WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced that it recently awarded grants totaling nearly $103 million to support youth and help achieve greater equity in the juvenile justice system.
“We must focus on the needs of our nation’s youth, particularly those who are at risk of victimization and justice system involvement,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “These awards support a more humane and effective approach to young people who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. This funding supports evidence-based programs and services that recognize young people’s capacity to respond positively and productively to support and intervention in their communities.”
In 2019, some 36,500 youth were in residential placement on a given day. Although that number is about half what it was a decade ago, most of these youth were confined for nonviolent offenses and would be better served by evidenced-based programs operating within their communities. In addition, young people of color continue to be overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. In 2019, their placement rate was more than two times higher than white youth nationally.
Grants from OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will distribute millions of dollars in awards to local, state and Tribal jurisdictions to improve outcomes for youth and to address racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system. Awards will support mentoring programs designed to steer young people away from delinquency and justice system involvement. A juvenile justice reform initiative will develop and test research-based approaches to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth. A juvenile indigent defense program will help ensure that youth in the juvenile justice system have access to high-quality legal representation and resources to address the collateral consequences of their contact with the system. Additionally, a Second Chance Act youth reentry program will make more resources available to help young people get the services they need to get back on their feet and become productive, thriving members of their communities.
These awards are in addition to more than $80 million in grants that will be targeted to specific populations, including youth affected by the opioid crisis and drug addiction, young people at risk of community or gang violence, parents of incarcerated children and Tribal youth. These additional awards will also support youth reentry initiatives, juvenile and family drug courts, family-based alternative sentencing programs and training for prosecutors in the juvenile justice system.
“Reforming our juvenile justice system, mentoring our youth and helping young people find a path forward to a safe and bright future are central to our mission at the Office of Justice Programs and remain top priorities of this administration,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP. “These grants are an expression of our deep commitment to helping communities ensure justice and enabling young people to live their best lives.”
Below is a list of funded grants:
- OJJDP’s National Mentoring Programs will provide grants in the amount of $43 million to four organizations to enhance and expand mentoring services for children and youth. An additional $2.85 million will support the National Mentoring Resource Center.
- OJJDP will award $27.6 million under the Multistate Mentoring Programs Initiative to 22 organizations to support the implementation and delivery of mentoring services to youth who are at risk for juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice system involvement.
- OJJDP will award over $9.7 million under the Delinquency Prevention Grants Program to eligible states or federally recognized tribes to implement evidence-based strategies to address the needs of juveniles who have had or who are likely to have contact with the juvenile justice system.
- OJJDP will award nearly $8 million under the Juvenile Justice System Reform Initiative to help states implement sustainable, research-based and data-informed recidivism reduction policies, practices and programming and the strategic reinvestment of cost savings into effective prevention and intervention programs.
- OJJDP will award over $4.6 million under Reducing Risk for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System to promote protective factors for girls who come in contact with the juvenile justice system, and place them on a path toward success, stability and long-term contribution to society.
- Under a collaborative program, NIJ and OJJDP will award $2 million to support the National Juvenile Court Data Archive. The archive collects, maintains and makes accessible the nation’s primary source of detailed information on juvenile court case processing of delinquency and status offense cases.
- NIJ and OJJDP, through a collaborative program, will award $2 million under the Longitudinal Research on Delinquency and Crime program, which conducts expansions or extensions of ongoing longitudinal studies that focus on delinquency and crime throughout the individuals’ life-course. The research findings are intended to inform efforts to prevent the onset of delinquency and to intervene in the lives of youth and young adults who offend.
- OJJDP will award over $2.2 million under the Enhancing Juvenile Indigent Defense program to improve juvenile indigent defense.
- Under the Research on Juvenile Reoffending program, NIJ will award $1.2 million for rigorous research projects that improve measurement of juvenile reoffending. NIJ, in collaboration with OJJDP, is funding studies that advance the understanding of juvenile reoffending and help jurisdictions use juvenile reoffending data effectively to identify priorities, develop responses, and monitor and assess policies and programs.
- OJJDP will award approximately $300,000 under the Juvenile Justice Emergency Planning Demonstration Program to support the development, improvement and implementation of emergency planning activities for state, tribal, county and local juvenile justice residential facilities.
Additional information about these and other FY 2021 grant awards from the OJP can be found online at the OJP Grant Awards Page.
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