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Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Please describe how your agency is structured.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) was established by state law and serves as the justice planning and policymaking agency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The agency is overseen by an overarching Commission comprised of statutorily appointed members covering a wide range of systems, perspectives, and expertise related to the agency’s mission. To better inform the Commission in its work, PCCD is comprised of seven Advisory Committees, the School Safety and Security Committee, and two Training Boards which bring together subject matter experts to facilitate partnerships among federal, state, and local leaders, foster interagency coordination and cooperation, and develop standards and recommendations for policy and practice. 


PCCD is responsible for the full spectrum of the justice system – both juvenile and criminal justice – as well as overseeing Pennsylvania’s victims’ services and compensation programs. The agency also administers a growing portfolio of youth-focused initiatives, including school safety and mental health grants and programming, as well as emerging public safety issues, like responding to the evolving overdose crisis and addressing gun violence. Additionally, PCCD oversees initial and ongoing training and certification for justice-related professionals and supports a wide range of trainings on topics like victims’ services, school safety, behavioral health, and other issues. 


Please list the federal and state grants your agency administers.

In FY 2022-23, PCCD administered 43 state and federal grant programs, and awarded approximately $583 million to support 1,857 grant projects across the Commonwealth – more than double the number of projects in the prior year (650).


State Programs

  • Child Advocacy Centers

  • Endowment Act (Child Advocacy Centers)

  • Intermediate Punishment Treatment Programs

  • Indigent Defense Grant Program

  • Improvement of Adult Probation Services

  • Justice Reinvestment Fund – Victim Services

  • Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program

  • School Safety & Security Grant Program

  • School Mental Health Grants

  • Targeted School Safety Grants

  • Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund

  • Victims of Juvenile Offenders

  • Violence and Delinquency Prevention Programs

  • Violence Intervention and Prevention Program

  • Crime Victim Services and Compensation

  • First Chance Trust Fund

  • Medical Marijuana Act

  • Act 80 (Jail-based Vivitrol)


Federal Programs

  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act grant program

  • National Criminal History Improvement Program

  • Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program

  • Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program SORNA Reallocation

  • Edward Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program

  • Project Safe Neighborhoods

  • Residential Substance Abuse Treatment

  • John R. Justice Program

  • Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program

  • State Opioid Response funds

  • Adam Walsh Act Sex Offender Registration and Notification Implementation

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvements 

  • STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program

  • National Instant Criminal Background Check Act Record Improvement Program

  • Victims of Crime Act Victim Compensation Program

  • Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Program

  • Body-worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program

  • Building Local Continuums of Care to Support Youth Success

  • Statistical Analysis Center

  • Children’s Justice Act

  • Sexual Assault Services Program

  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA

  • Smart Probation: Innovations in Supervision

  • State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

Please list your top three current priority or focus areas.


Gun Violence

Under the leadership of PCCD’s Chair Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, PCCD works every day to advance strategies to address the public safety crisis of gun violence through grants and funding, technical assistance, community and stakeholder engagement, as well as data and research. PCCD’s successful Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIP) is the keystone of our gun violence reduction and community violence intervention (CVI) efforts. The program supports a wide range of effective, community-led strategies to prevent gun violence and address its impacts – from street outreach and violence interruption programs to trauma-informed victim services to neighborhood revitalization efforts, among others. Since the VIP Grant program began in 2021, more than 250 projects across the Commonwealth have been approved for a combined total of approximately $185 million in state and federal grant funding to prevent, intervene in, and reduce gun and group-related violence, helping to make Pennsylvania communities safer. 


PCCD has also supported capacity building efforts for community-based organizations working on the front lines of this issue through the launch of the statewide “PA Peace Alliance” initiative, which offers technical assistance, networking, and training at no cost through a partnership with WestEd’s Justice & Prevention Research Center and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). More information about PCCD’s gun violence prevention initiatives is available on our website.


Juvenile Justice & Youth-focused Initiatives

PCCD serves as Pennsylvania’s designated state planning agency for juvenile justice and delinquency prevention and also administers a number of school safety and other youth-focused initiatives. Every two years, PCCD is tasked by state law to prepare and update a comprehensive juvenile justice and delinquency prevention plan on behalf of the Commonwealth based on an analysis of the current statewide trends, challenges, and opportunities to improve outcomes for youth and promote safer, healthier communities. PCCD’s 2024 Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Plan was adopted earlier this year by the agency’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, and provides an up-to-date view of data, trends, key issues, priorities, and recommendations for the Commonwealth. This Plan was developed through a comprehensive strategic planning process involving nearly a year of research, information gathering, and collection of feedback from experts and key stakeholders in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system. That included surveying youth, families, community members, and juvenile justice and other allied professionals to identify the biggest challenges facing young people and the communities they live in that should be addressed through state-level action.  


Ensuring that Pennsylvania youth feel safe and supported within the walls of their school is also a top priority of the Shapiro-Davis Administration and PCCD. Since 2018, PCCD’s School Safety and Security Grant Program has awarded nearly $655 million to school entities statewide to enhance physical security and mental/behavioral health services. Earlier this year, PCCD’s School Safety and Security Committee awarded $155 million to support improved safety and security and mental health supports for students and staff in Pennsylvania’s public and private K-12 schools. 


Additionally, PCCD leads the Commonwealth’s efforts to boost substance use and violence prevention programming for youth and administers the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS). The survey asks students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 questions about their school environment and their knowledge and attitudes towards mental health, alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and violence. PAYS is free for all Pennsylvania and findings can help school districts implement programs that address youth development and appropriate prevention programming, develop the right strategies to keep student safety a priority, and give students a voice on what’s occurring in their schools, community environment, and family lives.


Intersections of Behavioral Health and the Justice System

Improving service coordination and access for individuals with mental health, behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, and substance use disorders who encounter PCCD-engaged systems is a top priority for our agency. Established in 2009 in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DHS/OMHSAS), PCCD’s Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee (MHJAC) leads initiatives to enhance services and outcomes for justice-involved individuals with behavioral health issues. These initiatives include programs funded by Pennsylvania’s Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (SCIP), as well as other state-supported efforts. MHJAC oversees PCCD-supported training for law enforcement and behavioral health specialists, including Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model implementation and training, and collaborates with experts in mental health and criminal justice diversion to guide system changes, action planning, and the promotion of effective programs statewide. 


MHJAC also leads the implementation of Pennsylvania’s nationally-recognized Stepping Up Initiative, which launched in 2015 as a partnership between the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, National Association of Counties, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. PCCD established the Pennsylvania Stepping Up Technical Assistance Center in 2019, becoming the first state in the nation to provide free technical assistance supports to counties to reduce the overrepresentation of people with serious mental illness in their jails. Today, more than half of Pennsylvania’s counties have passed Stepping Up resolutions, and dozens have engaged with the Technical Assistance Center to improve their efforts. 


PCCD, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC), has also supported initiatives like problem-solving courts, specialty drug courts, and other diversionary programs offering alternatives to incarceration, as well as jail-based medication assisted treatment (MAT) programs. Thanks to these collaborative efforts and investments, the number of individuals served through PCCD’s County Jail-based MAT Program has increased by 1,454 percent since FY 2018-19.


What is the main thing you would like other NCJA members to know about your agency? 

Like other State Administering Agencies, oversight of federal and state funds is one of our agency’s biggest responsibilities, and one that’s grown considerably in recent years as we’ve received more and more funds from Pennsylvania’s General Assembly as well as at the federal level.


To put this into perspective, last year, PCCD awarded approximately $583 million in state and federal funds – more than double our agency’s grantmaking just five years ago and nearly six times higher than what our agency awarded a decade ago. 


PCCD is extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve more Pennsylvanians through these investments. The significant increase in dollars administered by PCCD is reflective of the trust that has been earned as an agency committed to ensuring quality and impact since our inception. 

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