The federal budget for anticrime research is expected to increase in President Obama’s proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2010, Michael Crowley of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget said yesterday. Crowley said criminal justice researchers should be “pleasantly surprised” at the numbers in the budget, which should be released within a few weeks. Any White House proposal must be reviewed by Congress. Crowley spoke at the ninth annual Jerry Lee Crime Prevention Syposium in Washington. Speakers at the conference generally praised the respect that the Obama administration has paid to basing federal spending on programs that have been proved effective by thorough research.
At the same conference, Laurie Robinson, acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, said she is working to insure that a portion of the nearly $3 billion being spent by her agency as part of the new federal stimulus law is set aside for evaluations. Robinson said “we are beginning to turn the corner” in insuring that anticrime programs are properly evaluated. Lawrence Sherman, director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, expressed dismay that some federal dollars may still be going to support programs like “Scared Straight,” which research has showed has a damaging impact on participants. “No federal dollars should be spent to cause crime,” Sherman said.