States Are Funding Juvenile Justice Projects That Conform to Legislative Objectives

GGD-80-40: Published: Mar 7, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1980.

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The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) has provided formula grants to the States to plan for and fund projects in the juvenile justice and delinquency prevention areas. The funds were appropriated under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the use of funds provided under the formula grant programs in seven States. The States under review had granted 64 percent, and had firm plans or commitments to grant an additional 27 percent, of their awards for fiscal years 1977, 1978, and 1979. Except for one, the States had returned only minimal amounts of unspent funds to LEAA.

The programs of the seven states under review were in accordance with the goals and objectives of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The programs ranged from services to status offenders, delinquency prevention, alternative education, and efforts to divert juveniles from the formal juvenile justice system. Of 80 projects which GAO visited, all but 3 appeared to be operating generally as described in the grant applications. All but 2 of the 80 projects had properly accounted for grant funds and used them for approved purposes. While complete financial audits were not performed, with two exceptions, projects were able to show that expenditures were made for approved purposes. None of the States maintained excessive cash balances at the State level, nor was this a major problem at the regional or project level. However, cash balances in excess of anticipated needs were present at five projects and regional planning units in two of the States.

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