President’s Request Supports Department’s Critical Counterterrorism and Intelligence Efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today announced that the President’s FY 2008 budget proposal for the Department of Justice (DOJ) is $21.8 billion in discretionary funding. The President’s overall FY 2008 budget requests $227 million in program increases and directed state and local assistance for counterterrorism and intelligence programs, reflecting the Department of Justice’s continued and expanding focus on national security and the prevention of terrorist attacks.
“For those of us at the Department of Justice, every day is September 12th, and every day requires a sustained commitment to combating terrorism and protecting our homeland,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “The resources requested in this year’s budget represent the Department of Justice’s commitment to protecting our nation’s security on many fronts. We have made important strides in identifying and prosecuting suspected terrorists, safeguarding children against Internet predators, and protecting communities from the havoc of drugs and gun crime. This budget will robustly support our most efficient, effective and essential programs and functions.”
Since 9/11, the Department has broadened its investigative and prosecutorial mission, and the FY 2008 budget request is aligned with the Department’s major priorities. These priorities and the requested FY 2008 program increases are:
|Preventing and Combating Terrorism||$227 million|
|Preventing Violent Crime||$214 million|
|Drugs and Border Security||$89 million|
|Crimes Against Children and Obscenity||$25 million|
|Judicial System Support and Incarceration||$152 million|
|Enforcing Federal Laws in the Courts||$33 million|
|Management and Information Technology||$75 million|
Further, the FY 2008 budget includes a total program level of $1.234 billion for state and local assistance.
PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY PREVENTING TERRORIST ACTS
Preventing, investigating and prosecuting terrorist acts is the Department of Justice’s top priority. The budget request reflects the Department’s commitment to identifying, tracking and dismantling terrorist cells in the U.S. and overseas by bolstering counterterrorism and counterintelligence activities and by improving coordination of national security functions. Since the passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Department has enhanced its counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities through improvements to its infrastructure and innovative program changes. The FY 2008 budget builds on these initiatives by providing funding for the FBI’s national security field investigations, and its recently-created Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate and National Security Branch. Additionally, the budget recognizes the FBI’s critical need for modernized technical capabilities, and it provides for information technology and forensic investigative and analytical improvements. The FY 2008 budget also includes funding to institute two additional offices within DOJ’s new National Security Division to formalize and enhance the Division’s crisis management and policy and legal analysis capacities, and provides resources for operations and oversight of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) processes. In total, the budget provides $231 million in program increases, including the following:
National Security Division
The National Security Division’s total budget request for FY 2008 is $78 million including $6.6 million in program increases such as:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Since FY 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s total budget has doubled. For FY 2008, the FBI’s total budget is $6.431 billion, including 231 new counterterrorism and intelligence agents and $217 million in program increases such as:
PREVENTING VIOLENT CRIME
Violent gun crime and weapons trafficking continue to be significant law enforcement problems throughout the nation, and the Department of Justice remains invested in pursuing violent offenders and reclaiming communities from the scourge of gangs and gun crime. The Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) initiative, announced by the President and the Attorney General in 2001, is a comprehensive strategy that brings together multiple agencies to reduce gun crime in our communities. The initiative aims to improve the coordination and communication between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to enhance each agency’s capability to prevent and prosecute violent crime. The FY 2008 budget request includes funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ (ATF) Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative and its Firearms Tracking Teams, as well as funding for the United States Attorneys’ aggressive prosecution of gang members. The budget also supports the newly-launched GangTECC, an Administration program designed to work with the National Gang Intelligence Center to coordinate the Department’s anti-gang strategy among its components. In total, the budget provides $214 million to address violent crime, including the following:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF)
Gang Targeting Enforcement Coordination Center (GangTECC)
DRUGS AND BORDER SECURITY
In March 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft announced a comprehensive six-part
drug enforcement strategy for DOJ. This strategy uses the combined talent and
expertise of all federal law enforcement agencies to identify and target the
most significant drug supply organizations. The
FY 2008 President’s budget recognizes the nexus between drug control and national security by supporting intelligence sharing between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and key counterterrorism partners. Additionally, the FY 2008 budget provides funding to expand investigative and prosecutorial efforts by several DOJ components along the Southwest border, in support of the Administration’s focus on border security and targeted enforcement. In total, the budget provides $89 million in program increases, including the following:
Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement/Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)
Drug Enforcement Administration
U.S. Marshals Service
CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN AND OBSCENITY
DOJ is committed to fighting child pornography and obscenity, protecting children from trafficking, and preventing all forms of child exploitation. The Department works with other law enforcement agencies to target, apprehend and prosecute child molesters and those who traffic in child pornography. In 2006, the Department charged 1,658 individuals and obtained 1,386 guilty pleas and convictions in criminal cases involving predation against children. The FY 2008 budget provides program increases totaling $12.5 million for Attorney General Gonzales’ Project Safe Childhood initiative, which targets purveyors of child pornography and obscenity. The FY 2008 President’s request also provides funding for efforts to pursue child obscenity and abduction cases, as well as for aggressive efforts against online child pornographers and molesters. Finally, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 directs the Department to collaborate with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to target and take into custody the approximately 100,000 non-compliant sex offenders who are believed to be living in the United States. The FY 2008 budget provides $12.8 million in program increases for the United States Marshals Service and the Bureau of Prisons to implement sex offender tracking and management initiatives that comply with the Walsh Act.
In total, the budget provides $25.4 million in program increases for crimes against children and obscenity.
JUDICIAL SYSTEM SUPPORT AND INCARCERATION
As a result of successful law enforcement policies targeting terrorism, violent crime, and drug crimes, the number of criminal suspects appearing in federal court and the number of individuals detained and incarcerated continue to grow. Through the United States Marshals Service (USMS), the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT), and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the Department of Justice ensures that federal criminals are safely and cost-effectively incarcerated and detained, and the FY 2008 budget provides funding to improve each component’s ability to manage the increasing detention population.
The FY 2008 President’s budget requests $142 million to expand prison capacity by completing the first phase of the activation of a new prison in Pollock, La., and by completing a current prison project in Mendota, Cal. The FY 2008 budget also provides funding for BOP to expand the number of contract prison beds by 1,079. Additionally, the FY 2008 budget provides $10.4 million to the United States Marshals Service to improve judicial security in high-threat trials and vulnerable judicial districts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia, which hosted the Zacarias Moussaoui proceeding in 2006.
In total, the budget provides $152 million in program increases for detention and incarceration.
ENFORCING FEDERAL LAWS IN THE COURTS
The Department of Justice is charged with enforcing federal laws and safeguarding the rights and interests of the American people. As the nation’s top prosecutor and litigator, DOJ’s legal activities resources contribute directly to its ability to enforce and uphold federal statutes in court. Legislative changes frequently require the Department to revise its programs and its focus to accommodate an increased law enforcement and litigation workload. Accordingly, the FY 2008 budget provides $21.6 million to expand the FBI’s DNA collection and indexing programs based on the requirements specified in the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
DOJ legal activities also align with top Administration priorities, and the FY 2008 budget provides $5.2 million for the Tax Division to enhance ďOperation Continued Follow-Through,Ē which is a tax law enforcement initiative that supports the Presidentís focus on reducing tax fraud. In total, the FY 2008 budget provides $33 million in program increases for the Department of Justiceís federal law enforcement efforts.
MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The Department of Justice relies on innovative management practices and information technology systems to ensure that resources are used efficiently and effectively in support of key national security and law enforcement activities. The Department continues to evaluate its programs and operations with the goals of achieving both component-specific and departmental economies of scale, increased efficiencies, and cost savings/offsets to permit funding for critical law enforcement initiatives.
The FY 2008 Presidentís budget advances these goals by ensuring an interoperable environment within the Department, and by forging information-sharing mechanisms with other law enforcement and homeland security partners. As the Departmentís primary member of the Intelligence Community (IC), the FBI requires the ability to contribute to and benefit from the multi-agency pool of knowledge that the IC generates. The FY 2008 budget provides $47.5 million to advance the FBIís data intake, information sharing, and IT project management mechanisms, as well as $11.5 million to improve the organizationís data storage and work facilities.
Additionally, the FY 2008 Presidentís budget provides $514,000 to improve Interpolís law enforcement information-sharing capabilities with its key state and local partners, as well as with the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. The budget provides $74.5 million in new management and information technology (IT) program increases and $58.6 million in IT improvements across DOJ components and programs, for a total of $133.2 million in IT program increases.
STATE AND LOCAL ASSISTANCE
DOJís FY 2008 budget contains over $1.234 billion in discretionary grant assistance to state, local, and tribal governments, and creates four new competitive grant programs. These programs will address the violent crime problem that communities face, and will provide states, localities, and tribes with considerable flexibility to address their most critical needs. Consolidation of the grant programs will also allow the Department to respond in a more targeted way to local up-ticks in the crime rate. The four grant categories and their amounts are: