Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $682,969)
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 Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) administers JABG funds for the State of Massachusetts. The State of Massachusetts bears the primary responsibility for all services to juveniles and has been approved by OJJDP for a 100% waiver of the JABG pass-through requirement to units of local government. Massachusetts' JABG funds will go towards purpose area # 2 - Building, expanding, renovating, or operating temporary or permanent juvenile correction, detention, or community corrections facilities. Specifically, the funds will go towards the Commonwealth's system of Secure Alternative Lockup Programs (ALPs). The ALPs provide pre-arraignment, overnight detention for juveniles arrested for delinquency or youthful offender matters. It is a service that benefits all units of local government. The goal of the ALP system is to help the Commonwealth maintain compliance with the Jail Removal core requirement of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) by providing safe and secure overnight detention within six hours of a juvenile's secure detention in an adult lockup. The activities of the ALP providers and their staff include, but are not limited to, the following: educating law enforcement on the function of the ALPs and how to make use of the system; participation in trainings on how to work with detained youth, including how to provide a safe and secure environment for the youth; maintenance of facilities in order to meet State requirements for ALPs; thorough record keeping, including monthly data reports and quarterly programmatic and fiscal reports; and responsive service when law enforcement have a youth in need of an ALP bed. Progress will be measured by the following activities: review of ALP monthly and quarterly reports to ensure effective and safe operations are maintained; site visits; regular email and phone correspondence with the providers; and immediate response to incidents that jeopardize the safety of the juveniles, staff and/or community or that jeopardize the ability of the system to work effectively and ensure timely court appearances.