Like most families, mine has been busy ending one financial year and beginning another. As soon as the Christmas decorations are removed, we begin collecting records for the coming tax season, reviewing last year’s expenditures and preparing for next year’s needs.
San Francisco’s KQED public radio offers this piece about California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate the state’s juvenile justice system over the next three years, a move that could save the state more than $100 million.
This story originally appeared on YouthToday. President Barack Obama unveiled his 2013 budget proposal today, which calls for $3.8 trillion in spending and projects a $901 billion deficit for the year. It was quickly met with resistance from Republican leadership. “The President’s budget falls exceptionally short in many critical areas – including a lack of any substantive proposal for mandatory and entitlement spending reform,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), in a statement issued this morning. Rogers promised to “go line by line through the President’s budget, prioritize programs, and make decisions on the appropriate investment of discretionary funds.”
The president would fund the Office of Justice Programs at $1.7 billion in 2013, down from $2.7 billion in 2011 and $2 billion in 2012.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed 2013 budget for juvenile justice, after three years of deep cuts, could bring spending a bit nearer to 2009 levels, state officials say. Deal’s spending priorities, though, reflect a harsh trend inside Georgia’s youth prisons. They house a much different population — older, more violent and much more difficult to manage — than they did just a few years ago. “We certainly find them more volatile and more physically demanding,” said Jeff Minor, Georgia’s deputy juvenile justice commissioner. The trend was underscored last year when disturbances at youth detention facilities in DeKalb and Dodge counties could only be quelled with the aid of state and local police.
California’s budget crisis may sweep in the state’s most drastic juvenile justice reforms as early as January 2012. Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget measure involves implementation of “trigger cuts” on January 1st which will affect virtually every facet of social services in the state. For juvenile justice, this includes requiring counties to pay more of their tab for housing their most serious and violent offenders in the state’s Department of Juvenile Facilities (DJF). Currently it costs the state taxpayer approximately $200,000 per year to house a youth in the ineffective and irreparable state system, while counties have contributed only minimally to the cost. Under the triggers, the counties will be responsible for $125,000 of this cost per youth, or they can recall their youths and serve them locally.
Prevention seems to have become a four-letter word in Washington. The latest evidence? Last week, the Department of Justice finally announced how much money the states would get through grant programs under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The numbers are ugly. Georgia saw its share of the money decline by 28.6 percent, from $3.72 million to $2.66 million.
In the Good News Department it seems the Obama administration has come to the conclusion that cutting juvenile justice programs and making them competitive isn’t such a good idea after all. A few days ago, the administration announced it had altered it original proposal maintaining and adding certain crucial programs.
See the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention press release for more details.
The Obama administration’s FY 2012 budget proposes to significantly cut funding for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and make the remaining funds available to individual states through a competitive process. This proposal would eliminate OJJCP’s existing grants program, the only dedicated federal source to the states for juvenile justice system improvements. The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice and its partners has responded to this proposal with a letter to the president.
Blogger Benjamin Chambers brings up the subject of debilitating state budget cuts, pointing out the depressing news that the state of Illinois plans to zero-out its budget for alcohol and drug prevention and treatment programs and asks, just how bad can it get? As of March 15, the state of Illinois is cutting its $54 million budget for alcohol and drug treatment and prevention services to zero (full disclosure: I wrote the news summary linked to here). That’s right: zero. According to providers, that means many of them will shut down. What’s left, without state money?