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Press Release

Department of Justice FY 2017 Budget Request

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

President’s Request Invests in Department of Justice Criminal Justice Priorities, Including National Security, Cyber Security, Smart on Crime, Building Community Trust, Among Other Priority Initiatives

President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget proposal totals $29 billion for the Department of Justice to support federal law enforcement priorities and the criminal justice priorities of our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.  The request represents a comprehensive investment in the Justice mission and includes increases in funding for countering violent extremism and other national security areas, civil rights and advancing equality under the law, Smart on Crime activities, including increased funds for prisoner reentry initiatives and other key enforcement initiatives. 

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring the safety of our communities and the strength of our nation and the resources laid out in President Obama’s budget are vital to our efforts,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “With investments in priority areas from national security and cybercrime to community policing, this budget will allow us to protect the progress we have made and build on our success in the years to come.”

 The Department of Justice’s areas of investment include:

  • +$1.1 billion for the department’s law enforcement components, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program.
  • +$70 million for our litigating components, including the U.S. Attorneys, National Security Division, Criminal Division, Civil Rights Division, Civil Division and the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
  • +$214 million for the prisons and detention functions of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Marshals Service.
  • +$47 million for immigration, administration, technology and other support functions; includes the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of the Pardon Attorney, Office of the Inspector General, Community Relations Service, General Administration and Justice Information Sharing Technology.
  • +$443 million for Justice Department grant programs overall (Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and Office on Violence Against Women), for a total grant program request of $4.7 billion.

National Security

As the Attorney General remarked in December 2015, “my highest priorities are the security of our country and the safety of the American people.”  National security threats are constantly evolving, requiring additional investments to adapt to those threats in innovative ways.  The FY 2017 Budget request provides $780.7 million in program increases to counter violent extremism, improve intelligence collection and analysis, strengthen foreign partnerships and address critical law enforcement technology challenges.

Today’s national security and crime threats require that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintain an interconnected and nimble workforce.  The complexities of today’s National Security work dictate that the FBI be in an interconnected workspace to promote internal information sharing.  A new modern FBI facility will consolidate disparate worksites in to one common location and exploit synergies previously stovepiped in the FBI.  The men and women of the FBI are critical to protecting national security, and this request demonstrates our commitment to invest in their safety and provide them with an appropriate environment conducive to their important work.

The FY 2017 request supports a comprehensive national security strategy towards countering violent extremism (CVE) in U.S. communities.  The recent tragedy in San Bernardino is a painful reminder that this work is critical to achieving a peaceful society, and the department is committed to addressing the multi-faceted nature of this crime problem in FY 2017.  Supported by Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) grants, the department will foster community-led CVE efforts and emphasize trusted partnerships between public safety agencies and local residents and community organizations.  Grant funding through the OJP will also provide training and assistance to local efforts and continue to support research to better understand violent extremism and advance evidence-based strategies for prevention and intervention.  U.S. Attorneys will expand their community presence and enhance federal engagement and support to local communities.  These efforts will work to counter violent extremism encouraged by both international and homegrown actors.

The department must continue to address worldwide threats by enhancing its intelligence capacity and capabilities and strengthening coordination with foreign partners.  The FY 2017 request includes resources for the FBI to improve collaboration with the Intelligence Community (IC) through enhanced intelligence programs and leveraging the common IC information technology (IT) infrastructure.  The request also supports the FBI’s new Biometrics Technology Center, which will enhance biometric investigations.  The request will also improve the FBI ability to conduct physical surveillance on the highest priority targets.  The FY 2017 request includes resources to improve evidence sharing and extraditions with our foreign partners and overseas security sector assistance programs operations.  The department’s foreign experts are best situated to build the strong overseas partnerships that are essential to joint efforts to fight terrorism and transnational crime.

The FBI must also adapt to evolving communication technologies, anonymization, and encryption.  Law enforcement faces an increased threat of Going Dark – the degradation of law enforcement’s ability to lawfully access, collect, and intercept real-time communications and stored data.  The FY 2017 request includes critical resources to develop and acquire tools to address the challenges Going Dark poses to law enforcement and national security.

For more information, view the National Security Fact Sheet at

Cyber Security

The Department of Justice has a unique and critical role in cyber security that emphasizes countering and mitigating cyber threats, including by investigating, prosecuting, and providing legal and policy support to other departments for intrusion and cybercrime cases.  The FY 2017 Budget provides $121.1 million in additional resources to investigate and address computer intrusions and cybercrimes, defend the security of the department’s critical information networks, and protect against insider threats.  This request provides resources to enhance the technical capabilities of FBI investigative personnel, increase the number of cyber investigations, and improve cyber collection and analysis.

Building on the significant investments made in FY 2015 and FY 2016, this request also provides additional resources for the Justice Information Sharing Technology (JIST) account to maintain and strengthen the department’s cyber security environment: to counter cyber threats and to ensure its personnel have unimpeded access to the Information Technology (IT) systems, networks, and data necessary to achieve their missions.   Similarly, the department requests additional resources for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to enhance its ability to combat insider threats and to enhance its cyber security posture.

For more information, view the Cyber Security Fact Sheet at

Smart on Crime

While we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stop violent crime, we cannot simply prosecute and incarcerate our way into becoming a safer nation.  The FY 2017 budget invests an additional $246.9 million to support Smart on Crime programs.  The Smart on Crime initiative focuses on effectively using federal resources for the most significant federal law enforcement priorities—including violent crime—and implementing a series of commonsense reforms to reduce unnecessarily long sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders.  The Smart on Crime policies also bolster prevention and reentry programs to deter crime, reduce recidivism, and create pathways of opportunity for eligible candidates.

The department’s plan focuses federal resources on, and directs prosecutors to pursue, cases implicating the most substantial federal interests, rather than prioritizing the sheer number of prosecutions.  Considering alternatives to incarceration for low-level, non-violent offenses also strengthens our justice system and places a lower financial burden on the budget. This means increased use of diversion programs, such as drug courts, that reduce taxpayer expense and have the potential to be successful at preventing recidivism. When imprisonment is appropriate, sentencing should reflect the individualized circumstances of the case.

We must also provide necessary care for inmates by expanding mental health services, medical treatments, and reducing the use and need for restrictive housing.  To better prevent recidivism, it is important to reduce barriers to reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals. This includes emphasizing reentry programs, and revisiting rules and regulations that make it harder for these individuals to find a job, an education, or affordable housing.

For more information, view the Smart on Crime Fact Sheet at

Building Community Trust

The FY 2017 Budget includes $129.4 million in increases to further the efforts the department and its state and local law enforcement partners have made to build and sustain community trust.

Building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both sides of the police/citizen divide is the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.  Law enforcement cannot build community trust if it is seen as an occupying force coming in from outside to impose control on the community.

Through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and other components, the department is making good on its pledge to provide law enforcement with access to the tools and support they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.  With the launch of its National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, the department is striving to strengthen the partnerships between community members and law enforcement professionals at every level of government.

Through the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the department is bringing law enforcement leaders and experts together to provide strong, national direction on a scale not seen in nearly half a century.  And going forward, the department intends to continue to use every tool at its disposal to enhance its capacity to combat crime while restoring public trust.

For more information, view the Building Community Trust Fact Sheet at

Enhancing Public Safety

The department’s mission and responsibility is to investigate and prosecute those who break federal laws.  Continued investments to uphold its commitments are needed to strengthen the department’s ability to protect the health and well-being of our Nation’s citizens, and have the flexibility to address threats as they emerge.  Simply maintaining existing law enforcement capacity is not sufficient to meet the demands of this commitment.  For FY 2017, the department requests $164.2 million in additional investments to address the threats of violent crime and illicit drugs, and to strengthen the litigating divisions of the department.

In FY 2017, the department is requesting additional resources to respond to the recent increase in heroin abuse and support increased prosecution of drug trafficking organizations along the Southwest Border.  The funding will create four new enforcement groups, including support personnel and operational funding, to counteract growing heroin abuse in the United States. 

The Budget request supports significant investments that focus on combatting violent crime in the U.S. and support the President’s initiatives on reducing gun violence.  The request includes funding to enhance the enforcement of existing federal firearms laws and expand the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) regulatory capacity.  Funding is also requested for the FBI to maintain FY 2016 investments in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The investments to combat violent crime also include resources for the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) to support hiring of additional Deputy U.S. Marshals and the creation of a new Regional Fugitive Task Force to apprehend violent fugitives.

The department’s request also invests funding in litigating divisions to enforce laws that address economic competition, animal welfare, immigration, and to ensure public safety.  The department seeks to improve the Antitrust Division’s ability to promote economic competition, strengthen the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s ability to enforce animal welfare laws through the development of a new animal welfare enforcement program, augment the Civil Division’s immigration litigation capabilities, and to provide security services at U.S. Trustee meetings.    

For more information, view the Enhancing Public Safety Fact Sheet at

Protecting Vulnerable Populations

The department’s priority of upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly the most vulnerable members of our society, remains vital importance. Accomplishing this requires resources to investigate, litigate, conduct outreach, and provide capacity-building education, training, and technical assistance.  The FY 2017 President’s Budget will address these needs by dedicating an additional $80.7 million to these tasks, thereby enhancing the lives of the country’s vulnerable populations.

The nation’s vulnerable populations deserve the same rights, opportunities, and protections from injustices as the rest of society.  The Administration and the department are committed to accomplishing this goal.  The FY 2017 President’s Budget requests funding to prevent and investigate elder abuse and fraud, particularly health care fraud, which remains a top priority for the department.  The Budget will also address environmental concerns in Indian Country.

Our nation’s children and youth are a vulnerable demographic group.  At a national summit on Youth Violence Prevention last year, the Attorney General spoke of the importance of providing services to children exposed to violence in order to break the cycle of violence.  The FY 2017 request includes additional funding to do just that.  Additional resources are requested to ensure the nation’s police are properly trained to interact with children and people with disabilities, and to support enforcement, technical assistance, and the issuance of guidance and regulations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information, view the Vulnerable Populations Fact Sheet at

Mission Critical Infrastructure

In order to maintain an effective and efficient Department of Justice, the department must maintain a robust infrastructure to support its investigative and prosecutorial enterprises.  The department’s request of $179.1 million addresses gaps in critical infrastructure, including information technology (IT) system improvements that support law enforcement and litigating components, facility construction and maintenance, policy oversight, and personnel security investments.

Resources are requested to upgrade outdated IT systems, enhance capabilities of existing systems, and construct and maintain facilities.  Resources for the USMS Office of Professional Responsibility and the department’s policy offices are included to enhance policy analysis, coordination, and compliance functions.  Finally, resources are requested to address the department’s current backlog of security investigations of both federal employees and contractors and future security investigation needs.

For more information, view the Mission Critical Infrastructure Fact Sheet at

State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement

The Department of Justice strongly supports its partnerships with state, local, and tribal entities.  The FY 2017 Budget maintains its commitments to state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners without reducing the department’s federal operational role.  Simultaneously, efficiencies are identified to ensure that federal resources are being targeted to the most effective grant programs.  The FY 2017 discretionary and mandatory request for state, local, and tribal law enforcement assistance is $4.7 billion, including discretionary enhancements of $442.7 million. 

The FY 2017 request for OJP totals $4.2 billion, including $1.6 billion for discretionary grant programs and $2.6 billion for mandatory grant programs.  It includes $326.2 million in discretionary enhancements, including increased funding for an indigent defense initiative, Second Chance Prisoner Reentry, Justice Reinvestment, and juvenile justice programs, and new funding to support the Violence Reduction Network.

The FY 2017 request for COPS totals $286 million, including $88 million in enhancements.  The COPS request includes an increase of $42 million for the COPS Hiring Program. 

The FY 2017 request for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) totals $489 million.  OVW’s Budget includes a total of $28.5 million in enhancements.  The Budget includes enhancements of $11.25 million for Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program (Arrest), $7.5 million for Legal Assistance to Victims and $6 million for OVW’s Campus Violence Program. 

For more information, view the State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement Fact Sheet at

Public Safety In Indian Country

The United States has a unique legal and political relationship with American Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities as provided by the Constitution, treaties, court decisions, and federal statutes.  The Department of Justice has an important legal and moral responsibility to prosecute violent crime in Indian Country because under current law, in much of Indian Country, the department alone has the authority to seek an appropriate sentence when a major crime has been committed.  Federal investigation and prosecution of serious violent crime in Indian Country is often the primary avenue of protection for the victims of these crimes.

The FY 2017 President’s Budget requests $417.6 million in total resources for public safety initiatives in Indian Country.  Investments support activities across many Department of Justice components that address a range of criminal and civil justice issues facing Native American communities.  A highlight is the COPS Tribal Resources Grant Program, which facilitates tribal access to critical information sharing systems.  The increase will support the department’s Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information that was launched in August 2015 allowing tribes to more effectively serve and protect their tribal members by ensuring the exchange of critical data across systems, such as those managed by the Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The department is also requesting resources to strengthen the enforcement of environmental laws on tribal lands, and to support consultation with tribes and coordination of tribal policies through the Office of Tribal Justice. 

For more information, view the Public Safety in Indian Country Fact Sheet at

FY 2017 Budget Rollout PowerPoint (683.85 KB)

Updated August 11, 2016

Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 16-160