Shaquita Ogletree
A House Appropriations Subcommittee approved a fiscal year 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill (32-19) last week. The bill contains $62.5 billion in total discretionary funding for CJS programs, an increase of $2.9 billion from FY18 levels. CJS Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson stated that the increase in fiscal 2019 bill ensures investments in the safety and security of our nation including federal law enforcement officers, drug and human trafficking, securing the borders, and protection of women against violence.

The bill provides $199 million total for juvenile justice programs, a cut from the $282.5 million provided in the fiscal year 2018, and no allocation of funding for Title II or Title V funding of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). JJDPA funding is essential to providing federal funding to states in preventing youth from entering the justice system. That means that restoring funding to FY2018 levels and reauthorization of the JJDPA will be dependent on Senate action. CWLA believe that such a restoration is paramount for protecting youth at-risk and for building effective state systems.

The bill focus on opioid abuse, gun crimes, and school safety programs for youth is reflective in the increase of funding for Youth Mentoring programs from $94 million in FY18 to $100 million for FY19. $17 million of the funding for youth mentoring is to be directed towards programs to support at-risk youth and families impacted by the opioid crisis and drug addiction. Youth Mentoring grants provide peer-to-peer mentoring relationships in the community and schools for at-risk youth. Other noteworthy prevention and early intervention programs included in the CJS appropriations bill are as follows:

$12 million for the CASA Special Advocates program
$85 million for Second Chance Act/offender reentry programs, an increase of $27.5 million, including $5 million for children of incarcerated parents demo grants
$493 million for Violence Against Women Act programs
$442 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, including $11 million for victim services programs for victims of trafficking

To review the draft of the bill click here. The Senate Subcommittee is scheduled to take their bill up for consideration the week of June 11.