Justice

Child-focused Justice spending in the state budget funds a combination of special advocates and special court systems that provide separate or enhanced pathways for resolving the legal issues that affect children. See also the Juvenile Justice portion of the Human Services section of this Children's Budget.

The Justice section of the Children's Budget has two separate parts.

Child Advocacy funding supports several independent state offices that coordinate with state agencies and other organizations to assure the health and welfare of children and youth in Massachusetts.

Courts and Legal Assistance accounts fund juvenile prosecutions and defense, the enforcement of child support orders as well as the efforts of the Probate and Family Court to protect children from actual or potential harm.

In addition to these, each of the regional District Attorneys' offices is directed to use an unspecified portion of its annual appropriation to fund its victim and witness assistance program, child abuse and sexual assault prosecution program, and domestic violence unit. Similarly, a portion of the Department of Revenue's annual appropriation is used to fund its Child Support Enforcement Unit. Because these child-specific programs are not funded through separate line items, we do not include them in the Children's Budget.

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