The federal committee of state stakeholders that advises the U.S. Justice Department on juvenile justice matters supports revisions to the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Protection Act and more money to implement changes, reports the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice voted 8 to 2 on Monday for a slate of recommendations related to the reauthorization of the JJDPA, the law that sets standards for juvenile justice programs.
States must comply with the law to receive funding for their programs. Legislation that would update the law has cleared a Senate committee and is expected to reach the Senate floor this fall, but action in the House is uncertain. The federal advisory committee's recommendations support many of those updates, such as increased data collection and reporting requirements, as long as additional funding is provided. Federal aid for state juvenile justice programs has dropped in recent years. Data collection and improved accountability are critical, but states vary widely in how prepared they are to collect and report new measures, he said. “The reality is far from where we need to be, and the expense is probably more than people realize,” said committee vice chair Jim Moeser of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.