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A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Referred by the Office of Special Counsel Concerning the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Formula Grant Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2017
277 pages
This report by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) pertains to its investigation following a referral from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) regarding allegations by former OIG Special Agent Jill Semmerling that the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (Wisconsin OJA) submitted fraudulent reports to the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in order to receive Federal funds pursuant to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP Act) formula grant program.
This report addresses three of the five allegations made by Semmerling. The other two allegations are addressed in a separate report by the OIG's Audit Division. One of the three allegations investigated for the current report is that OJJDP and OJP employees issued legal opinions that altered long-standing policy and contravened law, so as to enable Wisconsin's OJA to circumvent JJDP Act requirements. The second allegation investigated by the OIG is that OIG employees obstructed fact-finding in an investigation of the Wisconsin OJA's concealment of non-compliance. The third Semmerling allegation investigated for this report is that juveniles who have run away from State-ordered placements are being illegally detained in secure facilities in contravention of statutory grant conditions. The overall conclusion of the OIG's investigation of these three Semmerling allegations is that they are unsubstantiated; however, this conclusion is qualified by the statement that "Semmerling performed an important service by coming forward with these allegations and that she identified a number of serious underlying issues that OJP needs to address. These issues are discussed in this report. Five attachments contain materials related to the investigation.