As the end of the federal fiscal year draws nigh, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has nearly completed its dispersion of grants for the year. As we did in fiscal 2013, Youth Services is ready with a breakdown of that funding.
Some programs are counted in two categories if applicable (research on mentoring, for example, would be counted toward research and mentoring). Click here to download a full, line-by-line spreadsheet of the grants.
Division One: The Juvenile Justice System
- Juvenile Confinement/Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJPDA): $39,315,187
- Assistance to States: $10,941,697
- Courts: $16,286,330
- System Reform: $9,065,000
- Re-Entry: $7,580,148
Notes: The grants made to states under Title II Formula are given in connection with their compliance to the four core standards of the JJDPA. This year, Congress appropriated $55 million for Title II, and OJJDP gave out a little over $39 million.
Presumably, this means that $16 million is not going to be rewarded as a result of noncompliance findings. It’s rarely that straight a line when you’re talking about federal funding, but certainly a good chunk of that relates to findings by OJJDP that states were not meeting the requirements of the act.
The $39 million going out the door is actually $10 million more than last year, but that is a bit misleading. Last year Congress appropriated a lower total for Title II and also funded the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG). This year: all Title II, no JABG.
On PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) funding, YSI would love to know how the state grantees reacted to these announcements. The $703,969 allocation went to 43 sites for an average of about $16,000. Manna from heaven!
The funds might come in handy, though, because the deadline has passed for all juvenile facilities to have completed a PREA audit. If YSI remembers correctly from a briefing by Justice officials, that process might run a facility between $5,000 and $10,000.
We’re guessing that the System Reform block here are among the grants that OJJDP leadership are most excited about. Administrator Bob Listenbee made clear at a Congressional hearing this year that racial disparities in juvenile justice would be a focal point for the agency; more on that later, but note the $4.8 million grant to City University of New York for a project on procedural fairness and reducing bias.
Division Two: Niche Issues and Research
- Research: $8,131,931
- Race, Ethnicity, Gender: $2,089,550
- Schools and Juvenile Justice: $4,310,177
- Tribal Youth: $6,926,815
Notes: As we have mentioned, OJJDP Administrator Listenbee said that disproportionate minority contact (DMC) would be a focal point for the agency. Here are the five organizations that will assist OJJDP in that focus:
- Training and technical assistance: Development Services Group, W. Haywood Burns Institute
- Study of DMC: University of California, Westat, American Institutes for Research
On research, the majority of funds were locked in to 14 groups through OJJDP’s new favorite vehicle: Invited Awards. Best as we can tell from discussions with the agency, “invited awards” are either:
- Continuation grants made to previous-year grantees.
- Grants made to organizations that OJJDP asked to apply, which sounds like an administrative earmark to us. Still not clear how it’s allowed, and we have never seen that “invited award” terminology used by any other federal agency.
Two research grants for the study of intake and treatment assessments caught our eye. The first: a $910,000 grant to the University of Cincinnati.
The mission is to study the outcomes of youth in three states using the same risk assessment system to study variations at the local level that affect how the assessment is implemented. It looks to be a fairly robust plan: 6,000 case reviews, subsample study on 300 youth and interviews with 150 assessment personnel.
The second is a $125,000 grant out of the Invited Awards group to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It carries a bold mission for a modest amount of money:
Sophisticated analyses will be conducted to examine whether attention to MH [mental health] and SA [substance abuse] moderates the association between dynamic risk and reoffending, and whether changes in MH, SA, and risk differentially impact recidivism.
In other words: Is a juvenile more or less likely to reoffend if his mental health or substance abuse patterns change?
Division Three: Where All the Money Is
- Sex Trafficking/Exploitation/Abuse: $84,688,353
- Mentoring: $74,737,839
Notes: YSI will never forget the confusion on the faces of juvenile justice advocates and practitioners at the 2011 OJJDP national conference, as they roamed the hallways in search of a workshop actually about juvenile justice.
If you subscribe to the theory that dollars dictate priorities, the mission of OJJDP would look something like this:
- Priority 1: Preventing delinquency through mentoring
- Priority 2: Funding the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and local “ICAC” task forces to catch online predators
- Priority 3: Supporting victims of sex trafficking
- Priority 4: Juvenile justice
You can find three of those four priorities in this section. ICAC task forces have become a firmly fixed part of the OJJDP budget in the past five years, and assisting sex trafficking victims is one of the domestic causes du jour right now (not a bad thing).
Grants that caught our eye:
The nearly $2 million headed to four grantees for mentoring of victims of sexual exploitation. The Mid-Atlantic Network for Youth will receive about $500,000 to help those sites develop.
The $1 million grant for one-on-one mentoring that went to Amachi, a model for mentoring children impacted by the incarceration of a loved one. YSI did not realize Amachi has survived the demise of its former home, Philadelphia-based Public/Private Ventures. It is alive and well, apparently, and led by former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode.
If there is more consistent federal funding for a nonprofit than the grant to NCMEC, we certainly are not aware of it. The national center brought in $32 million for 2014.
The other “like clockwork” major grant from OJJDP every year goes to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, this year for $25 million. Way down from their peak of $85 million during the go-go era of earmarks, but still good for the second highest grant.
A final note on the mentoring account: the number of different categories has increased. The traditional National, Multi-State, Local hierarchy has been replaced with the following:
- Multi-State One-on-One
- Multi-State Group
- Multi-State Combined One-on-One and Group
- National One-on-One
- National Group
- National Combined One-on-One and Group
There is no dedicated local mentoring program, but a healthy portion of the $26.3 million in the Youth Development, Prevention and Safety account went to locals. OJJDP also directed $1 million to the National Mentoring Partnership to continue the National Mentoring Resource Center.
Two entities emerged this year as the go-to contractors for OJJDP: Maryland-based Development Services Group (DSG) and D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR). Those companies secured a total of nine OJJDP grants for fiscal 2014; five for AIR, four for DSG.
AIR landed the contract to oversee OJJDP’s new Center on Coordinated Assistance for States, the agency’s effort to replace a number of targeted assistance programs with a single center that can manage all of the training and technical assistance to states.
AIR’s sub-grantee partners include the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators. Their proposal for the center beat out at least one notable competitor for it: a bid led by the National Center for Juvenile Justice that included the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS) and many of the organizations that assist the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative.
One of the niche assistance programs folded into the new center is the Center for Youth in Custody. The center terminates this month, but presumably the training and technical assistance to correctional facilities will be handled by CJCA under the new system.
It continues an odd sequence of changes on the issue for OJJDP. The Center for Youth in Custody was originally given to both CJCA and NPJS to co-direct when it was established in 2010. In 2013, NPJS became the sole lead on it.
In May, NPJS received word that the project would be shuttered, and that the training would become part of the coordinated package.
There are other juvenile justice grants to be found within the laundry list of funds dispersed through the Byrne Discretionary grants, both local and state. Most of these are to law enforcement or courts.
Youth Services Insider is mostly written by Chronicle Editor-in-Chief John Kelly.