Need To Better Administer the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act's Maintenance-of-Effort Requirement

GGD-78-85: Published: Oct 3, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 1978.

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The Department of Justice's Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) is authorized to finance nationwide efforts to improve juvenile justice and prevent juvenile delinquency. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 requires that a minimum level of assistance for juvenile delinquency programs be maintained from appropriations made under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act. This is to assure that appropriations under that act supplement rather than replace funds previously spent for juvenile delinquency programs.

LEAA has failed to assign specific responsibilities for administering the maintenance-of-effort requirement which has resulted in a disorganized approach to implementing the requirement. Written procedures describing how juvenile effort should be determined, monitored, and reported were lacking, and compliance reports did not show the amount of funds actually expended. Data were not generally available to support amounts representing the juvenile component of projects which also served adults, and juvenile justice and delinquency prevention efforts under the Crime Control Act were overstated in some cases because of the lack of controls to assure that projects or portions of projects classified as being for juveniles were actually juvenile-related. LEAA also has not been consistent in the way it has determined compliance with the maintenance-of-effort requirement.

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