Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $590,509)
Through Puerto Rico’s Comprehensive Three Year Plan for the period of 2021-2023, in accordance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Commonwealth of PR is committed to advancing work for promoting civil rights, increase access to justice and develop more effective education and prevention services in order to improve the juvenile justice system and prevent juvenile delinquency. The Plan was developed following a participatory approach, where information was combined from different agencies that work with youth. Units of local government were consulted which allowed for a more comprehensive and contextualized view of juvenile delinquency problems. The data gathered for purposes of developing the Plan reflects how the unprecedented economic and social challenges that Puerto Rico has faced in past years, have had a direct impact in our youth, one of our most vulnerable populations. Groups consulted pointed out the need of comprehensive prevention programs related to after-school services, recreation, family strengthening, and school truancy.
To that end, the Office for Socio-Economic and Community Development (ODSEC, its Spanish acronym) will focus on the promotion of delinquency prevention and educational programs. The state seeks to reduce and prevent juvenile delinquency and promote the implementation, scalability and replicability of programs to prevent, reduce and address risk factors of juvenile delinquency implemented by community-based organizations and units of local government, including educational programs. As resources are limited, ODSEC will focus on advancing programs based on evidence and that have the capacity to be replicated to have a broader impact on the Island. Other areas of priority addressed in the Plan include compliance monitoring. Also, the State Advisory Group will continue to work towards strengthening statewide juvenile justice public policy to accomplish the overarching goal of preventing juvenile delinquency and that all youth in the juvenile justice system be treated equitably without regard to gender, race, family income, and mental, emotional, or physical conditions.