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What's at Stake?
Since Fiscal Year 2002, federal investments in programs that prevent and reduce delinquency have decreased by almost 50%. At the same time, federal spending on police, prosecution and incarceration has increased by more than 60%. On average, it costs $241 a day - around $88,000 a year - to incarcerate a youth. The return on this investment is an average recidivism rate of $55%. Conversely, evidence-based alternatives to incarceration for court-involved youth cost as little as $11 a day and reduce recidivism by an average of 22% when compared to incarceration.
Cuts mandated by sequestration, will further weaken the federal state partnership and hobble national, state, and local progress. When surveyed by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 89% of member states reported that due to federal cuts, fewer youth will have access to services designed to keep them from offending and penetrating deeper into the juvenile and criminal justice system.
Federal Funding in Juvenile Justice
The federal government plays an essential role in preventing juvenile delinquency and improving the effectiveness of juvenile justice systems at the state, local and tribal levels nationwide. When coupled with state, local, and private dollars, federal investments seed and support the development, implementation and sustainability of optimal juvenile justice and delinquency prevention systems and practices in all 56 U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as in local jurisdictions. There are three main federal funding sources for juvenile justice delinquency and prevention:
- Title II State Formula Grants
- Title V Local Delinquency Prevention Program
- The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant