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Monday, April 15, 2013

Juvenile Justice Funding Trends

Kristin M. Finklea
Specialist in Domestic Security

Although juvenile justice has always been administered by the states, Congress has had significant influence in the area through funding for grant programs administered by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974, P.L. 93-415, was the first comprehensive juvenile justice legislation passed by Congress. Since 1974, the act has undergone several key amendments, including a significant reorganization enacted by P.L. 107-273 in 2002. The juvenile justice appropriation includes funding allocated within the purview of the JJDPA, as well as other grant programs that are administered by OJJDP but that are not within the JJDPA.

After the restructuring of juvenile justice grant programs in 2002, their funding, which had generally been above $500 million, began to decline. For FY2010, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117) provided $424 million for juvenile justice programs within DOJ. This was the largest amount appropriated to juvenile justice programs since FY2003. For FY2011, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10) provided $275 million for juvenile justice programs, and for FY2012, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-55) provided $262.5 million for juvenile justice programs.

On March 26, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6). This act provides $279.5 million for juvenile justice programs for FY2013. Of note, section 3001 of the act provides for a series of rescissions of FY2013 budget authority. Discretionary non-security (as defined at 2 U.S.C. §900(c)(4)(A)) accounts—including the juvenile justice account within DOJ’s broader Office of Justice Programs account—were subject to a 1.877% rescission. After applying the rescission, CRS calculates that P.L. 113-6 provides nearly $274.3 million in post-rescission funding for juvenile justice programs for FY2013. 

Of note, the FY2013 funding level does not take into consideration the automatic spending reduction process established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25), consisting of a combination of sequestration and lower discretionary spending caps.

Date of Report: April 4, 2013
Number of Pages: 12
Order Number: RS22655
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