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Federal Update - January/February 2023

February 15, 2023
Melissa C. Goemann

Federal Update

Support Continued Strong Funding for Youth 

As we head into the federal appropriations season again, we are seeking strong funding to support full implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). Act4JJ prepared a Fiscal Year 2024 sign-on letter to appropriations leaders in the U.S. House and Senate urging robust youth justice funding. The letters are open to both state and national organizations. 

To sign on to the letter to the House and Senate, please click here.   

Federal Government Increased Youth Justice Funding in 2022 

In the waning hours of 2022, Congress passed and President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (H.R. 2617), providing appropriations to federal agencies for the remainder of FY2023. The legislation increased funding for youth justice programs to a total of $400 million, up form $360 million in FY22. Thank you to members, supporters, and our national partners for successfully advocating for this increase! 

The legislation includes the following: (Analysis by: Coalition for Juvenile Justice

  • $75,000,000 for Title II of the JJDPA, up from $70 million in FY22; 

  • $107,000,000 for youth mentoring grants, up from $102 million in FY'22;

  • $65,000,000 for Title V of the JJDPA, up from $49.5 million in FY'22. These funds are proposed to be used for the following: 

  • $5,000,000 for grants to prevent trafficking of girls; 

  • $17,000,000 for the Tribal Youth Program;  

  • $500,000 for an Internet site providing information and resources on children of incarcerated parents;  

  • $5,500,000 for competitive grants focusing on girls in the juvenile justice system;  
    $12,500,000 for an initiative relating to youth affected by opioids, stimulants, and substance use disorder; 

  • $10,000,000 for an initiative relating to children exposed to violence; and  

  • $2,000,000 for grants to protect vulnerable and at-risk youth; 

  • $41,000,000 for programs authorized by the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990; 

  • $105,000,000 for missing and exploited children programs 

  • $4,500,000 for child abuse training programs for judicial personnel and practitioners; and 

  • $2,500,000 for a program to improve juvenile indigent defense. 

Congress Makes Improvements to Medicaid and CHIP for Youth in the Justice System 

Pursuant to section 5121 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, state Medicaid and CHIP programs (Children’s Health Insurance Program) are now required to do the following for youth that are confined: 

  1. In the thirty days prior to a young person’s release, or within one week or as soon as practicable after release, provide certain behavioral health screenings or diagnostic services to eligible youth in public institutions; and 

  2. Thirty days prior to release and for at least thirty days following release, provide targeted case management services, including referrals to appropriate care and services, to eligible youth in public institutions.

In addition, under the Act, CHIP rules are now aligned with Medicaid rules in terms of suspension of coverage for youth that are confined in public institutions rather than termination of coverage. 

Pursuant to section 5122 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, states will now be able to provide Medicaid and CHIP to youth in public institutions while they are awaiting disposition of their charges starting January 1, 2025. States were previously prohibited from using these federal funds to provide medical care to those in public institutions – commonly called the “inmate exclusion.” 

See this fact sheet from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families, for further information. 

Congress Funds Establishment of a Children’s Interagency Coordinating Council 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act also included $3 million to the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to fund the establishment of a Children’s Interagency Coordinating Council to foster greater coordination and transparency on child policy across agencies. 

National Sign-on Letters and Comments 

Please see below for a list of the national letters that NJJN  signed since our last newsletter and see the federal policy page of our website for a complete list: 

  • 11/11/22 Signed onto letter from First Focus calling on Congress to expand health care for women, families, and children through mechanisms such as ensuring continuous eligibility for individuals eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid, permanently funding CHIP, and streamlining enrollment.

  • 12/7/22 - Signed onto CJS stakeholder letter urging Congress to pass a final FY23 spending bill ASAP and to include a final FY23 CJS appropriations bill with sufficient funding for DOJ grant programs 

  • 12/8/22 - Signed onto letter organized by The Center for Democracy and Technology calling on the Administration to prevent federal surveillance and investigative aid from being used to investigate and prosecute reproductive health choices. 

  • 12/15/22 - Endorsed House companion to S. 4398, a bill to ensure that Title II funds can be used by State Advisory Groups to address racial and ethnic disparities in the youth legal system. Introduced by by Rep. Crow and Rep. Wilson.  

  • 2/14/23 – Sign-on letter from DeCarcerate Memphis to Attorney General Garland and Secretary Buttigieg in response to the police killing of Tyre Nichols expressing outrage at his death and asking them to take four specific steps in response.

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