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SAN FRANCISCO – May 15, 2018 – A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice examines how California’s counties use millions in state funding provided by the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) and the Youthful Offender Block Grant (YOBG) intended to serve justice-involved youth within their communities. The report investigates statewide funding trends as well as local trends among five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo), which receive a significant share of these funds and provide broader insight.

The report finds that JJCPA and YOBG program implementation is out of step with juvenile justice trends and best practices. Amid California’s consistent declines in youth crime and confinement, counties continue to invest heavily in detention-based services at nearly-vacant local facilities rather than community-based programs. Counties would benefit from the inclusion of community stakeholders in planning and implementing their funding priorities to meet the diverse needs of youth and communities most affected by the justice system.

The report finds:

  • JJCPA and YOBG funds provided nearly $280 million to counties in FY 2016 – 17, a 23 percent ($52 million) increase in funding since FY 2013 – 14. Although youth crime and confinement rates have sustained historic declines in California, state funding has grown due to revenue increases and the inclusion of local population measures in funding formulas.
  • Direct services receive little YOBG funding despite supporting large numbers of justice-involved youth. In the seven-year period from FY 2009 – 2010 to FY 2015 – 16, direct services accounted for approximately 70 percent (30,000) of total youth served but only 27 percent of YOBG funds spent by counties.
  • Investment in community-based organizations varied widely among the five Bay Area counties. In FY 2016 – 17, Contra Costa County spent zero percent of its JJCPA and YOBG expenditures on CBOs, while 64 percent of nearby San Francisco County’s spending went toward CBOs.

California’s massive investment in JJCPA and YOBG programs signals the state’s commitment to serving youth within the community. However, effective implementation of these programs requires greater accountability measures for counties and prioritization of community engagement throughout planning and reporting processes. Further, these funds provide an opportunity for juvenile justice reinvestment — equipping community-based organizations to support youth by providing critical services in areas such as education, mental health, housing, and reentry.

Read the full report »

County-specific Resources:

For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview, please contact CJCJ Communications at (415) 6215661 x. 103 or cjcjmedia@​cjcj.​org.