Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $105,793)
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 et. seq.). 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 Wyoming's juvenile justice reform effort has made substantial progress over the last year, and it is with high hopes that the efforts will continue through 2013. There continues to be a lot of emphasis on juvenile justice in Wyoming, partially because of the state's reportedly high juvenile arrest rates and placement rates. The lack of reliable data on juveniles remains a key issue, and stakeholders have worked diligently over the past year to find the means to improve the collection of data. With increased awareness and concern of the state's juvenile detention facilities, efforts to reduce the numbers of juveniles in high-risk (longer term) placement and detention, and taking initiatives to find alternatives to detention and out of home placements, the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) funding through OJJDP is assisting with juvenile justice reform efforts.
Wyoming continues to look for resources to provide and maintain adequate detention centers and 48 hour holds for juveniles. There is also a need for resources in communities to keep youth in their home, rather than placing them in correctional and detention facilities. JABG funding will be sub-granted to units of local government to continue state efforts to strengthen the juvenile justice system. Awards will fund community programs to provide services to youth and their families as an alternative to detention and out of home placements. This funding will also be directed toward a standardized data system and information sharing programs for the collection and maintenance of juvenile records, that enable juvenile justice agencies to make more informed decisions regarding the early identification, control, supervision and treatment of juveniles. NCA/NCF