Justice Dept. Remains Silent on Obama’s 2012 Budget Plan

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The Department of Justice continues to avoid publicly commenting on President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul the manner in which federal funding for juvenile justice is managed.

The president’s 2012 budget proposes to create a $120 million pot called the Juvenile Justice System Incentive Grants, which would “consolidate funding targeting juvenile justice improvements into a competitive program that rewards or incentivizes states for progress against key indicators for the juvenile justice system.”

The incentive grants would replace the formula grants given to states based on their adherence to four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. States would need to comply with those requirements to compete for the new incentive grants, but compliance would not guarantee them any amount of federal funding. [To read more about the plan, click here].

Youth Today requested an interview with the Office of Justice Programs a week ago, and, at the request of the department, submitted a partial list of questions we intended to ask about the plan. Youth Today also invited any Justice official to provide an editorial explaining the motivation for the plan and why the administration supported a drastic change to federal juvenile justice funding.

The Justice Department spokesman said on Friday that “due to scheduling conflicts,” it would not be able to answer by Tuesday (today).  But, as we

reported  Friday in a weekly juvenile justice column, Justice said it would “provide a statement to [Youth Today] Tuesday.”

As of 6 p.m., Justice has not issued a statement directly to the newspaper, nor is one posted on the website of the Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs or the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.