Urge the Senate to Preserve and Restore Juvenile Justice Funding

From Act 4 Juvenile Justice (http://www.act4jj.org/):

As early as June 5, the U.S. Senate will take up S. 2323 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s2323), its version of the Commerce, Justice Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill which, among other things, provides federal funding to support juvenile justice reforms. While far from perfect, S. 2323 begins to reverse the downward trend in juvenile justice funding, providing $55 million for Title II of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), $30 million for the JJDPA Title V program, and $30 million for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program.

In contrast, H.R. 5326 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr5326), the U.S. House version of the CJS bill, decimates federal juvenile justice programs that have already been dramatically reduced over the last 10 years, providing only $33 million for Title II, and completely eliminating funding for the Title V and JABG programs.

It is now more critical than ever that we raise our collective voice with the Senate.  We must do everything within our power to ensure that the Senate does not cut below the proposed funding levels in S. 2323.

ACTIONS:  ACT4JJ is asking all allies to take the following actions over the next few days to strengthen support in the Senate for the JJDPA and JABG programs:

  • Thank and Educate Senate Appropriators. If you have a Senator on the Senate Appropriations Committee (NOTE: PA does not), send a letter or an email thanking him/her for preserving the Title II, Title V and JABG programs, and educate him/her further about the positive impacts of the funds in your state and what would be jeopardized by reduced funding.  If your Senator does not sit on the Committee, address your message to Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/contact/) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (http://hutchison.senate.gov/?p=email_kay).
  • Notify your Governor/Chief Executive. Make sure your Governor/Chief Executive is up to speed and has the information s/he needs to reach out to your Senators and explain why the Senate bill is so much better for your state’s youth, families and communities.  To assist you, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice has developed these suggested Talking Points (http://www.juvjustice.org/media/resources/public/resource_748.pdf). Find contact information at http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/governor_pa_gov/20650.
  • Use and Broadly Disseminate Funding Education Resources.  With the incredible help of JJDPA state staff, ACT4JJ has developed a number of tools allies can use when communicating with decisionmakers and voters.  This Historic Federal Funding Chart (http://www.juvjustice.org/media/resources/public/resource_747.pdf) provides a powerful visual of what has happened to federal supports over the last decade.  In addition, these recently developed State Funding Profiles for targeted jurisdictions to hone our outreach to key Senators (profile for Philadelphia at http://www.act4jj.org/media/factsheets/factsheet_64.pdf).

The increased numbers in S. 2323 reflect the fruit of our efforts, and it is imperative that we turn up the volume in the coming days.  Together, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of youth and families nationwide.

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