The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which has been funded in recent years at modest figures under $40 million, apparently will get at least a small boost in the federal fiscal year that begins October 1. BJS, which has said that its National Crime Victimization Survey is threatened by Congress’ failure to increase the agency’s budget, is likely to get somewhere between the $40 million recommended by a Senate committee and the $45 million sought by a House committee and the Bush administration.
BJS had feared that its operations would be crippled when the Senate subcommittee that handles Justice Department appropriations recently recommended only $10 million for the next fiscal year. A spokesperson for panel chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) later called the figure a “misprint,” and said the committee intended to seek $40 million. Howard Silver of the Washington-based Consortium of Social Science Associations said he was “happy that the committee has recognized the value of BJS.” The consortium had noted that the victimization survey’s “sample size has declined as BJS budgets have remained stagnant. In the meantime, the Bureau has been asked by Congress to collect new kinds of data on topics such as stalking and human trafficking.”