Federal Justice Aid Faring Well In Congress


Federal aid for state and local criminal justice programs, which was slashed by President Bush and Congress in fiscal year 2008, is likely to remain at a higher level for the budget year starting in October. The so-called Byrne Justice Assistance Grant levels have been set at $529 million nationally by the House and $510 million by Senate appropriators, reports the National Criminal Justice Association. This contrasts with $546 million during the curent fiscal year and only $170 million in fiscal 2008. The final number for 2010 must be worked out after the Senate passes the overall bill.

In other appropriations, police hiring under the COPS program, which got $1 billion in the federal stimulus bill, may not fare so well in the regular appropriations. The House agreed with the Obama administration’s request for $298 million but Senate appropriators allocated only $100 million. The Senate may also not provide as much for Second Chance Act programs for prisoner re-entry. The House approved the Obama administration’s proposal for $100 million, but Senate appropriators set aside only $50 million.

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