U.S. Department of Justice Seal Strategic Plan 2000 - 2005

USDOJ Homepage Strategic Plan Homepage A Message from the Attorney General FY 1999 Annual Accountability Report
FY 2001 Performance Plan Table of Contents Introduction Chapter I
Chapter II Goal One Goal Two Goal Three
Goal Four Goal Five Goal Six Goal Seven
Chapter III External Factors Appendix A Appendix B
Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E Appendix F



Despite the significant increase in the federal crime-fighting role in recent years, most of the responsibility for crime control rests at the state and local levels of government. State and local governments do most of the criminal justice work and spend most of the criminal justice resources. Additionally, tribal law enforcement agencies and courts play an increasing role in crime control, as do a host of other public and private organizations. A key role of the Department is to provide leadership and support to these efforts in order to further develop the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime and administer justice fairly and effectively. The Department works toward this goal principally through an extensive and varied portfolio of criminal and juvenile justice grant-in-aid programs, training, and technical assistance. It also builds knowledge and understanding about crime and justice by conducting research, collecting statistics, and testing and evaluating new programs and technologies. Most of these efforts are carried out by three components: the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and the Community Relations Service (CRS). In addition, other Justice components (including the U.S. Attorneys, the FBI and the DEA) provide training, share information and offer specialized support services.

Strategic Objective 2.1 LAW ENFORCEMENT - - Improve the crime fighting and criminal justice system capabilities of state, tribal and local governments.

As noted above, the Department believes that crime is primarily a local problem and that the best way to address this problem is by building partnerships with, and providing resources and leadership to, state, tribal and local governments in improving the functioning of the nation's criminal justice system.

Strategies to Achieve the Objective

Provide funding to support state and local criminal justice system initiatives.

The Department administers a number of grant programs to support state and local law enforcement. These include block and formula grants that preserve state and local discretion in allocating monies among broad purpose areas.

Focus resources to reduce crime and improve criminal justice services and operations in Indian Country.

American Indians are the victims of violent crime at more than twice the rate of all U.S. residents. Moreover, Indian Country has been plagued by substandard law enforcement services. To correct this situation, the Department is focusing its resources on Indian Country. Part of this effort involves direct federal action (see strategic objective 1.1), but part also involves providing grants, training, and technical assistance to support and strengthen tribal law enforcement and criminal justice systems.

Improve the capacity of the nation's "first responder" community to respond to terrorist incidents, including those involving weapons of mass destruction, by providing consultation, training, equipment and other assistance.

While the Federal Government plays a major role in preventing and responding to terrorist incidents, the state and local public safety community are the "first responders." Yet most state and local governments lack the specialized equipment and skills needed to respond effectively, especially to attacks involving chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. In coordination with the FBI's National Domestic Preparedness Office, OJP sponsors training for "first responders" and provides grants to help states and localities obtain needed equipment.

Improve the capacity of state and local law enforcement to respond to emerging or specialized crime issues, such as white collar crime and computer-related crime, by providing targeted training, technical assistance, or other technology innovations.

The Department assists state and local governments in responding to new and emerging crime threats and opportunities in a variety of ways, including research, information sharing, and training. In recent years, the Department has focused on helping state and local governments deal with the challenges of computer-related and white collar crimes that often require sophisticated investigative and prosecutorial skills. For example, the FBI and OJP are working together to distribute the Automated Case Examination System (ACES) to state and local law enforcement officials to aid them in processing digital evidence in computer-related crime, including health care fraud.

Provide direct technical support to state, tribal and local law enforcement, when appropriate.

The Department provides direct support and technical assistance to assist state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies in a number of ways. These include conducting fingerprint checks under the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), criminal history checks through the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and background checks on prospective firearm purchasers using the National Instant Background Check System (NICS); matching DNA profiles through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), including the Mitochondrial DNA database being created within CODIS; and developing state systems which support and interface with these national programs.

Develop and support programs and services that target the reduction of the incidence and consequences of family violence, including domestic violence and child victimization.

Under the Violence Against Women Act, the Department plays a major role in the national effort to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and related types of violence. One of our most important aims is to transform how the criminal justice system responds to these crimes. As a result, the Department provides grants to establish programs that create an integrated, coordinated and strengthened response that actively involves all components of the criminal justice system, victim advocates and service providers, and the community as a whole.

Build knowledge about crime and justice by conducting research and evaluation, developing and testing new technologies, gathering statistics, and disseminating results.

The Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the principal federal agency for research on crime. Its role is to build knowledge and develop the tools and technologies that will help the criminal justice community as a whole (federal, state, tribal, local, and international) prevent and control crime and administer justice. Similarly, the Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is the principal federal agency for collecting and reporting statistics on crime and the operation of our justice systems. It also assists state and local governments in the development of justice information systems and the collection, analysis, and dissemination of justice statistics.

Key Crosscutting Programs

Indian Country. All Department of Justice Indian Country initiatives are coordinated with the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Counter-terrorism. The Federal Government's domestic preparedness activities are coordinated by the National Domestic Preparedness Office within the FBI. In carrying out its state and local assistance activities, the Department works with the Department of Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Domestic Violence. The Department works with the HHS to examine the causes of and provide prevention and intervention services for violence against women and violence within the family.

Developing and Testing New Technologies. Dual-use technologies are being deployed to support both national defense and law enforcement needs through an ongoing partnership between the Justice Department and the Department of Defense.

Strategic Objective 2.2 JUVENILE JUSTICE - - Reduce youth crime and victimization through targeted programs that emphasize both prevention and enforcement.

Young people are both the perpetrators and victims of violent crime. For example, arrest rates for violent crimes among those aged 15-17 climbed sharply beginning in the late 1980s. (18) Although they have fallen off since the mid 1990s, youth crime rates remain high and school shootings and other high profile incidents have heightened public concern. At the same time, children and youth are vulnerable to being victimized. From 1986 to 1993, the number of juveniles abused and neglected doubled. (19) In 1993, the number of juveniles murdered peaked at 2,900. By 1997, it had dropped to 2,100 but remained still substantially above the levels of the mid 1980s when about 1,600 juveniles were murdered annually. Murder is the second leading cause of death for youth 15-24 years of age. (20)

Within the Department, lead responsibility for responding to the problems of youth crime and victimization rests with OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OJJDP provides leadership, conducts research, and provides financial and other assistance to state, tribal and local governments to improve their juvenile justice systems and implement effective prevention and enforcement programs.

Strategies to Achieve the Objective

Provide financial assistance (formula and block grants) to eligible states to support improvements in their juvenile justice systems.

OJJDP provides formula grants to states that comply with certain statutory requirements related to the handling of juveniles, including requirements to confine juveniles separately from adults. In addition, OJJDP provides incentive block grants to states that have taken steps to strengthen the accountability of juvenile offenders for their acts.

Support targeted early intervention and prevention programs that reduce the impact of negative (risk) factors and enhance the influence of positive (protective) factors in the lives of youth at greatest risk of delinquency.

Research has shown that early intervention and positive adult support make a difference. Among the intervention and prevention activities supported by OJJDP are mentoring programs that link at-risk youth with responsible adults to provide guidance, promote personal and social responsibility, discourage gang involvement, and encourage participation in community service and activities. Also included are programs to reduce the illegal use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, decrease truancy, and increase healthy child development (Safe Schools/Healthy Students).

Support targeted and comprehensive programs to counter youth violence.

This strategy includes programs to reduce gun-related violence, decrease gang membership, and increase school safety. It also includes efforts to encourage communities to develop comprehensive strategies for dealing with serious, violent, and chronic offenders that emphasize a continuum of programs and services.

Focus resources to reduce youth crime and improve juvenile justice operations and services in Indian Country.

To address the significant juvenile justice issues in Indian Country, financial and technical assistance and training will be provided to tribal governments to support prevention initiatives and make juvenile justice system improvements.

Build knowledge about crime and delinquency.

The Department's OJJDP is the principal federal agency for research on juvenile crime and delinquency. Its mission is to provide national leadership, coordination, and support to prevent juvenile victimization and respond appropriately to juvenile delinquency. Through its research, testing, and evaluation programs, OJJDP develops the tools and knowledge necessary to support communities in preventing and controlling crime and delinquency and administering justice.

Key Crosscutting Programs

Safe Schools/Healthy Students Program. This is a collaborative interagency initiative where the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education have pooled resources and created one, unified application process to enable school districts to apply for an array of funding to implement comprehensive strategies to address school violence.

Drug-Free Communities Support Program. In conjunction with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Department provides grants to support community coalitions of youth, parents, media, law enforcement, school officials, religious organizations, and other community representatives. These coalitions work to prevent and reduce young people's illegal use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

SafeCities Network. This Network seeks to form performance partnerships between the Federal Government and community-based groups to reduce gun violence. It is a joint undertaking the Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) of the Treasury Department, other federal agencies, and the private sector.

Strategic Objective 2.3 SUBSTANCE ABUSE - - Break the cycle of substance abuse and crime through testing, treatment, and sanctions.

The link between substance abuse (both drugs and alcohol) and crime has been well established by research. For example, surveys find that 30-40 percent of jail inmates, prisoners, and probationers report being under the influence of alcohol immediately prior to or during the commission of their offenses. Among arrestees, those charged with violent crimes (as opposed to property, drug, or other offenses) are more likely to have reported recent use of alcohol than to test positive for use of an illegal substance. (21)

Drug use and crime are also closely linked, although there is considerable uncertainty about the degree to which drug use causes crime or, conversely, criminal involvement causes drug use. Illustrative of the nexus between crime and drugs is the fact that BJS surveys reveal that in 1996, about 82 percent of all jail inmates said that they had ever used drugs. (22) In 1997, 73 percent of federal prisoners and 83 percent of state prisoners reported prior drug use. This is compared to 36 percent of the general population who reported having ever used an illicit drug during their lifetimes. (23) Similarly, in 1998 prisoners sentenced for drug offenses (mainly drug trafficking) constituted the largest group of federal inmates (58 percent), up from 53 percent in 1990. (24) The percentage of state prisoners held for drug offenses was nearly 21 percent in 1998. (25)

Strategies to Achieve the Objective

Monitor and conduct research on substance use by criminal offenders (Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring System - - ADAM).

ADAM is a research program that provides program planning and policy information on drug use by arrestees. Through interviews and drug testing, communities are able to continue to assess the dimensions of their particular substance abuse problems, evaluate interventions with offender populations, and plan appropriate policy or program responses.

Support programs providing drug testing, treatment and graduated sanctions for persons under the supervision of the criminal system.

The Department's strategy on how to effectively combat the relationship between substance abuse and crime is largely rooted in research and program experience which indicate that combining criminal justice sanctions with substance abuse treatment is effective in decreasing drug and alcohol use and related crime -- leveraging the coercive power of the system to impose sanctions and provide treatment. Illustrations of this strategy are the Drug Courts program and the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program. Drug Courts use the coercive power of the court to force abstinence and alter behavior. This approach integrates the power of the court with substance abuse treatment, collateral services, judicial supervision, escalating sanctions, mandatory drug testing, and strong aftercare programs to teach responsibility and help offenders reenter the community. Key to their effectiveness in "breaking the cycle" is the collaboration established between the criminal justice and substance abuse treatment systems. RSAT provides individual and group treatment activities for offenders in state and local prisons and jails.

Prevent juvenile use and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Young Americans are especially vulnerable to drug abuse. Moreover, studies have shown that underage use of alcohol correlates with later adult drug use. The Department works to prevent juvenile use and abuse of drugs and alcohol through a variety of educational and public outreach programs.

Key Crosscutting Programs

The Department coordinates its substance abuse treatment programs with the HHS' Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and ONDCP.

Strategic Objective 2.4 VICTIMS OF CRIME - - Uphold the rights of, and improve services to, America's crime victims.

One of the major changes in America's response to crime in the last three decades is the recognition of rights and needs of crime victims. In 1984, Congress enacted the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) which authorized the establishment of a Crime Victims Fund in the U.S. Treasury and authorized direct services programs and national-scope training and technical assistance efforts on behalf of crime victims. The Fund is comprised of fines, penalties, and bond forfeitures collected from convicted federal offenders. With the passage of VOCA, the Department provides leadership and advocates for the rights and needs of crime victims through policy development, funding promising practices, monitoring compliance with federal victims' rights statutes, and public awareness and education activities intended to promote justice for crime victims.

Strategies to Achieve the Objective

Provide financial and technical assistance (including training) to meet the needs of crime victims.

Formula grants are provided to the states to support victim compensation and assistance programs. Crime victim compensation programs assist victims in paying medical and mental health, funeral, and other expenses, as well as providing lost wages and loss of support. Victim assistance funds are awarded to domestic violence shelters, child abuse treatment programs, rape crisis centers, and criminal justice-based victim assistance programs which provide crisis counseling, advocacy and intervention, shelter, and other emergency services for crime victims. In addition, training and technical assistance, through discretionary grants and contracts to private, nonprofit organizations, is provided for a wide variety of professionals who interface with crime victims at the national, international, state, military, tribal, and local levels.

Support programs to meet the particular needs of child victims, including those who are missing, abused or neglected.

Every day about 2,200 children are reported missing to law enforcement. Most of these are runaways. Some are abducted by a noncustodial parent. Some are lost and still others are victims of predators. The Department's Missing Children's Program coordinates the federal response to this problem. It supports research and demonstration programs, provides training and technical assistance, and maintains a national resource center and clearinghouse. Funds are provided under the Crime Victims Fund program to assist states and tribal governments in the handling of child abuse cases. In addition, the Office for Victims of Crime (in Indian Country) and the OJJDP support the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program for abused and neglected children.

Develop knowledge about the needs of child victims, including those who are missing, abused, or neglected.

The Department will conduct research and evaluation to generate new knowledge about the needs of child victims. It will also develop and test new strategies, gather statistics, and disseminate information to the research and practitioner communities.

Key Crosscutting Programs

Activities focused on providing services and assistance to victims of federal crimes are coordinated with the Department components (the DEA, FBI, USAs, INS and Civil Rights Division) and other federal agencies. These activities are described further under Strategic Objective 6.3.

Strategic Objective 2.5 COMMUNITY SERVICES - - Support innovative, community-based programs aimed at reducing crime and violence in our communities.

Although crime is a national problem, it is more directly and immediately a community problem. Community-based programs work to empower communities, build safer and healthier neighborhoods, and strengthen social and familial ties. Research has shown that one of the most effective ways to reduce crime is through community-based programs. Key to these programs is the establishment of collaborative partnerships among criminal justice agencies, other private and public organizations (e.g., schools, religious center, tribal colleges), and the residents and groups within a given community. These partnerships enable the resources of all these diverse parties to be directed toward solving specific crime problems and help ensure that local residents and organizations who best understand their own needs and resource requirements are given the tools to accomplish their goals.

Strategies to Achieve the Objective

Encourage community-based approaches to crime and justice at the state and local level by comprehensive and collaborative programs such as Weed and Seed.

Community-based initiatives provide for community involvement in the choice, design, and implementation of programs, flexible use of federal funding, and the creative mixing of local and federal resources. The Weed and Seed program is the Department's flagship effort in community-based efforts to prevent and control violent crime and provide a safe environment in which community residents can live, work, and raise their families. The approach couples intensified geographically-targeted law enforcement efforts with community-focused human services programs and neighborhood improvement initiatives. "Weeding" includes law enforcement efforts to remove violent offenders, drug traffickers, and other criminals from the target areas. "Seeding" includes human services and neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Support community policing initiatives.

Community policing is a strategy that builds on fundamental policing practices but shifts from a reactive to a proactive mode. In community policing, the emphasis is on prevention and problem-solving. It is also on forging strong collaborative partnerships between the police and the community. Community policing opens lines of communication between police and community residents and engages them in mutually supportive efforts to identify and resolve problems. The Department has supported community policing over the years through research and demonstration programs and, more recently, through funding to hire and deploy police officers.

Support community justice initiatives.

"Community justice" refers to a variety of non-traditional approaches to criminal justice activities, including prosecution and corrections. Largely an extension of the ideas underlying community policing, community justice programs are characterized by a commitment to partnership with the community and a focus on problem-solving.

Assist communities in responding to and resolving racial and ethnic tension.

Through CRS, the Department will continue to provide conflict resolution, conflict prevention and resolution training, and technical assistance to communities.

Key Crosscutting Programs

In implementing its community-based programs the Department works closely with other federal agencies, including the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education.


The Department does not face any mission-critical management problems or challenges which would significantly hinder the Department from achieving this strategic goal.

18Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, annually.

19Snyder, Howard N. and Melissa Sickmund, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, September 1999.

20OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/index.html.

21Greenfeld, Lawrence A., Alcohol and Crime, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 1998.

22Harlow, Christine Wolf, Profile of Jail Inmates, 1996, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 1998. [as presented in BJS, Drugs and Crime Facts. Online. Available: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/correct.htm]

23Mumola, Christopher J., Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 1999. [as presented in BJS, Drugs and Crime Facts. Online. Available: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/correct.htm]

24Bureau of Justice Statistics, Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics, 1998, Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2000. [as presented in BJS, Drugs and Crime Facts. Online. Available: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/correct.htm]

25Beck, Alan J., and Christopher J. Mumola, Prisoners in 1998, Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 1999. [as presented in BJS, Drugs and Crime Facts. Online. Available: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/correct.htm]


FY 2000 -- 2005 Strategic Plan
U.S. Department of Justice


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