|Trimming the Juvenile Justice Fat|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2012 10:06|
By Selena Teji for Youth Today
California Gov. Jerry Brown was recently quoted telling the state Legislature to “man up” on his proposed budget cuts and yet, when it comes to juvenile justice, it seems the governor consistently bends under pressure.
Unfortunately, the effects of his juvenile justice compromise will soon be felt by all California residents, according to a new CJCJ publication. With scarce and finite resources, the governor’s decision to grant a reprieve for state youth correctional facilities, in his May revised budget, creates an additional strain on already scantily-funded state services.
This is the second year the governor has removed a proposal for full juvenile justice realignment from his budget. In FY 2011-12, the budget allocated counties $200,000 per state-confined youth, to increase their capacity for serving high-need juvenile offenders. After lobbying opposition from law enforcement interest groups, this proposal was pulled from the budget, while severe cuts were made to the state university systems, department of developmental services, in-house support services and other state-run programs.
Then in January 2012, the governor pulled his mid-year budget trigger cuts due to an increasing revenue shortfall. These triggers cut expansive areas of social and public service sectors, including care-giving to the blind, disabled, elderly and autistic populations, amounting to $611,131,000 reduction in funding to serve California’s most vulnerable populations. An additional $302 million was deducted from the state’s investment in higher education. Yet, the governor granted a reprieve for the state youth correctional facilities trigger, which would have required counties to pay 60 percent of the cost of housing youths there (currently they pay only a nominal fee); losing a projected saving of $67.7 million.
Now the governor...