Obama Urges Upgrade Of Crime Victim Survey


A significant budget increase for the federal government’s crime statistics program was proposed today by President Barack Obama. In his first detailed budget proposal for the Justice Department, Obama sought an increased annual appropriation of $60 million for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, up from $35 million in fiscal year 2008. The $15 million additional would be to improve the National Crime Victimization Survey, which was the subject of a critical report by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The budget proposal sent to Congress today said the survey “is the sole continuing source of national information for the many topics of concern to the administration and Congress.”

The budget proposal seeks an increase in funds for the National Institute of Justice, the Justice Department’s crime-research agency, to $48 million next year compared with $36 million in 2008. The White House is seeking $517 million for the Byrne justice assistance program to states and localities, which was cut to $167 million by Congress in 2008 but restored to $546 million in the current fiscal year. The budget requests $761 million for the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS), which was down to $367 million in 2008.

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