Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG)
As the title indicates, this program is designed to promote greater accountability in the juvenile justice system. At least three quarters of this award, excepting administrative funds, is passed through to localities by means of an allocation formula based on local law enforcement expenditures and the number of Uniform Crime Report Part I violent crimes. The remaining quarter can be made available to State agencies.
The purpose of this program is to develop a broad range of intervention and treatment strategies to address the issues of community protection, accountability, and/or competency development. Programs should be implemented through collaborative relationships among police, juvenile court judges/probation officers, educators, juvenile justice agency officials, youth service providers, and community leaders.
Priority areas under JABG are called "Program Purpose Areas". There are 16 areas, of which DCJS is focused on the following 12:
- Graduated sanctions: Developing, implementing, and administering graduated sanctions for juvenile offenders.
- Court staffing and pretrial services: Hiring juvenile court judges, probation officers, and court-appointed defenders and special advocates, and funding pretrial services (including mental health screening and assessment) for juvenile offenders, to promote the effective and expeditious administration of the juvenile justice system.
- Prosecutors (funding): Providing funding to enable prosecutors to address drug, gang, and youth violence problems more effectively and for technology, equipment, and training to assist prosecutors in identifying and expediting the prosecution of violent juvenile offenders.
- Training for law enforcement and court personnel: Establishing and maintaining training programs for law enforcement and other court personnel with respect to preventing and controlling juvenile crime.
- Juvenile drug courts.
- Juvenile records system: Establishing and maintaining a system of juvenile records designed to promote public safety.
- Information sharing.
- Accountability: Establishing and maintaining accountability-based programs designed to reduce recidivism among juveniles who are referred by law enforcement personnel or agencies .
- Risk and needs assessment: Establishing and maintaining programs to conduct risk and needs assessments of juvenile offenders that facilitate effective early intervention and the provision of comprehensive services, including mental health screening and treatment and substance abuse testing and treatment, to such offenders.
- School safety: Establishing and maintaining accountability-based programs that are designed to enhance school safety.
- Restorative justice: Establishing and maintaining restorative justice programs.
- Juvenile courts and probation: Establishing and maintaining programs to enable juvenile courts and juvenile probation officers to be more effective and efficient in holding juvenile offenders accountable and reducing recidivism.
Applicants must create a local Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition (JCEC) which must develop a coordinated enforcement plan for reducing juvenile crime that will meet the needs of the locality. The plan and the composition of the JCEC are components of the application.
Applications are submitted directly to DCJS. Because this is a formula driven allocation program, local projects are not presented to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. However, they are reviewed carefully by DCJS for compliance with all requirements before a contract is prepared, and monitored thereafter for compliance.
Projects are funded for one year, with refunding possible based on program success and the availability of funds. Federal funds comprise 90 percent of the total project cost; the grantee is responsible for the remaining 10 percent. Final funding determinations will be made by the Commissioner of DCJS in accordance with the best interests of the State.
JABG funds are also used to support the Youth Violence Reduction Strategy (YVRS) program under Project IMPACT, to address the reduction of violent juvenile crime in selected municipalities.