Home News Center Federal Juvenile Justice Update - March 2019

Federal Juvenile Justice Update - March 2019

March 21, 2019
Melissa Goemann

Honoring the Legacy of Senator Birch Bayh 

On March 14th, former Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana passed away at the age of 91. Senator Bayh was a longtime advocate for juvenile justice reform and first introduced the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) in 1972. A champion for civil rights, he also authored Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. See this Act4JJ press release for more information on Senator Bayh. 

Federal Youth Justice Funding 

We were disappointed in the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, which proposes a decrease in juvenile justice appropriations of 17 percent from Fiscal Year 2019 – it requests $238.5 million for all juvenile justice programs, down from the $287 million appropriated in FY 2019The Administration requested $58 million for Title II of the JJDPA (formula grants for the states), down from $60 million; $17 million for Title V (local delinquency prevention programs), down from $27.5 million; and $58 million for mentoring programs, down from $94 million. This is more than $100 million below what Congress authorized for the JJDPA when it passed in December; Congress authorized youth justice spending at $176 million per year for the next five years. The cuts to youth justice are part of a concerning package of large proposed cuts to many of the programs that serve vulnerable youth and families.   

Funding for the JJDPA has already decreased nearly 50 percent since the last time the law was reauthorized in 2002. We are urging Congress to increase funding for the JJDPA to the authorizing levels in the Act to ensure implementation is successful. In a letter that NJJN signed onto prepared by Act4JJ, we asked congressional appropriators to provide the full $176 million dollars for Title II and Title V that was authorized in the Act. We specifically requested that Congress include $80 million for Title II and $96,053,401 for Title V, as well as $30 million for the Tiffany Josyln Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Reauthorization and Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act of 2019 (H.R. 494), which was passed unanimously by the House. It has not yet been taken up in the Senate. This program can fund state programs to support court-involved youth, such as detention alternatives. 

Act4JJ is lifting up stories of how states have effectively used JJDPA funding in those states where there are key congressional appropriators. If you have a story you can share from any of the following states, please email Melissa Goemann at goemann@njjn.org as soon as possible: Alabama; CaliforniaHawaiiMaineMarylandMissouriNew HampshireNew YorkOhio; or Pennsylvania. 

Proposed Changes to OPM Form 306 

The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing a change to the form that must be completed by applicants for federal employment that would force them to reveal whether they’ve admitted to charges for which they’ve been placed into a pretrial intervention or diversion program. They currently only have to reveal whether, during the last seven years, they’ve “been convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole.” OPM has posited the proposed change as necessary to “close a gap.” OPM is taking comments on this proposed rule change and the deadline to submit comments is April 16thClick here for information on this proposed rule change and how to submit comments. 


Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools (SLEPS) 

The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, has developed a Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools (SLEPS). SLEPS aims to “examine law enforcement involvement in ensuring safety in schools by conducting both an agency-level and an officer-level survey.” They are accepting comments on this survey until April 22nd. Click here for more information on the survey and how to submit a comment. 


National Sign-on Letters 

Youth involved with the justice system often intersect with many other systems serving marginalized populations – such as child welfare, immigration, public health, and housing. To best serve our youth, NJJN signs onto a number of national letters on these issues throughout the year. Please see below for a list of the national letters that NJJN has signed since our last newsletter and see the federal policy page of our website for a complete list: 


March 20, 2019 (final to come) – Organizational sign on letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism Professor E. TendayiAchiume to visit the U.S. and conduct a fact-finding mission. 

March 2019 (final to come) - Sign-on letter from Act4JJ to Chairmen Moran and Serrano and Ranking Members Shaheen and Aderholt urging them to fully fund juvenile justice and delinquency programs. Federal funding is critical in fully implementing the requirements of the new Juvenile Justice Reform Act.  

March 5, 2019 - Invest in What Works Coalition letter from Results for America that urges congress to fund programs that are evidence based and result driven.  

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