congress’ prorities in a time of tight spending.