If you thought that the Department of Human Services budget was bad, the Department of Juvenile Justice is a tragedy. Their FY2012 budget is $102 million less than it was in FY2009. This represents more than a 30% cut from their 2009 base.
In order to meet their budget, significant cuts are proposed to community residential services to youth, cuts to staff, furloughs, and contracts for services.
The implications of these cuts are very evident to DJJ as itemized in their impact statement. DJJ's ability to meet its core responsibilities are at risk. In order to continue to meet their obligations, DJJ is proposing additional legislation that will allow it to reduce the number of children entering secure facilities, manage the length of stay in facilities and offer more community services.
A detailed analysis presented by the Department shows with legislative support they could move more than 270 children charged with status offenses out of secure facilities into community programs.