Members Applaud Reauthorization of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
The bill’s first reauthorization in 16 years reflects new research and prioritizes interventions that reduce recidivism and save taxpayer dollars
Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, and Prosecutors Applaud Bipartisan Reauthorization of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
(Washington, D.C.–) The more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids applaud Congress for passing a reauthorized Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) which strengthens previous law, reflects new research, and funds programs that can prevent juvenile offenders from becoming adult criminals.
The legislation encourages states to prioritize the alternative interventions to custody that have a proven impact on reducing recidivism. Research shows placing low-to-moderate offenders in custody is not only costly, it is counterproductive to keeping youth away from future crime. One landmark study found that diverting juveniles to local, effective youth programs – as opposed to placing them in detention centers – reduced the rate of re-offending for 91 percent of juveniles facing custody.
This is a clear victory for those who want a better quality of life for our youth and more responsive public safety.
Chief Roger Pohlman, Red Wing Police Department, MN
“Thank you to Congress for reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA),” said Chief Roger Pohlman of Red Wing Police Department. “Passed with unanimous support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, this is a clear victory for those who want a better quality of life for our youth and more responsive public safety.”
This reauthorization is also a huge win for public dollars. Putting youth in costly incarceration does little to prevent them from committing crimes again – yet our country still spends more than $5 billion a year on keeping juvenile offenders in facilities. JJDPA funds community-based approaches that have been shown to reduce recidivism rates, specifically by coaching youth and their families and addressing the root causes of many criminal behaviors. By cutting recidivism, these interventions can save the public between $6,000 and $26,000 per youth served – a stark contrast to the $88,000 annual average cost is takes to care for just one youth in juvenile custody.
“I applaud Congress on the reauthorization of JJDPA and I especially thank Senator Grassley for his steadfast leadership on this issue,” said Carroll County Attorney John C. Werden. “As Carroll County Attorney, I know the alternative interventions prioritized in this legislation will substantially reduce juvenile detention and build our public safety not just here in Iowa, but across the country.”
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids thanks Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) for their work as lead sponsors of the Senate legislation. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation earlier this year, led by Rep. Lewis (R-MN) and Rep. Scott (D-VA).
Read More About