Senators Push Mukasey For Juvenile Justice Grant Application Information

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, pushing for greater transparency of the policies related to the grant-making authority of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  Leahy was joined by Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The letter follows recent reports in The Washington Post and Youth Today that OJJDP has awarded grants to organizations with short, unproven track records over organizations that have long standing records of success in the juvenile justice field.  The letter requests that the Attorney General provide documents relating to OJJDP policy on the awarding of grants, correspondence between the office and rejected grant applicants, and communications from OJJDP Director J. Robert Flores, who is currently under investigation by the Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

A bill to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the law that governs OJJDP and the grants it awards, was introduced June 18 by Leahy, Specter and Kohl.  It is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee after the July 4 recess.

The signatories to the letter are all members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Leahy, Specter, Kohl and Feinstein are also members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight authority over the Department of Justice.  The text of the letter follows.  Click here for a PDF.

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