As federal funding may become more limited for state and local anticrime projects, the Justice Department may shift its emphasis to providing training and technical assistance rather than full grants to fund projects, says James Burch, acting director of the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. Burch told criminal justice organizations meeting yesterday in Washington, D.C., that his agency may be able to respond more quickly to local problems by sending expert help than by funding progams.
Burch said that as proposed by the Obama administration, aid to states and localities to fight crime would be provided at about the same level in the year starting October 1 as it is now. Still, House Republicans may demand further cuts across the board in federal programs in their effort to cut the huge federal deficit. Burch acknowledged modest cuts in the White House’s proposed budget for his agency, including programs that help prosecutors repay educational loans, “competitive” local anticrime grants, and justice information sharing. He said that Attorney General Eric Holder is committed to providing substantial support for effective crime-fighting efforts nationwide “in a much-tighter fiscal environment.”