Home News Center Federal Juvenile Justice Update - October 2019

Federal Juvenile Justice Update - October 2019

October 31, 2019
Melissa C. Goemann

Federal Youth Justice Funding 

In the reauthorized JJDPA (H.R. 6964)Congress authorized up to $176 million to be appropriated for Titles II and V of the law. The House passed an appropriations bill which included $149.5 million in youth justice funding. The Senate Appropriations Committee only included $103 million in youth justice funding in their billNJJN is currently advocating for the Senate to adopt the higher House-level funding numbers in their bill in partnership with Act4JJIf you haven’t yet, please take a moment to complete and share this action alert which will allow you to message your Senators and urge them to support the higher House-level numbers for the JJDPA. 

Here is more detail on where the funding levels currently stand: 


In June, the House passed an appropriations billH.R. 3055which included $149.5 million in funding for youth justice. While this is an increase from current funding levels, it is still less than the  full $176 million authorized by Congress.   

The final funding levels for youth justice were as follows:  

  • $66 million for Title II 
  • $64.5 million for Title V 
  • $10 million for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program (JABG) 


The Senate Appropriations Committee also voted for an increase in current funding levels (S. 2548), however, it is lower than that approved in the House bill: 

  • $63 million for Title II 
  • $40 million for Title V 
  • No funding for JABG 

The full Senate will be taking up their appropriations bill soon. Thank you to everyone who has been doing the Twitter Tuesday actions and who signed onto the Act 4 JJ coalition letter which was sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging full funding for juvenile justice programs in the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bills. Let’s keep up the pressure and complete the action alert above. 

Youth Justice Platform for the 2020 Election 

The National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC), which includes NJJN, issued “The Future for Youth Justice 2020: A Policy Platform for the 2020 Election,” a roadmap for transforming our justice system, which is intended for all the presidential candidates. Help us get as many organizational sign-ons as possible by sharing with your networks and use this link to sign on. 

Implementation of the JJRA 

On October 1, 2019, many of the new requirements under the reauthorized JJDPA, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA), took effect. The Senate Appropriations Committee called for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to rigorously implement the JJRA by including the following report language in their appropriations bill:  

Implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018.--The Committee believes that effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-385) requires timely and comprehensive guidance to states by the Department and OJJDP. The Committee directs DOJ and OJJDP to support full, timely implementation of the law as intended. Further, the Committee urges DOJ and OJJDP to encourage all fifty states and six U.S. territories to fully participate in the Act and its goals of improving outcomes for public safety and youth. Appropriations to DOJ and OJJDP are provided within OJJDP to ensure that States have the training and support to continue as fully participating members in the Act.  

We are hopeful Congress will continue to exercise its oversight authority to ensure that OJJDP fully implements the law as Congress intended. 

Youth Justice Action Month 

On October 17th, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced resolutions declaring October “National Youth Justice Action Month.” Thank you to all of our members that have hosted and participated in events raising awareness of important youth justice issues during this month. 

National Sign-on Letters and Comments 

Please see below for a list of the national letters and that NJJN has signed since our last newsletter and see the federal policy page of our website for a complete list:  

<- Go Back