KOHL RESTORES $170 MILLION FOR JUVENILE CRIME PREVENTION IN SENATE BUDGET
Senator also works to increase funding for COPS Program, Byrne Grants
The budget resolution passed by the Senate today includes an amendment sponsored by U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to restore $170 million for juvenile justice programs that have been chronically underfunded by the Administration. Kohl, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has pushed the Administration -- including the Attorney General and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- to restore funding for successful crime prevention programs in the wake of repeated, drastic and debilitating budget cuts. This year, the President requested only $185 million for juvenile justice programs; the Senate's original budget rejected the President's proposal and included almost $390 million for these programs. Kohl's amendment restores juvenile justice funding to nearly $560 million, the same level of funding these programs received in FY2002. The funding will be used for prevention programs like Title V Delinquency Prevention Program and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program (JABG).
"According to experts in the field, every dollar spent on prevention saves three to four dollars in costs attributable to juvenile crime," Kohl said.
The Title V program is crucial because it is the only federal program solely dedicated to juvenile crime prevention. Title V received $95 million in FY02.
JABG provides funding for intervention programs that address the urgent needs of juveniles who have had run-ins with the law. Positive intervention and treatment at this early stage of delinquency can prevent further violent behavior and steer a young person in the right direction before it's too late. This program received almost $350 million in FY02.
Kohl was also part of a successful effort to increase funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. The COPS program, administered through the Department of Justice, was passed into law in 1994. The goal was to place 100,000 new officers on the beat by 2000 -- a goal that was realized ahead of time and under budget. COPS grant programs also include assistance for purchasing new technologies and equipment that result in officers spending more time on the streets, and financing the training of former military personnel for local law enforcement. Years of decreases in COPS funding have led to fewer patrol officers on the streets and an increase in violent crime. An amendment sponsored by Sens. Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Kohl to devote $1.15 billion to the COPS program was also included in the Senate budget resolution.
Kohl also cosponsored a bipartisan amendment to increase funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) Program to more than $900 million. Due to the President's veto threat, the Byrne/JAG Program was cut by approximately 67 percent last year, to a little over $170 million. The President's budget seeks a similar result this year. The Byrne/JAG Program helps fund state and local drug task forces, community crime prevention programs, substance abuse treatment, prosecution initiatives, and many other local crime control programs that help keep our communities safe.