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Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant Program: National Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2003
115 pages
Publication Series
This report presents the methodology and findings of a 4-year process evaluation of the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant Program (JAIBG) initiated by Congress in 1998 and supported by the National Institute of Justice; the JAIBG provided block grants to State and local governments as financial incentives to increase "accountability" within their juvenile justice systems.
Although Congress did not define the concept of "accountability" explicitly, the legislation and subsequent administrative rules described several juvenile justice policies and practices deemed to have high priority in ensuring accountability. These are prosecuting as adults juveniles who commit serious violent crimes; expanding the array of graduated sanctions available to juvenile courts; holding parents responsible for seeing that their children obey court orders; and establishing juvenile records systems that parallel those for adult offenders. The JAIBG defined 12 "program purpose areas" (PPA's) within which State and local governments could award funds; they encompassed all phases of juvenile justice. The act required each State and local government receiving funds to form a Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition composed of representatives of law enforcement, prosecution, courts, corrections, and human service agencies that would prepare a Coordinated Enforcement Plan to govern how JAIBG funds would be used. State and local governments with grant awards were also required to return to the Federal Government any funds not spent within 24 months. The process evaluation of JAIBG relied on secondary analysis of administrative data collected by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), supplemented selectively with additional information from interviews, surveys, and site visits. The evaluation found that congressional expectations for the JAIBG program were substantially achieved. The JAIBG structure established by Congress was found to be adaptable to States' varying juvenile justice laws, practices, and procedures. Regarding the time limit for implementing the grant, 95 percent of the States for which FY 1998 close-out data were available spent 89 percent or more of their JAIBG funds within the time limits. Evaluation recommendations are to sustain and expand local JAIBG planning capacity; eliminate the 45/35 percent distribution requirement; improve OJJDP's JAIBG monitoring procedures; and institute performance-based monitoring for the JAIBG Program. Extensive tables and appended data sources and study methodology, examples of site visits, Jumpstart training case study, and Planning of New Institutions training case study

Date Published: July 1, 2003