Home News Center Federal Juvenile Justice Update - November 2020

Federal Juvenile Justice Update - November 2020

November 30, 2020
Melissa C. Goemann

The Presidential Election

This year has been one of the most tumultuous in recent history as we continue to deal with the twin scourges of a pandemic continuing to rage out of control and outrage over police brutality and killings of BIPOC individuals. Also, we are at a pivotal time in history when the blinders have been ripped off for many revealing the underbelly of racism permeating our youth justice system. While we have our work cut out for us, we also have an opportunity with the Biden/Harris Administration to move boldly forward in advocating for an agenda to push for transformative changes to the youth justice system. There are some of the key areas to seek change at the federal level. Read more here.  

Counselors Not Criminalization in Schools Act

A growing body of research has found that stationing law enforcement officers in schools leads to greater arrests and criminalization of minor disciplinary infractions of BIPOC students and does not improve school safety. Schools should be investing in the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of their students -- not punishment and policing. The Counselors not Criminalization in Schools Act (S. 4360) would prohibit federal funding for hiring or maintaining law enforcement officers in schools thereby reducing the school-to-prison pipeline

Please take action to make schools a place that support all youth: #CounselorsNotCops action.momsrising.org/letter/counselors-not-criminalization 

Funding for Youth Justice

The Senate released its Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal in mid-November. It includes some small increases for youth justice as follows:

  • $70 million for Title II ($63 million in FY20)
  • $100 million for mentoring ($97 million in FY20)
  • $50 million for Title V which includes: $2,000,000 to prevent trafficking of girls;  $10,000,000 for Tribal Youth Program;  $500,000 for Internet site  providing information and resources on children  of incarcerated parents;  $3,000,000  for competitive grants focusing on girls in the juvenile justice  system;  $10,000,000 for an opioid-affected youth initiative; and  $8,000,000 for a children exposed to violence related initiative. 

National Sign-on Letters and Comments

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:

  • November 23, 2020 – Signed onto letter of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act (S. 4360). 
  • November 6, 2020 – Signed onto letter urging Congress to quickly pass what is referred to as the “deposits fix,” allowing receipts from federal deferred and non-prosecution agreements to flow into the Crime Victims Fund to prevent devastating cuts to federal funding for victim service programs through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). 


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