Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $260,754)
The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program (JABG) Program is authorized under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 3796ee). The goal of the JABG program is to reduce juvenile offending through accountability-based programs focused on both the juvenile offender and the juvenile justice system. The objective is to ensure that States and Territories are addressing the specified purpose areas and receiving information on best practices from OJJDP. JABG funds are allocated to States and Territories based on each State's relative population of youth under the age of 18. The underlying premise of juvenile accountability programming is that young people who violate the law should be held accountable for their actions through the swift, consistent application of graduated sanctions that are proportionate to the offenses, both as a matter of basic justice and as a way to combat juvenile delinquency and improve the quality of life in the nation's communities.
The State of Rhode Island will use Juvenile Accountability Block Grant funds to fund three State-level interrelated projects to strengthen the State's juvenile justice system by providing additional support and resources that are offender focused with specific multi-agency activities that promote juvenile accountability. Purpose Area 3-hiring juvenile court judges, probation officers, and court-appointed defenders will be addressed by providing funding to the Rhode Island Office of Public Defender/Juvenile Defender Unit. Purpose Area 5-provding funding to enable prosecutors to address drug, gang, and youth violence is being met by continued funding for the Attorney General Gang Suppression Unit. Finally, Purpose Area 17-establishing, improving, and coordinating pre-release and post-release systems and programs to facilitate successful re-entry is addressed through funding for the Family Court's Re-entry Court.