Juvenile Justice Commission Application and Plan Update
The Department of Human Services, Division of Community and Youth Services has submitted its 2013 Juvenile Justice Commission Application and Plan Update for approval by the State of New Jersey.
Funding remains very close to 2012 levels, with a $2308 reduction in the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant funding. Funds for State Community Partnership remained at $153,379, and Family Court funds were stable at $164,848. These funds are used to fund services for youth who are either at risk or are actually involved in the justice system.
Funds may be used for a variety of purposes to either help youth stay out of the Family Court system, provide alternatives to formal involvement in the system, or for alternatives to detention to keep youth out of a secure detention facility.
The Sussex County Home Detention Program has proved to be a good alternative helping court-involved youth by providing 24 hour 7 day a week monitoring and supervision. The Home Detention Program provides intensive supervision, electronic monitoring, community service, and case management to court involved youth while maintaining the youth with his/her family within the community where s/he can maintain school involvement/enrollment, seek or maintain employment, and have access to local social services.
In 2010, the most current data available, there were 479 juvenile arrests in Sussex County. The statistics show that 15% were 13-14 year olds, 21% were 15 year olds, 27% were 16 year olds, and 35% were 17 year olds. The greatest percentage of offenses were drug abuse (18%). Larceny - theft and marijuana accounted for 13% of all arrests, and liquor laws, disorderly conduct and malicious mischief accounted for 10% each.
According to a survey of middle school students in 2010 that ranks alcohol, cigarettes and other drug use across the state by county, Sussex County is 5th in the state for amphetamine and steroid use, 4th in cocaine use, 2nd in heroin use, and 1st in the use of Ecstasy.
Based on data from these reports as well as surveys of those receiving services within the county and input from service agencies, the Sussex County Youth Services Commission has requested that 20% of its funding be used for prevention and the remaining funds be used for disposition, which is the provision of services to those youth who have gone before a Family Court judge and been ordered in services and/or programs that will help them to avoid re-offending.