Justice Department Announces Plan to Administer Grant Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2024 to Strengthen Community Safety
Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that President Obama’s FY 2014 Budget proposal totaling $27.6 billion for the Department of Justice identifies over $561.4 million in efficiencies, savings and rescissions while providing resources to increase critical national security programs, and uphold the department’s traditional missions with an increased focus on gun safety, cyber security, financial and mortgage fraud, immigration laws, civil rights, prisons and detention capacity, and assistance for our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. Although sequestration cut over $1.6 billion from the department’s budget in FY 2013 and creates countless operational challenges, the President’s budget replaces and repeals joint committee enforcement and provides for the department’s key priorities. The request represents a 3 percent increase in budget authority from the FY 2012 enacted level.
“The President’s budget request reflects a strong commitment to building upon the record of progress we have established in fulfilling the Justice Department’s most critical missions. The proposed budget will provide the department with the resources necessary to protect the American people from terrorism and other national security threats; to prevent and respond to violent crime; to enforce the civil rights to which everyone in this country is entitled; to protect the most vulnerable among us; to combat financial and mortgage fraud; and to work alongside key state, local and tribal law enforcement partners in achieving the goals we share,” said Attorney General Holder. “As in previous years, this budget incorporates department-wide savings and efficiencies, but the need for a balanced, bipartisan deficit reduction plan remains an urgent priority. And it is imperative that we eliminate current fiscal uncertainty and ensure that these critical enhancements can be implemented.”
The $27.6 billion budget request includes investments for critical administration priorities, including $4.4 billion to sustain the department’s critical national security mission; $395.1 million to combat gun violence; $92.6 million to increase funding for enforcement of cyber security; $55 million to investigate and prosecute financial and mortgage crimes; $25 million increase to address the growing immigration caseload; $7.5 million increase to prevent human trafficking, hate crimes and police misconduct; and $236.2 million to ensure prisoners and detainees are securely confined. The budget addresses the federal prison population by allowing eligible inmates to earn sentence reductions for good behavior and participation in certain reentry programs, freeing up federal prison space and reducing long-term costs. Finally, the budget continues to foster valued partnerships through state, local and tribal assistance to enhance public safety, protect women and children, and reduce recidivism.
The Department of Justice’s key priorities include:
· $4.4 billion for national security;
· $395.1 million to protect Americans from gun violence;
· $92.6 million enhancement for cyber security;
· $55 million increase for investigating and prosecuting financial and mortgage fraud;
· $25 million increase to support immigration laws;
· $258.6 million to help meet the Nation’s civil rights challenges;
· $236.2 million investment for federal prisons and detention;
· $2.3 billion – a net increase of $201.3 million – to maintain assistance to state, local and tribal law enforcement; and
· $561.4 million in federal program offsets and rescissions (includes $236.8 million in efficiencies, savings and offsets and $324.6 in one-time balance rescissions).
Defending our nation’s security from both internal and external threats remains the Department of Justice’s highest priority. The FY 2014 budget request provides a total of $4.4 billion to maintain critical counterterrorism and counterintelligence programs and sustain recent increases for intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities.
The Administration supports critical national security programs within the Department, including those led by the FBI and the National Security Division (NSD). In FY 2012, the FBI dedicated approximately 4,200 agents to investigate more than 33,000 national security cases. NSD has continued to carry out its primary functions to prevent acts of terrorism and espionage in the United States and to facilitate the collection of information regarding the activities of foreign agents and powers.
In FY 2014, the department is investing $14 million to improve intelligence coordination and collection, expand information sharing efforts, and strengthen investigations of national security efforts in order to protect the nation and secure the homeland.
For more information, view the National Security Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/
Gun violence has touched every state, county, city, and town in America. The President laid out a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence and save lives. As part of this effort, the department’s FY 2014 request of $395.1 million, including $173.1 million invested in federal programs and a total of $222 million in grant programs, provides additional resources to combat gun violence and improve the process used to ensure that those prohibited from purchasing or owning guns are kept from doing so. Funding increases are also provided to improve criminal history records information; initiate a new Comprehensive School Safety Program; provide active shooter response training to state and local law enforcement officers, first responders and school officials; and enhance the enforcement of existing gun laws.
Specifically, the request strengthens the national background check system by investing $100 million to double the existing transaction capacity of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This is vital to ensure the NICS system can support a Universal Background Check requirement. We are also taking a thorough look at our federal laws and our enforcement priorities to ensure that we are doing everything possible at the federal level to keep firearms away from traffickers and others prohibited by law from possessing firearms. As directed by the President, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has recently published guidance to federal agencies on how to trace recovered firearms and requests $51.1 million to support additional investigative and regulatory resources as well as improvements to ATF’s tracing system. The department is also requesting $22 million to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network and better support law enforcement’s ability to connect incidents of criminal firearms use.
And while most of the Department’s efforts will be focused on keeping guns out of the wrong hands, we also want to help those on the ground prevent and mitigate violent situations when they do occur. To this end, t he grant program request includes $55 million to improve the submission of state criminal and mental health records to NICS; $150 million to develop and improve school safety plans and enable states to hire additional school resource officers and to purchase school security equipment. It will further provide $2 million to encourage the development of innovative gun safety technology and $15 million for the VALOR Initiative, including training for active shooter situations.
For more information, view Gun Safety Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/
Investigating cybercrime and protecting our nation’s critical network infrastructure is a top priority of the department in an era when cyber-attacks and crimes are increasingly common, sophisticated, and dangerous. The President’s FY 2014 budget request maintains recent increases for the FBI’s cyber terrorism investigations, the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) and the forensic examination of digital evidence by expanding funds to support the Next Generation Cyber Initiative and capabilities to combat cyber threats from individuals, organized groups, and rogue actors.
The department has a unique and critical role in cyber security that emphasizes domestic mitigation of threats and involves countering these threats by investigating and prosecuting intrusion cases, gathering intelligence, and providing legal and policy support to other departments. The department is also responsible for establishing effective internal network defense and serving as a model for other departments and agencies.
The department is committed to carrying out its role consistent with the Administration’s Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security which emphasizes intelligence and information sharing as well as the preservation of privacy, data confidentiality, and civil liberties. As part of this effort, the department continues to maintain and strengthen its cyber security environment to counter cyber threats, including insider threats, and to ensure personnel have unimpeded access to the IT systems, networks, and data necessary to achieve their missions. In FY 2014, the department is requesting $92.6 million to support efforts to combat and keep pace with increasingly sophisticated and rapidly evolving cyber threats.
For more information, view the Cyber Security Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/
Financial Fraud Law Enforcement
Investigating and prosecuting financial fraud continues to be a priority for the Obama Administration. The Justice Department is proposing a program increase of $55 million for financial and mortgage fraud initiatives to complement ongoing efforts to combat financial and health care fraud, that are supported by existing direct resources and reimbursable funding.
Continuing efforts already underway, the FY 2014 budget requests resources to strengthen the department’s ability to pursue large-scale financial fraud investigations ensuring that Americans, their investments and our financial markets are protected. The department remains committed to efforts to help restore confidence in our financial markets, protecting the federal Treasury and defending the interests of the U.S. government.
Ongoing efforts by the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) are included in the department’s requests for program increases for a variety of financial fraud enforcement efforts. This increase will support additional FBI agents, criminal prosecutors, civil litigators, investigators, forensic accountants and other support positions. The additional resources will sustain the department’s investigation and prosecution of securities and commodities fraud, investment scams and mortgage foreclosure schemes and a broad range of financial crimes, including cases being investigated and brought by the FFETF’s Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group.
For more information, view the Financial and Mortgage Fraud Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/
The department maintains substantial responsibilities with respect to immigration, including enforcement, detention, judicial functions, administrative hearings, and litigation. The department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) maintains a nationwide presence overseeing the immigration court and appeals process. EOIR receives cases directly from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enforcement personnel. Combined with the Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation, the department has a wide and important role in immigration enforcement.
However, in recent years, the department’s resource enhancements have not kept pace with immigration enforcement efforts, thereby undermining the effectiveness and efficiency of overall immigration enforcement, adjudication and detention programs. For example, EOIR’s immigration court caseload has continued to outpace department resources increasing by 42 percent, from 229,000 to 326,000, between FY 2009 and FY 2012.
The 2014 request includes a $25 million investment to support an additional 30 Immigration Judge Teams and 15 Board of Immigration Appeals attorneys. This will allow EOIR to address caseload increases emanating from DHS programs, including the Secure Communities Initiative and the Criminal Alien Program. Additional funding is included to enable EOIR to create a pilot program that provides counsel to vulnerable populations, such as unaccompanied alien children, and to expand their Legal Orientation Program that improves efficiencies in immigration court proceedings for detained aliens.
For more information, view the Immigration Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/
It is the mission of the department to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly the most vulnerable members of our society. Accomplishing this requires necessary resources both to investigate and to litigate. The department maintains substantial responsibilities with respect to enforcing the nation’s civil rights laws and protecting vulnerable populations. The FY 2014 budget will support the department’s vigorous enforcement of federal civil rights laws – including human trafficking, hate crimes, police misconduct, fair housing, fair lending, disability rights, and voting. As such, the department’s FY 2014 budget requests $258.6 million to help meet the nation’s civil rights challenges. The request includes $7.5 million in program increases for the Civil Rights Division and Community Relations Service.
For more information, view the Civil Rights Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/.
Prisons and Detention
The department has made strategic investments in law enforcement initiatives that have improved the nation’s security and made communities safer. The result of these important enforcement efforts has been an expansion in the need for prison and detention capacity. The department continues to prioritize the maintenance of secure, controlled detention and prison facilities, as well as investment in programs that can reduce recidivism. The FY 2014 budget requests a total of $8.5 billion for prisons and detention. The request invests in prisons and detention capacity, providing $236.2 million for program increases to maintain current services, improve prisoner reentry and ensure prisoners are confined in secure facilities.
For the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the budget includes resources to begin activation of three prisons – FCI Hazelton, W.Va., U.S. Penitentiary Yazoo City, Miss., and Administrative Maximum U.S. Penitentiary Thomson, Ill. – and full activation for two prisons that received partial funding in FY 2012 – Federal Corrections Institution (FCI) Aliceville, Ala., and FCI Berlin, N.H. These resources will increase federal prison capacity and address overcrowding and related security issues.
Additionally, the request provides funds for renovation of the Thomson Correctional Center, additional contract beds, and plans to expand the residential drug abuse treatment program, Residential Reentry Centers, and reentry-specific education programs. These resources provide critical opportunities for inmates to successfully transition back into the community, resulting in fewer taxpayer resources directed at housing inmates.
For more information, view the Prisons and Detention Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/
State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement
In total, the FY 2014 budget requests $2.3 billion for state, local and tribal law enforcement assistance. These funds will allow the department to continue to support our state, local and tribal partners who fight violent crime, combat violence against women and support victim programs. The FY 2014 request will bolster the department’s efforts to ensure that federal grant funding flows to evidence-based purposes and helps to advance knowledge of what works in state and local criminal justice.
The request increases funding for an evaluation clearinghouse; enhances funding for evidence-based competitive programs; and couples formula grant programs with competitive “bonus” funds to incentivize better, evidence-based, uses of funds. The request also includes funding to address school safety and gun violence with additional resources to improve criminal history records information and to fund a comprehensive school safety program.
The FY 2014 budget request for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), a total of $412.5 million, will provide communities with the opportunity to combat sexual assault and violence against women. The request includes an increase of $3.5 million to the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement Assistance Program, which will improve the safety of children, youth and adults who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural jurisdictions. The department is requesting $1.5 billion for the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) grant programs to expand established programs that have shown to be successful, such as the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment, Second Chance and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Programs. It also proposes to create new competitive grant programs that are structured on evidence-based principles and funding to establish programs that will provide supplementary awards to states and localities using base formula grant funds for evidence-based purposes. The OJP request also includes additional funding to address gun violence, including funding for a gun safety research initiative and enhanced funding for the National Criminal History Improvement Program and the VALOR Initiative.
For more information, view the State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement Fact Sheet at www.justice.gov/jmd/2014factsheets/