President Bush’s proposed cuts in federal aid to state and local anticrime projects “undermine the basic infrastructure” needed for homeland security and represent “a major retreat in the recent gains in the war on crime,” says the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), which represents states and localities. If the White House is successful in ending appropriations for the Justice Assistance Grant program, many state agencies that administer such funds will have to shut down, says the association.
The association is criticizing the White House proposal to cut annual federal aid by more than $1.3 billion out of a $3 billion total. NCJA listed these areas that would be most affected by the proposed funding cuts: multi-jurisdictional drug task forces; criminal records improvement projects; juvenile delinquency prevention and inervention; drug treatment, prisoner re-entry, mentally ill offender and high-risk probationer oversight, and state crime laboratory improvements. The association added: “It will be difficult to get any measurements regarding crime rates and impact of criminal justice programs without federal dollars.”