Federal funding for juvenile justice has been critical in shaping juvenile justice policy and advancing juvenile justice reform in accord with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
And anyone working in the field of juvenile justice knows that federal funds have been cut in the last few years. But it wasn't until I saw "Safeguarding the Future: Strategic Investments to Secure the Safety of America’s Youth, Families and Communities," a new 4-page publication from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), that I realized just how deeply federal assistance had been slashed:
Since FY 2002, federal investments in programs that prevent and reduce delinquency have decreased by 50%. Over that same period, federal spending on policing, prosecution and incarceration has increased by more than 60%.
Unsurprisingly, states are feeling the effects, particularly in a time when local resources are scarce to make up the difference. CJJ points out that it's critical to invest in programs that address and prevent delinquency, and that doing so pays off later on. In fact, CJJ puts a number on it: