114th Congress

Juvenile Justice Appropriations

Juvenile justice appropriations continue to be an important issue in the 114th Congress. In 2015 House lawmakers threatened to zero out juvenile justice appropriations. On March 31, the Act4JJ Campaign sent this letter to the ranking members of the Congressional Appropriations Subcommittee, urging them to include adequate funding for critical juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs in the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill.

The subcommittee released their FY'16 Appropriations proposal on May 13. The proposal would defund Title II programs, which include:

  • Prevention programs for at-risk youth
  • Law enforcement and judicial training
  • Evidence-based interventions for young people
  • Keeping kids out of adults jails and lockups
  • Keeping kids out of jail for non-criminal offenses

In response, Act4JJ Co-Chairs Marie Williams, CJJ's Executive Director, and Marcy Mistrett, the Campaign for Youth Justice's CEO, issued the following statement.

“It is so disheartening to see Members of Congress propose to defund vital juvenile justice programs that help keep our kids and communities safe. It is absolutely critical that Congress approve federal spending for these discretionary programs—including juvenile justice funding for state programs that keep families and communities safer, help young people get themselves back on track, and save money in the long run. 

“We must ensure that, at a minimum, the amounts recommended by the Administration for Fiscal Year 2016 become law. Today’s proposal would mean no federal dollars for prevention programs, no resources for evidence-based interventions for at-risk youth and no core protections for kids in the system, making it okay to lock up runaways and truants and allowing them to be housed in the same cells as adults."

“Federal juvenile justice programs need to be fully funded. Progress can’t be made if promises aren’t kept. We must have a national commitment to the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile justice system; it is both cost effective and the morally right thing to do.”

Click here to view the statements from Senators Whitehouse and Grassley, who condemn the proposal as well. 

Funding in the States

For information on funding in individual states, check out the following fact sheets:

Page was last updated on March 2, 2016