News

Sidebar: The Effects of Sequestration on Juvenile Justice in Colorado

Razor WireMany state juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs have yet to see cuts due to sequestration, but the impacts may be felt when 2013 funds are distributed in the fall, said Meg Williams, juvenile justice specialist for the State of Colorado. Although the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has not released official numbers, many state programs expect their OJJDP funding to be reduced by 7 or 8 percent and are trying to plan accordingly, she added.

“In Colorado we are being really measured in what we’re committing ourselves to at this point in time,” Williams said, noting that her state has already seen its federal juvenile justice funding more than halved since 2004—cuts that have significantly limited the services and programs Colorado can offer youth.

When funds are scarce, states must focus on the young people who are already in the system, explained Williams, rather than on prevention and early intervention, even though “that’s where you get the biggest bang for your buck.” Williams noted that, “by losing our ability to keep kids out of the system, we cost ourselves more money in the long run. It’s much more expensive to serve a young person already in the system than to prevent them from entering it.” 

Williams added that she doesn’t believe that her state’s substance abuse and mental health programs have sequestration figures yet, but she is concerned that budget cuts will lead to reductions in community-based mental health and substance abuse services for children, youth, and their families. Coupled with the sequester’s effects on other funding streams, she worries that young people who might otherwise have been able to safely remain in their communities and at home may instead enter the justice system due to the absence of needed substance abuse and/or mental health services. 

If any readers are seeing impacts from the sequester in their own communities, they are invited to contact the author by email:

Lisa Pilnik, JD, MS, is a freelance writer, consultant, and co-founder of Child & Family Policy Associates, a Maryland-based consulting firm.

 

Photo courtesy of publik16 / Flickr

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Archives

Categories

Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top