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Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants: Assessing Initial Implementation

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2005
9 pages
This process evaluation of the implementation of the Federal Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant (JAIBG) program assessed how the block grant funds were spent and how States and localities complied with the policy objectives envisioned by Congress.
Congress created JAIBG in 1997 to encourage States and localities to strengthen the prosecution and adjudication of juvenile offenders, particularly those convicted of serious, violent crime. The legislation specified the following policy goals: Increase the use of graduated sanctions; encourage the prosecution of serious juvenile offenders as adults; make adult/juvenile criminal records systems comparable; establish appropriate juvenile drug-testing policies; and promote parental responsibility. All 56 States and Territories received JAIBG funding. Evaluators found that 45 of the 56 jurisdictions increased the use of graduated sanctions; and 42 reported that their policies encouraged the prosecution of serious juvenile offenders as adults. At the conclusion of the evaluation, most States had not met the objective of making adult and juvenile criminal records systems comparable. Evaluators advise, however, that developing comparable record systems is necessarily a lengthy process. States and localities awarded more than 13 percent of their JAIBG funds to juvenile justice information systems. Regarding the objective of establishing appropriate juvenile drug-testing policies, the evaluation found that 43 States had such policies at the program's inception; and by the January 1999 deadline, all States had achieved this objective. Regarding the objective of promoting parental responsibility for juvenile supervision, all States have permitted judges to hold parents accountable for their delinquent children. The evaluation's recommendations are to expand regional coalitions where feasible, extend the deadline for spending grant funds, and institute performance measurement. 1 exhibit

Date Published: December 1, 2005