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Thursday, May 9, 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. Further, Section 3004 of the act is intended to eliminate any amount by which the new budget authority provided in the act exceeds the FY2013 discretionary spending limits in Section 251(c)(2) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, as amended by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2

012 (P.L. 112-240). Section 3004 requires the percentages to be increased if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates that additional rescissions are needed to avoid exceeding the limits. Subsequent to the enactment of P.L. 113-6, OMB calculated that additional rescissions, including 0.2% of non-security budget authority, would be required.

After applying these rescissions, CRS calculates that P.L. 113-6 provides $273.7 million in postrescission funding for juvenile justice programs for FY2013. Of note, this calculated FY2013 funding level does not reflect any reductions that resulted from the sequestration ordered by President Obama on March 1, 2013, pursuant to the BCA.

Date of Report: April 23, 2013
Number of Pages: 13
Order Number: RS22655
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