U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says he is “concerned that critical law enforcement programs that promote jobs, such as the Community Oriented Policing Services and the Second Chance Act, may be at risk of having their funding substantially reduced.” Conyers wrote to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is considering recommendations on cutting federal spending to reduce the deficit. Conyers contends that, “It is essential that any cost-cutting measures take into consideration whether they will have a disproportionate impact on public safety and law enforcement.”
The U.S. Senate’s current stance on some criminal justice issues will get a test this week as the bill that funds the Justice Department will be considered on the Senate floor. An amendment is expected to be offered to add funding to the COPS program, but it is not clear that an attempt will be made to fund the Second Chance prisoner re-entry program, which the Senate appropriations panel handling the Justice Department budget voted to de-fund. House appropriators did allocate funds for Second Chance.