This newsletter provides an update on the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant (JAIBG) program in Pennsylvania, which is a large-scale effort, now in its third year, to promote juvenile accountability nationwide through Federal incentive grants to local communities.
Pennsylvania's share of JAIBG funds - allocated and distributed to local government units by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and its Juvenile Advisory Committee - has come to just over $8 million in each of the program's first 2 years, and about $7.5 million in the current year. The National Center for Juvenile Justice recently completed an evaluation of JAIBG implementation in Pennsylvania. This evaluation was based on a review and analysis of applications and reports from JAIBG grant recipients, a telephone survey of local officials, and a series of in-person visits to JAIBG-funded project sites throughout Pennsylvania. The evaluation found that initial training and orientation efforts resulted in a quick and smooth implementation of JAIBG projects in Pennsylvania compared with other participating States. JAIBG funds have been distributed throughout Pennsylvania communities, with nearly 80 percent of the State's counties having applied for and received grants, along with a handful of municipalities. Local multidisciplinary planning bodies established for JAIBG purposes have tended to be large, diverse, and relatively active. An extraordinary variety of programs and services have been funded, ranging from values education for 7-year-olds in rural Franklin County to intensive police probation sweeps of "hot spots" in Philadelphia's highest crime neighborhoods. Generally, JAIBG-funded programs have tended to target less serious offenders for swift and certain responses, often through diversion from formal processing. Local approaches to accountability have tended to encompass prevention and early intervention with young offenders, community and victim involvement, and system accountability as well as tougher sanctions. 1 figure
Date Published: January 1, 2001