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Federal Update - April 2022

April 28, 2022
Melissa C. Goemann

Urge Lawmakers to Ensure Youn
g People are Prioritized in the Federal Budget

Please take a moment to complete this Act4JJ action alert and reach out to your legislators to let them know that it's vital to provide strong funding for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) in the FY2023 budget. States and local organizations need this funding to help them improve their practices, protect young people, and provide services to young people to divert them from the youth legal system.  

President Biden released his proposed budget for FY2023 in March and it included proposals to increase youth justice funding to a total of $760 million. Included in the package were the following:  

  • $157 million for Title II; 

  • $120 million for mentoring; 

  • $117 million for Title V; 

  • $30 million to include collaboration between child welfare and juvenile justice; 

  • $15 million to address barriers related to juvenile records; 

  • $40 million to improve juvenile indigent defense; and 

  • $100 million for alternatives to youth incarceration.   

A full copy of the budget is availablehere and relevant programs can be found on page 755.  

Abolish Human Trafficking Reauthorization Act of 2022 Introduced 

On March 29th, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar introduced the Abolish Trafficking Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S. 3946), which would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017. NJJN was a supporting organization on the press release applauding the inclusion of trauma-informed responses to youth victims of trafficking.  

This bill includes vital updated provisions to redress how young people who have been victims of trafficking are treated within the criminal legal system. Key provisions of S. 3946 include the following:  

  • Allow courts to deviate from harsh sentences for child sex trafficking and sex crime victims who commit serious offenses against their traffickers or abusers. 

  • Requires judges to consider the diminished culpability of children relative to adult offenders any time a child is sentenced in adult court.  

  • End life without parole sentences for children prosecuted in the federal criminal legal system by creating judicial sentencing review after 20 years of incarceration.  

These updated provisions are similar to the provisions in Sara’s Law, H.R. 2858, introduced by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4) in 2021. While that bill has not yet been taken up in the House, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing entitled “Oversight of Federal Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking on April 27, 2022. At this hearing, several witnesses addressed Sara’s Law and other bills to reform the treatment of children in the federal criminal legal system. 

To stay informed and participate in the conversation, follow these links on social media: #ReauthorizeTVPRA  #Justice4Survivors 

Federal Funding Opportunities 

The Office of Justice Programs recently released numerous funding opportunities available through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Go to this link and scroll down to the section for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for links to all of the grant opportunities and the deadlines for applications. 

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: 

  • 2/17/22 - Act4JJ sign-on letter to congressional appropriations leaders asking for strong funding for federal youth justice programs in the FY23 budget. 

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