Guidebook Explains Juvenile Accountability Grant for Cities
Quist, Janet, Nation's Cities Weekly
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released a guide book cities and towns can use to participate in to receive funds through states to address juvenile crime. The guide book is called the Guidance Manual for the new Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant (JAIBG). This manual reviews the major requirements for program participation and an overview of the legislation that created the JAIBG. This important document provides municipal elected officials with information regarding how to access funds through their respective states.
This article provides key answers to questions regarding how this new program can benefit cities and towns.
Municipal elected officials who would like to access funds should contact the OJJDP representative (listed in the box at right) to determine what actions are being taken in your particular state.
Q. Who is eligible?
A. Grants will be awarded to the states, which are, in turn, required to pass through a majority of the funding (75 percent) to eligible units of local government.
In Louisiana, parish sheriffs will be considered a unit of local government for purposes of this program.
Q. What can states and localities use these funds for?
A. There are 12 purpose areas:
1. Building, expanding or operating juvenile detention and corrections facilities, including staff training;
2. Developing and administering accountability-based sanctions for juvenile offenders;
3. Hiring additional juvenile judges, probation officers, and court-appointed defenders, and funding pretrial services for juveniles to ensure smooth and expeditious administration of the juvenile justice system;
4. Hiring additional prosecutors to increase prosecutions of cases involving violent juvenile offenders and to reduce case backlog;
5. Providing funding to enable prosecutors to address drug, gang, and youth violence;
6. Providing funding for technology and equipment, and training to assist prosecutors in identifying and expediting prosecution of violent juvenile offenders;
7. Funding to improve effectiveness and efficiency of juvenile courts and probation officers in holding juvenile offenders accountable;
8. Establishing court-based juvenile justice programs that target young firearms offenders through the establishment of juvenile gun courts for adjudication and prosecution of juvenile firearms offenders;
9. Establishing drug court programs for juvenile offenders;
10. Establishing and maintaining interagency information-sharing programs that enable the juvenile and criminal justice systems, schools, and social services agencies to identify, control, supervise and treat serious juvenile offenders;
11. Establishing and maintaining accountability-based programs that work with juvenile offenders referred by law enforcement agencies, or that are designed, in cooperation with law enforcement officials, to protect students and school personnel from drug, gang, and youth violence;
12. Funds may also be used for testing certain categories of juvenile offenders, such as those committing violent crimes, for use of controlled substances.
Q. Must states and local government spend their fluids on certain things or can they allocate funds among the 12 purpose areas as they choose?
A. States that receive funds from OJJDP and local governments that receive funds from states must provide an assurance that - other than funds set aside for administration, not less than 45 percent is allocated for program purposes 3-9, and not less than 35 percent for program areas 1,2, and 10. (note list above)
Q. Who's administering the program?
A. The governor of each state is designating a state agency to administer the program.
However, at this time, cities seeking more information should contact the appropriate OJJDP State Representative as noted later in this article). …