Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $127,693)
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.
Maine has determined that community-based alternatives to detention can better curb crime and recidivism while saving money - at times reaping $13.00 in benefits to public safety for every one dollar spent. The State cannot afford the losses of the current punitive system and aims to find and employ alternatives to these costly measures. The State will facilitate restorative practices as an alternative to suspension, expulsion, adjudication and/or detention. The juvenile justice system in the State of Maine is responding to current research in juvenile delinquency and quickly adopting the recommended approach of alternatives to detention. Research definitively demonstrates that the incarceration of juveniles leads to continued criminal conduct and poor outcomes continuing into adulthood. The result of this research and the recommendation of the Juvenile Justice Taskforce are to significantly reduce the number of juveniles incarcerated in the State. NCA/NCF