The President’s budget plan is to be applauded for preserving critical juvenile justice and delinquency prevention funding. Federal funding helps support state systems better protect kids and families, and safeguard the public. These investments help keep children out of dangerous, costly lock-ups, where they are at great risk of suicide, sexual and physical abuse, and disconnection from family, positive support, education and the workforce. They also support state delinquency prevention and violence prevention efforts that promote public safety and help young people get back on track. Funding these programs will lead to a brighter, more productive future for our youth and, consequently, for our country.
Federal dollars are critical in leveraging other state and local funding to improve our justice system and implement effective reforms that keep youth out of trouble and communities safe. The President’s budget proposal maintains 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.
Federal support also helps states decrease the number 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.
I urge you to support the juvenile justice funding recommendations included in the President’s budget proposal to help states and communities continue to improve outcomes for youth and to protect public safety.