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Federal Update December 2018

December 13, 2018
Melissa Goemann

Federal Juvenile Justice Update

Congress Passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)! 

On December 13th Congress passed H.R. 6964 reauthorizing the JJDPA! It has taken many years, many different bills, and a great deal of advocacy to get this done. We thank Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Congressman Jason Lewis (R-MN) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) for their sponsorship and leadership on the JJDPA. We also thank Dr. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, for her role in helping to spearhead the legislation. Passage was not a foregone conclusion but was due to the hard work of our congressional leaders and the tireless advocacy of all of you who have continued to tweet, call, and activate your networks for many months and years!  

This bill makes many important updates to the law. Please view our press release that highlights some of these changes and this fact sheet from the national coalition and this fact sheet from CJJ and NCJA, both of which detailadditional provisions in the bill.  

Federal Youth Justice Funding 

The Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bills, which is what funds the JJDPA, is one of the remaining FY 19 bills that is currently being negotiated before the end of the 115th Congress. The House CJS bill zeros out funding for juvenile justice programs, while the Senate bill provides a slight increase in funding from FY18. Government funding for several departments and agencies will expire after Dec. 21. Thank you to many who signed on with us to Act 4 JJ Coalition's FY 2019 appropriations letter urging Congress to fully fund the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and other juvenile justice programs.   

Farm Bill Passes Congress 

On December 12th congress passed an $867 farm bill that protects and modestly strengthens SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). An earlier provision that would have placed stronger work requirements for food assistance was not included. It now goes to the President for his signature. 

National Sign on Letters 

Youth involved with the justice system often intersect with many other systems serving marginalized populations – such as child welfare, immigration, public health, and housing. To best serve our youth, NJJN signs onto a number of national letters on these issues throughout the year. Please see below for a list of the national letters that NJJN has signed since our last newsletter earlier in the summer and see the federal policy page of our website for a complete list.



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