JABG Technical Support Center

The Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) is working with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to provide technical assistance to States in calculating local allocation amounts under the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JABG) formula required in the JABG program. The Technical Support Center, with assistance from BJS, provides States with the crime and expenditure data collected by the Federal government, along with supporting documentation. The Center also maintains a Web site that provides formula calculations and allocations for each State in the form of spreadsheets that can be downloaded from the site.

The JABG Program

The JABG program awards grants to States to address the problem of juvenile crime by encouraging accountability-based reforms at the State and local levels. Grants are awarded to the States, which are required to pass through a majority of the funds (75 percent) to eligible units of local government. Funds must be used in 12 general-purpose areas relating to holding juveniles accountable in the juvenile justice system.

The allocation of awards is based on a formula specified in the JABG legislation. Each local unit of government's share of the State funds is determined by calculating the sum of two thirds of the locality's relative share of law enforcement expenditures for the three most recent calendar years for which data are available, and one third of the locality's relative share of Part I violent offenses for the three most recent years for which data are available. The minimum amount that a locality must be allocated in order to be entitled to receive a subgrant award is $5,000.

Data for JABG

While most State JABG administrators have access to their State’s crime data, few have access to local expenditure data. Moreover, most administrators lack the resources or time to calculate the JABG formula. JRSA provides the necessary data, as well as the actual calculations of award allocations for each local unit of government, to State JABG administrators.

The Federal government collects both crime and expenditure data from the States and localities. Crime data are collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The Census Bureau collects expenditure information through the Census of Governments survey. Although the formula requires the use of the three most recent years of data, the Census Bureau information is collected for all units of local government only every five years. In order to use the most recent data possible, only one year of expenditure data is used in the formula calculations. For the JABG program, only direct current operating expenditures for police, judicial/legal, and corrections are included in the formula.

Although JABG includes Tribal Nations as eligible recipients of funding, neither the FBI nor the Census Bureau collects data from tribes. In order to include Tribal Nations, JRSA received data from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). These data were also provided to State administrators.

The JABG Technical Support Center

JRSA’s JABG Technical Support Center addresses the data needs of the State JABG administrators in determining local allocations. The Center provides: a State page for each State’s information; documentation on the JABG Program, on the expenditure and crime data used, and on the tribal data used; and examples of JABG-related documents used in other States. Access to the Center is available at http://www.jrsa.org/jaibg.

State Data Page

Each State and the District of Columbia has its own page on the Web site that provides pertinent State and local information. A listing of all of the local units of government is provided, as well as the definition of local unit of government as provided in the JABG legislation. Allocation calculations are available in three different formats. First, an interactive worksheet that lists each local government and its award is provided. This worksheet allows States that are passing through less than the 75% requirement to enter the information and have the worksheet recalculate the award amounts based on the new pass-through amount. Next, spreadsheets that simply list the localities receiving awards above the $5000 cut-off amount are provided - one that lists awards by locality name and one by award amount. Finally, a listing of localities for which there were no data is also provided.

The data files are also made available to States on the State Data Page. Both the FBI UCR data files and the Census Bureau expenditure data files can be downloaded. A combined data file that matches the data for each local unit of government is also available. Finally, the State Data Page provides a listing of Federally recognized Indian Tribes in each State. Tribal law enforcement data provided by BIA can also be downloaded.

Each year allocation amounts are updated to include newly available data. An additional year of crime data from the FBI is added, and Census Bureau data are updated as available. Each year’s data are checked to ensure that the data files are complete and represent the majority of governments for each State. Tribal data are also updated as new data become available.

Technical Assistance

In addition to providing formula calculations for JABG, the Technical Support Center offers technical assistance to States in determining award amounts. An analyst is available to work with the State administrators in determining whether to use data provided on the Web site or data collected in the State to answer questions regarding local allocations, and to provide assistance in recalculating allocation amounts.

For more information about the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program Technical Support Center, contact Lisa Walbolt at jaibg@jrsa.org.