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Monday 16th of September 2019

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Ideas for State Advisory Groups in New Report From CJJ

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 | North America, United States
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
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The state advisory group in Washington state has focused its efforts on newly introduced legislation, the report says. Four youths who were among those who wrote legislators in support of Senate Bill 6160 attended the signing ceremony with Gov. Jay Inslee on March 22, 2018. The bill ended the requirement that all youth ages 16-17 who committed certain serious crimes be sentenced to adult court and extended juvenile court jurisdiction to age 25.

Best practices for state advisory groups as federal grant money has diminished is the focus of a new report from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice.

The report examines the ways in which different state advisory groups (SAGs) have adapted over the years. Established to ensure states are in compliance with the four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), many SAGs originally took on the role of grant givers and have had to adjust and adapt with the decline in funding.

“It’s left many states sort of wondering, what’s my role,” said Naomi Smoot, the executive director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), a nonprofit organization for SAGs and allies. “Many of them have been able to figure that out and have found new ways to lead through policy and sort of system change, while others are sort of trying to find a role that works for them.”

Two of the federal grants available to help states comply with the JJDPA, Title II and Title V, have been cut by 32.4% and 74% respectively. The third grant, the Juvenile Accountability block grant, was zeroed out completely.

“Given the limitations in the amount of funding, it does narrow down the areas that they would like to pursue,” said Mark White, first deputy commissioner at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, who works closely with the SAGs. New York’s SAG is called the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, or JJAG.

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