Resolution in Support of the Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

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All Resolutions Passed at the 2007 Annual Conference

WHEREAS, for over 30 years, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has been the primary law guiding federal efforts to support effective juvenile justice and delinquency prevention activities; and

WHEREAS, the JJDPA is due for reauthorization in 2007; and

WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, although the juvenile violent crime arrest rate in the United States has continued to decline since its peak in 1994, over 1.4 million children under age 18 were arrested in 2005; and

WHEREAS, more than 200,000 youth are prosecuted in adult courts each year; and

WHEREAS, 49 percent of youth transferred to adult courts were rearrested, compared to 37 percent of those retained in the juvenile justice system. Nearly twice as many transferred youth were rearrested for more serious offenses; and

WHEREAS, there is a well established link between the maltreatment of children and future criminal activity and involvement with the juvenile justice system; and

WHEREAS, studies have shown that juveniles are more receptive to treatment, which results in lower re-offence rates; and

WHEREAS, the 2002 reauthorization of the JJDPA recognized that prevention initiatives, early intervention strategies, rehabilitation programs and multidisciplinary coordination are needed to reduce the juvenile crime rate; and

WHEREAS, reauthorization will strengthen the federal partnership with states to better implement the provisions of the JJDPA and keep youth out of the juvenile justice system; and

WHEREAS, if funding under this legislation is withdrawn, it will negatively impact the juvenile justice system at large and at risk youth.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that The Council of State Governments hereby endorses Congressional efforts to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and to continue the important prevention and rehabilitation efforts it affords juveniles in the states.

Adopted this 14th Day of November, 2007 at the CSG Annual State Trends and Leadership Forum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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