Juvenile Accountability Block Grant

The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) is authorized by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act. JABG reduces juvenile offending by providing judges, probation officers, case managers and other juvenile justice professionals a range of graduated sanctions – including restitution, community service, victim-offender mediation and other restorative justice methods – that effectively hold youth accountable for their behavior in age- and developmentally-appropriate ways.

JABG Success around the Country:

California: CA funded the Solano Project, which provides graduated sanctions to juvenile offenders as an alternative to incarceration. Youth and their parents/guardians sign contracts agreeing to certain conditions, including school attendance, curfews, restriction of activities, drug testing and counseling. An assigned officer follows up at least once a week. Of the 182 youth served during the grant period, only 14 had a new offense.

Georgia: GA made funds available to the state’s 159 county juvenile courts to find community-based services provided as alternatives to detention. Of the 5,493 youth who benefitted from these services in one year, only 1,167 re-offended – a recidivism rate of only 21%.

Idaho: ID used funds to serve 2,662 juveniles on probation (about half of Idaho’s one-day juvenile probationer count). Only 255 of these youth committed a new offense (9.5%).

Hawaii: HI funded three programs in three counties to divert 2,280 youth charged with status offenses and first time violations away from locked detention and to the Honolulu Juvenile Justice Center. There, youth received intake services that included follow ups after 30 to 60 days, and were also referred to counseling services.

Maine: ME funded the Diversion to Assets program, which targets youth ages 9 to 17 who have been charged with a nonviolent first offense. Of the 43 youth served in five local jurisdictions over the grant period, not one youth recidivated.

Michigan: MI funded the Keys to Success diversion program which focuses on first-time offenders and their parents. Between April 2009 and March 2011, the program successfully served and diverted 168 offenders from further court involvement, with estimated savings to the court of $3,931,200.

New York: In FY 2009, NY funded two new school-based arrest diversion projects in Syracuse and Utica, to divert from arrest youth who have committed non-serious, illegal acts at school. During the grant period, 70 youth were successfully served and diverted from a potential arrest.

Wisconsin: WI funded a county to help them pursue evidence-based system reforms. Over the course of the grant period, this county learned how to develop and/or use effective assessment tools, trained staff in motivational interviewing and case planning, implemented aggression replacement training and made many policy and practice changes. As a result, the county has reduced its youth incarceration rate by 85%, significantly reducing costs and reserving its secure detention beds for youth who are a risk to community safety.