Federal anticrime funds for states and localities are being cut by more than 10 percent in the fiscal 2005 budget being approved by Congress this week, says the National Criminal Justice Association. NCJA, which represents, state, tribal, and local governments, says the new appropriations will reduce annual spending from $725 million to $634 million. Aid for convicts released from prison and drug-involved offenders may be especially hard hit. Congress is combining two existing programs, the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants.
Congressional appropriators agreed to cut the Community Oriented Policing Services program started by President Bill Clinton from about $756 million to about $606 million annually. Police hiring, funded at $120 million last year, will go down to a mere $10 million, half of which is for school resource officers. The National Institute of Justice, which funds research on crime issues, was increased from $48 million to $55 million. The Bureau of Justice Statistics got a slight budget boost, from $32.13 million to $34 million.