Chapter 5: State and Local
Assistance Grants Programs
Formula Grants Program
The Formula Grants Program has been operating for more than 23 years, since Congress passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act in 1974. It provides funds to help States meet four core requirements of the JJDP Act. The Act requires States to (1) deinstitutionalize status offenders and nonoffenders, (2) separate adults and juveniles held in secure institutions, (3) eliminate the practice of detaining or confining juveniles in adult jails and lockups, and (4) reduce the disproportionate representation of minority juveniles in secure facilities where such conditions exist. Most States are now in full compliance or compliance with de minimis exceptions to the first three requirements. The fourth requirement was added to the level of a full core requirement in 1992 when Congress amended the JJDP Act. States are meeting this requirement as well by documenting numbers of minority and nonminority juveniles in secure confinement, analyzing the reasons for disproportionate representation, and implementing activities to address this issue.
One of OJJDP's major accomplishments in FY 1996 was to revise the regulations that govern the Formula Grants Program. Seeking input from the field, OJJDP invited judges, public defenders, prosecutors, sheriffs, other juvenile justice practitioners, and private citizens to "listening" conferences in Idaho and New Jersey. OJJDP also met with national associations and youth-serving agencies and asked for their responses to the proposed changes. The Office also asked for written suggestions from State agencies and State advisory groups charged with implementing the JJDP Act and met with public interest groups and youth advocacy organizations. The resulting revisions allow States to be more flexible and reduce the complexity of program administration.
During 1996 and 1997, 57 States and Territories were eligible to participate in the Formula Grants Program. Wyoming and Kentucky did not meet the requirements necessary to participate. According to 1994 and 1995 monitoring reports, which determined eligibility for FY 1996 and 1997 Formula Grant funds, the vast majority of States were in compliance with the four core requirements of the JJDP Act. (The term "States" as used throughout the remainder of this chapter includes U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia.) Each State's annual monitoring report is based on data the State collects from secure juvenile and adult facilities. Data collection includes self-reporting to a State agency, onsite data collection by a State agency, or a combination of these methods. All State agencies administering the JJDP Formula Grants Program are required to verify data that are self-reported by facilities and received from other State agencies.
During 1997, 11 States with no violations were in compliance with the deinstitutionalization of status offenders provision of the JJDP Act, which stipulates that status offenders and nonoffenders cannot be detained or confined in secure detention or correctional facilities. Forty-four States were in full compliance with de minimis exceptions, with fewer than 29.4 violations per 100,000 persons under age 18 in the State.
Thirty-eight States with no violations were in compliance with the separation provision of the JJDP Act, which requires that accused and adjudicated delinquent, status offender, and nonoffender juveniles not have contact with incarcerated adults. Seventeen States were in compliance with separation based on regulatory exceptions.
The jail and lockup removal provision of the JJDP Act stipulates that juveniles cannot be detained in any adult jail or lockup. Twelve States with zero violations were in full compliance with this provision. Forty-two States were in compliance with de minimis exceptions, with fewer than 9 violations per 100,000 persons under age 18 in the State. One State is out of compliance with this provision.
Compliance with the disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) section of the JJDP Act is based on information provided in the States' FY 1996 Formula Grants Comprehensive Three-Year Plan Update. The provision requires States to determine if minority juveniles are disproportionately confined in secure detention and correctional facilities and, if so, to identify and address any features of their system that may account for the situation. Thirty-eight States have completed the identification and assessment phases and are implementing the intervention phase of the DMC initiative.
Another four States have completed the identification and assessment phases and have submitted a time-limited plan of action for completing the intervention phase. Four States have completed the identification phase, submitted a time-limited plan of action for the assessment phase, and agreed to submit a time-limited plan for addressing the intervention phase. Nine States have completed the identification phase and determined that minority youth are not disproportionately arrested or detained in their States.