Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $424,973)
The Formula Grants Program is authorized under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act and funds are made available as a result of the FY 2016 Department of Justice appropriations. The purpose of this program is to support state and local delinquency prevention and intervention efforts and juvenile justice system improvements. Program areas may include: planning and administration; state advisory group allocation; compliance monitoring; prevention; and activities to address the core requirements and improvement of juvenile justice system operations and policies, as found in section 223(a)(9) of the JJDP Act.
The Connecticuts Juvenile Justice Advisory Council's (JJAC) top priority is to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and racial/ethnic disparities. A review of the state's juvenile crime data shows that referrals to juvenile court, admissions to pre-trial detention, and admissions to the secure juvenile correctional facility for boys are decreasing or remaining steady. However, the percentages of Black and Hispanic youth in these data are not reducing enough in relation to the percentages of White juveniles so disproportionality has not been reduced. Because of the JJACs history of working closely with schools, and the fact that students who are not in school due to expulsion are more involved with the juvenile justice system, focusing on school attendance has been a priority. Since 2001, the JJAC has supported the Connecticut Consortium on School Attendance and worked to fund projects in schools with high needs. Many years of JJAC funding addressed school attendance at the greatest need grade (9th grade) with little documented success. The past two years the JJAC has moved to address school attendance at a second high need grade with more promise (kindergarten). With many juvenile justice system improvement strategies underway in Connecticut, the JJAC focuses its efforts on disproportionate minority contact and improving school attendance. Funds will support sharing the results of its fourth assessment study of DMC, training for police and school staff on effective interactions with youth, increasing opportunities for positive police/youth interactions, and implementing best practice approaches to improve school attendance.