Excerpt from Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder on the Department of Justice's Priorities and Mission, April 25, 2011

[W]e will protect Americans from the violent crimes that have ravaged too many communities, devastated too many families, and stolen too many promising futures.  One of the key ways we will strengthen violent crime prevention is by increasing our support for the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line each day to keep our communities safe.  Although we can all be encouraged that violent crime rates are down nationwide, it is clear that more work remains to be done.  In recent months, we have seen an alarming spike in officer fatalities and the number of line-of-duty law enforcement deaths.  This is appalling and unacceptable.  And it is why we will continue making investments to provide life-saving equipment, training, and information-sharing capabilities to our courageous men and women in the field.

We also will invest in scientific research to make certain that this Department is both tough and smart on crime, and that our decisions are economically sound.  This means working closely with state, local, and tribal partners.  It also means broadening our support for effective crime prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry strategies.  By better understanding the cycle of violence – and by applying targeted solutions at every phase of it – we can stop and disrupt violent patterns.  This work could not be more urgent.  Today, 1 in every 100 American adults is incarcerated – and two-thirds of those who transition out of our jails and prisons eventually are rearrested.  This is not acceptable.  Helping our young people avoid lives of violence and crime – and providing support to those who’ve served their time and are struggling to rejoin and contribute to their communities – is not just a proven public safety approach.  It is an economic imperative.  And it is our moral obligation.

Effectively combating violent crime also demands that – with the help and leadership of our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, as well as the FBI, ATF, DEA, and Marshals Service – we continue to crack down on the gang-, gun-, and drug-fueled violence that menaces our streets and threatens our communities.  Through intelligence-driven, threat-based prosecutions – we will focus on dismantling criminal organizations and putting them out of business for good.  In so doing, we will fight to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are not lawfully allowed to possess them.