Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $730,384)
In 2017, The Governor created the Alabama Juvenile Justice Task Force, and with assistance from the Pew Charitable Trust Foundation, was charged with promoting public safety, controlling costs, and improving outcomes for youth, families, and communities. The Juvenile Justice Task Force was created to analyze the system and make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature. The Task Force consisted of representatives from the juvenile justice system, legislators, prosecutor and defense attorneys, advocates, and representatives from child-serving agencies. The Juvenile Justice Task Force conducted both a quantitative and qualitative analysis that included over thirty roundtables with stakeholders, including juveniles involved in different levels of the system. The Task Force analyzed data from the juvenile justice system, existing policy, and the latest research on best practices and outcomes. This information was widely shared with stakeholders to include Alabama SAG members. The Final Report included over 40 recommendations that were introduced as a bill in the following legislative session. Although the bill did not pass, a number of the recommendations were able to be implemented through other legislative and executive actions. The Legislature appropriated one million dollars towards the effort to increase evidence-based community diversion programs. The recommendations indicated that Alabama, for the most part, was on the right track to transforming the system even though few formal polices were in place at the State level. And as is always the case, this system has room for improving.