Deep federal funding cuts to state and local juvenile justice and delinquency prevention efforts will hurt kids, and families, and jeopardize public safety. Cuts of this magnitude will result in more children in dangerous, costly lock-ups, greatly increasing risks of suicide, sexual and physical abuse, and disconnection from family, positive support, education and the workforce.
I am deeply concerned that the House has proposed the largest cuts in juvenile justice funding for states and localities in more than a decade, eliminating safeguards and services for vulnerable children and families, and placing communities at risk of heightened juvenile crime.
The House cuts will result in an increase of youth incarcerated in costly and dangerous facilities where they are placed at severe risk of suicide, physical and sexual abuse, recidivism, and a lifetime of disconnection from education and work.
The House proposal erodes and jeopardizes nationwide progress on delinquency prevention and juvenile justice that have led to historic low rates in youth-offending across all U.S. states and territories.
The House proposal eliminates support for cost-effective delinquency prevention programs and alternatives to incarceration, which increase public safety and decrease recidivism and public costs. For every $1 spent in prevention and community-based alternatives, taxpayers save up to $8 in criminal justice costs.
I urge you to reject the House CJS appropriations proposal and restore critical juvenile justice funds granted to states and localities.
Congress should adopt the President’s budget recommendations and, at a minimum, accept no less than the levels put forward in the Senate CJS appropriations bill.
I recognize the economic reality and difficult decisions that are being made across all budgets serving vulnerable populations, but Congress must not jeopardize children’s lives and public safety.