1998 Federal Budget Includes Increased Criminal Justice Funds
Turpin, James, Corrections Today
Even with the balanced budget agreement, Congress and the Clinton administration again managed to increase the amount of federal money spent on criminal justice. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) 1998 federal budget grew by $1 billion to $17.5 billion, an increase of 6 percent. Funding from the Violent Crime Trust Fund increased by $750 million to $5.23 billion.
Through the DOJ budget, all facets of the criminal justice system received additional funds. State and local law enforcement assistance increased by $658 million to $4.8 billion. The most significant increase was in funding to combat juvenile crime - $489 million, $239 million of which is for crime prevention programs. An additional $250 million in the form of a Juvenile Crime Accountability Block Grant will provide funding for facility construction, state and local prosecutors, courts and technology. This grant is consistent with the provisions of the juvenile crime bill which was passed by the House in the spring of 1997.
In addition to increased spending for juvenile justice, several existing criminal justice programs also will see increased funding. The Local Law Enforcement Block Grant received $523 million; the Byrne Grant Program was set at $509 million; the Weed and Seed Program, now a freestanding program, was allotted $33.5 million. Funding was established at $173.6 million for the Office of Justice Programs. Funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) was set at $1.4 billion. The Violence Against Women Initiative received $270.75 million, an increase of $74.25 million.
Specific corrections-related funding also showed significant increases. State prison grants increased by $56 million to $720.5 million. $525.5 million was allocated for the Violent Offender and Truth in Sentencing programs. Funding for State Prisoner Drug Treatment programs increased by more than 100 percent to $63 million. The amount of money available to the states for housing criminal aliens increased by $85 million, to $585 million.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was funded at $2.847 billion. …