STSJP Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

Do municipalities need to designate a lead agency to be eligible to apply for STSJP? Who should be the lead agency? Who should be the lead agency contact?

Executive Law § 529-b(3)(a) requires that for municipalities to be eligible to receive reimbursement for STSJP, each municipality must designate a lead agency for planning and administering STSJP. The chief executive of each municipality must designate a lead agency for the purposes of planning and administering services provided under STSJP. The lead agency for a municipality should be the agency of local government most closely tied to the specific population of youth to be served by STSJP funds. Most municipalities either designate their lead agency as their local department of social services (LDSS) or probation department; however, a youth bureau or other agency can be designated.

OCFS must be informed of any subsequent changes in the designated agency as claimant.

Reimbursement will be distributed through the lead agency.

What determines when OCFS sends out the letter requesting municipalities submit an STSJP plan?

The notification letter that outlines the parameters for development and submission of municipalities’ STSJP plans cannot be distributed until after the New York State budget is enacted and the New York State Division of Budget releases the STSJP funds that are allocated to the municipalities. The letter is sent out to municipalities after such steps have been completed.

Are STSJP and detention funding capped allocations?

Yes, STSJP and detention funding are capped allocations. Once the allocation is expended, a municipality is responsible for all remaining costs. For STSJP claims up to their cap, municipalities are responsible for the local share of 38 percent. For detention claims, municipalities are responsible for the local share of 51 percent.

What methodology was used to determine each municipality’s STSJP allocation?

An important objective remains to reward municipalities for achieving reductions in detention and/or residential placement of persons in need of supervision, juvenile delinquents, and juvenile offenders. The indicators historically taken into account include:

  • Petitions disposed during the year
  • Arrests (JD/JO) during the year
  • Juvenile delinquent (JD) non-secure detention care days
  • Juvenile delinquent (JD) secure detention care days
  • Person in need of supervision (PINS) detentions
  • Juvenile delinquent (JD) custody placement admissions

OCFS looked at the indicators to identify changes that occurred during the period of 2013 to 2015, then factored those changes into its calculations for PY 2017-2018 allocations. Each of these factors was given equal weight in the calculations, except for PINS detention, which was weighted more heavily than the other factors.

As part of OCFS’s ongoing efforts to align STSJP funding with the reduction in use of detention and residential placement, the state has continued to use this methodology. Furthermore, the STSJP allocations have remained consistent since PY 2017-2018 in consideration of RTA implementation.

What are the guidelines and benefits for a municipality to shift portions of its detention allocation to its STSJP allocation?

STSJP reimbursement is 62 percent state share and 38 percent local share. Detention reimbursement is 49 percent state share and 51 percent local share.

When a municipality shifts money from a detention allocation to an STSJP allocation, more money is available for STSJP–related services and programs and the funding is reimbursable at the 62 percent rate. Most municipalities shift funding from detention to STSJP at the time the plan is being developed; however, municipalities are permitted to shift funds at any time during the program year.

If detention funds need to be shifted after an STSJP plan has been approved, the municipality must submit a written request and amended STSJP plan to the STSJP mailbox (stsjp@ocfs.ny.gov). The amended plan must include the amount of funding the municipality wishes to shift (the local and state share breakdown) and declare for what programs or services the further funding will be used. The plan will be reviewed, and an approval will be sent to the lead agency contact as appropriate.

What programs and services can be funded with STSJP funds?

STSJP is used by municipalities to fund local programs meant to prevent detention and placement, including replacement of eligible youth. These programs and services support reliance on the least restrictive option consistent with public safety to address the needs of the youth and the families who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Funds can be used for a wide variety of services to divert youth, who are alleged or adjudicated to be, or at risk of becoming a person in need of supervision (PINS) or juvenile delinquent (JD); or alleged or convicted as a juvenile offender (JO), adolescent offender (AO) or youthful offender (YO) from residential placement or detention. Please see the Programs & Services section for more information.

Can municipalities use in-kind or donated funds to make up their local share?

No. Under New York State law, a municipality must use its own funds to fulfill its local share.

How should claims be submitted?

All STSJP and STSJP-RTA claims must be submitted electronically via the Juvenile Detention Automated System (JDAS). Questions on all aspects of the claiming process should be directed to the STSJP mailbox at stsjp@ocfs.ny.gov.

How is the STSJP plan aligned with the PINS diversion plan already submitted by municipalities?

New York State law and OCFS policy require that the County Child and Family Services Plan include a PINS component. This component provides information regarding diversion of PINS only, while the STSJP plan is for diversion of JDs, AOs, YOs and JOs, as well as PINS. There may be some overlap in the information provided in the two plans and the plans can be used to inform each other.

Can STSJP funds be used to support PINS diversion services?

Yes. A youth is eligible for PINS diversion services if the youth is at risk of becoming, or there is an attempt or actual petition filed alleging that a youth is a PINS. However, STSJP cannot be used to supplant other existing funding streams that may fund existing PINS diversion services.

Questions regarding the STSJP Annual Plan

How does a municipality determine its plan amount (the total of all programs/services)? Can a municipality submit a plan for a state share that is lower than its allocation?

To calculate a municipality’s total plan amount, divide the STSJP allocation (also known as the state share) by 62 percent (0.62). For example, a municipality with an STSJP allocation of $50,000 will have a total plan amount of $80,645.16. Since the local share is 38 percent of the total program expenses, this example results in a local share of $30,645.16 (that is, $80,645.16 x 0.38).

If a municipality shifts detention funding to STSJP, then the shifted amount is added to the STSJP allocation amount and the calculation is performed the same way. For example, a municipality with an allocation of $40,000 that shifts $24,000 from detention to its STSJP allocation (resulting in $64,000 as an amended STSJP allocation) would generate a total plan amount of $103,225.81 (that is, $64,000 / 0.62).

A municipality may submit a plan asking for state share reimbursement that is lower than its STSJP allocation. For example, a municipality with an STSJP allocation of $40,000 that wanted their total program expenses to equal $40,0000 instead, would be expected to cover a local share of $15,200 (that is, $40,000 x 0.38) with a corresponding state share of $24,800 (that is, $40,000 x 0.62).

If we fund Probation Officers for our various Evening Reporting Center sites as both an ATD and ATP, do we just split the personnel costs between these two program areas since we now need to list them separately?

Yes. The STSJP plan now requires that for these types of services, the personnel costs should be split between Program Types. The goal in approving these applications is to ensure that all services provided through STSJP funds are categorized properly under 1 of the 5 program types: Prevention, Early Intervention, ATD/ATPDP, ATP, or Reentry/Aftercare. There is an option that still exists for the proper designation of Indirect Services, which could include but is not limited to, incentives for youth, assessment services which are not considered an on-going service, consultation services, and coordinator expenditures.

Will municipalities be required to submit any kind of data report?

Yes. The goal of the STSJP application process is to ensure that when municipalities consider funding programming, salient data has been used to inform that process, so a municipality should use all data that it has available at the time of the application process.

What are examples of prosocial activities under Prevention and Early Intervention?

The Prevention domain is intended for youth with no prior juvenile justice system contact BUT have characteristics that place them at risk for future juvenile justice contact, while Early Intervention is intended for youth who have entered the juvenile justice system and remain at the diversion level. Characteristics of youth in these domains include pervasive truancy, at risk of dropping out of school, facing a long-term school suspension, or behavioral health concerns and family risk factors. Prevention and Early Intervention programs should seek to build the protective factors for the at-risk youth they serve. Prosocial activities are frequently offered through Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, YWCA, or art programs, in addition to Job/Career training agencies and structured community activities.

See the OCFS Division of Youth Development and Partnership for Success website and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for more ideas on selecting prosocial programming that fits the STSJP continuum of services.