Senators Grassley and Whitehouse Issue Statements Emphasizing Importance of JJ Funding

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa today released the following statement regarding a proposal being marked up on May 13 by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science that would eliminate funding for juvenile justice intervention programs.

“Juvenile justice intervention programs are important tools to help local communities serve and protect at-risk youth who come into contact with the criminal justice system. It’s discouraging to see that funding for these important programs is not included in the House Appropriations subcommittee’s markup proposal. In the Senate, I’ve worked with a bipartisan group of senators to introduce legislation reauthorizing and updating these juvenile justice programs, which already have experienced past funding cuts. My colleagues in the House should recognize the need to adequately equip our communities with tools to respond to youth who have brushes with the law. These are kids who need help, and it’s unreasonable to leave these programs out of the picture altogether,” Grassley said.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, who has been working with Chairman Grassley on bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, issued the statement below regarding the House bill:

“Chairman Grassley and I have been working on bipartisan legislation to strengthen accountability in juvenile justice programs while also ensuring that we’re helping kids get back on the right track. Our bill could put a real dent in the school-to-prison-pipeline and send an important message to kids, particularly those in poor or minority communities disproportionately affected by the system, that we care about them and want them to succeed. The House appropriations measure would cut funding for programs that help kids get a second chance and sends the exact opposite message at possibly the worst time in recent history. But this isn’t over. I’ll continue working with Chairman Grassley to reauthorize the JJDPA and to secure related appropriations in the Senate.”

On May 22nd, Senators Grassley and Whitehouse sent this letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee urging them to preserve funding for juvenile justice intervention programs.