Crucial Improvements Needed for the State of Youth Justice

Tuesday is President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. As he prepares to address the nation and outline his priorities for the year, we thought it fruitful to write our own State of Youth Justice address.

Georgia Juvenile Programs Will Lose Big if U.S. House Budget Passes

Georgia will lose $27 million for Head Start, a comprehensive early childhood development program for at-risk children, if the proposed U.S. House budget bill is signed into law, according to a new report by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.  The cut represents 3,900 seats in the program. The 878,000 low-income kids enrolled in Education for the Disadvantaged programs across Georgia will also lose big.  Those programs will face a $40 million reduction in federal funds. Some programs will lose federal funds altogether.  YouthBuild, a program that gives construction jobs and education to disadvantaged teens is zeroed out in the proposed bill.

Children’s Programs Need Data to Survive

Children’s programs funded by the federal government may be cut if evidence based data does not prove they are successful.  Youth Today looks at the dilemma facing well established programs such as Outward Bound and Teach for America because of new funding rules.  Just because a program has a positive public image does not mean it will get money in the 2011 fiscal year budget.  Juvenile justice programs that provide alternatives to prison could be at risk without evidence based data. Non-profit agencies that depend on federal funding are now scrambling for congressional support and some are arguing that evidence based data may not be the most accurate way to evaluate their work.