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Weeks continues to exist for another reason strangely
resulting from the product of deinstitutionalization.
years of placing children in alternative situations have
returned to Weeks a certain population for whom there apparently was no appropriate alternative placement a population for whom Weeks is at least more appropriate than any existing alternative.
instinctively a rightness in that philosophy. Institutions, generally speaking, are bad places to put kids. Our commitment
however is not a blind one for we are accountable, not only to
the state, but to every one of those children who will be affected
by the decisions we make.
We will not make those decisions on
the basis of vague, good philosophies, but will predicate them upon knowledge of the clientele, its needs, and the quality of
all resources we might apply to meeting those needs.
we commit ourselves to this:
if we take all kids out of the
institutions, we will guarantee that they will be better orr,
It is this commitment that caused us to participate in
to buy the time and opportunity to make a rational decision
concerning both Weeks and alternative care.
We proposed allocating
most of the formula monies available under the statute to in
creasing Purchase of Services so that the decision regarding
Weeks could be based upon empirical data pertaining to both
Weeks and alternative care.
Purchase of Services allows the oppor
tunity to place children in alternative care situations, an
opportunity which will be nonexistent without PL 93-415 funds.
To date, Vermont has not received any of the block monies
appropriated under PL 93-415. A $15,000 planning grant was awarded but the $200,000 for each of Fiscal Years 1975 and 1976 has not been awarded although we expect to receive that $400,000
During the past year the planner employed under the $15,000
planning grant, has been required to dedicate at least half of
her time to dealing with the administrative nonsense resulting
from LEAA'S confused attempts to implement PL 93-415.
interpreted Congressional intent and exceeded its statutory auth
ority in requiring cash rather than in-kind match.
The war which
resulted from our conviction that although we are a small state,
are as able as LEAA Central to read statutes, has been costly
in terms of time and manpower.
At this point we are engaged in something of a stand-off
with LEAA Central.
That agency has provided for a waiver pro
cedure by which in-kind match might be allowable. Although the agency was acting beyond the authority of the statute in requiring
the waiver, we chose to apply.
We did so and at the same time
filed a disclaimer stating that the application should not be
construed as recognition of LEAA's authority to require a waiver.
We could not recognize LEAA's authority to require it.
We expect to be granted the waiver.
We expect to receive
a total of $400,000 during the month of June.
If we do not,
there will be no monies available in this state for alternatives
to institutional placement for juveniles. The truth is, however, we have done nothing but expect since September of 1974 when PL 93-415 was adopted. To date, our expectations have come to
During all this "expecting" certain incidents occurred which
we did not expect.
We did not expect $15,000,000 of the FY 1976
appropriation to become subject in January to a Presidential
When Congress rejected the request, we did
not expect the President's Budget for FY '77 to propose a funding
level of $10,000,000. When that happened, we did not expect any Congressional body to take that seriously.
To reiterate, we believe that 93-415 represents Congressional
effort to make the future different from the past for this country's
Juveniles. After a year of dealing with an administrative Iron curtain, we have come finally to a point where we might receive
93-415 funds to implement its intent only to face the real poss10111ty that monies may be diminished substantially.
If the act ir funded below $18,000,000, the bottom line
formula will be cut. If that is the case, the process created to provide a rational base for our ultimate decision regarding
will be aborted and children will be returned
We believe in the intent of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
We also believe it can be implemented.
such implementation is within the realm of the possible and over a year has been dedicated to reaching that point, withdrawing funds
would represent the cruelest of all possible blows.
If that with
drawal were to occur, the major effect of 93-415 would be to have
trained a vast number of people to deal with LEAA's interpretation of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; people who much prefer and are now ready to deal instead with juvenile justice.
If Congress truly intends to make the future different from the past, it must demonstrate that intention by continued funding
at a meaningful level of PL 93-415.
Senator PASTORE. May I interrupt you for just a moment. I understand there is a Congressman here who would like to testify. I know he is busy on the other side of the Capitol. Congressman Gilman.
STATEMENT OF HON. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET SUPPORT
Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Chairman, I thank you for interrupting the testimony. I also thank you and the members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Justice, Commerce, and Judiciary for affording me this opportunity for testifying in support of the proposed construction budget of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Contained in the Bureau's request for fiscal year 1977 are construction funds for the proposed Northeast Adult Correctional Facility located in Otisville, N.Y., which is my congressional district.
The need for this facility and the others requested by the Bureau becomes more evident each month. Prison populations have been rising for the past 5 years, from 21,100 in 1970 to 23,333 in 1975.
Since May of 1975, the inmate population in Bureau-operated facilities has risen .14 percent from 23,333 in May of 1975 to today's 26,700. These increases in prison population are also reflected in State prison population statistics. New York State, for instance, has seen a 12 percent increase between January 1975 and January 1976 from a population of 13,287 to 16,056.
These dramatic increases reflect public attitudes which are moving toward a get tough policy, especially toward the professional criminal and repeater. President Ford is not the only Government leader calling for mandatory, longer sentences.
If this policy persists, not only will more people be entering prison, but they will be spending more time there. There will be more inmates and even more inmate days. Total inmate days, of course, are as important in budget and building space considerations as total inmates.
In a report dated April 27, 1976, the General Accounting Office stated that there was an apparent need for additional facilities and that prison populations have increased and are expected to increase further. While increases of the magnitude experienced during the last. year are hopefully not expected to continue indefinitely, most indicators reflect an anticipated increase of at least 1 percent per man.
The Bureau indicates that they are approximately 18 percent over capacity at present. If we do not act now in providing a safe, humane environment for Federal offenders, we may be faced with more tragedies like in Attica, which cost the lives of more than 40 persons, including a number of officers.
Let us act now to replace the antiquated iron cells of Atlanta, Leavenworth and McNeil Island. There is clearly a need to provide new, modern and humane facilities for our Federal prison system.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons first came into my district in March of 1975 to meet with a group of community leaders concerning the
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