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Federal Spending Bill Helps Policing, Trims Crime Victim Aid

The huge federal spending bill now being debated in Congress provides more than a billion dollars dollars for various public safety measures, says the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Justice Department budget.

Pending final approval by Congress, the measure provides more than $770 million for Byrne Justice Assistance grants that go to states and localities and $662.9 million for grants under the COPS policing program.

The committee says the bill includes a number of gun violence reduction grants, such as $135 million for STOP School Violence Act grants, $50 million for community-based violence intervention and prevention initiatives and $95 million to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would get $1.75 billion to strengthen enforcement efforts.

The House panel said it acted to promote justice and racial equality by voting for $15 million to fund the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 and $125 million in grants for the Second Chance Act for former inmates.

The bill sets the cap on the federal Crime Victims Fund at $1.8 billion, below the current cap of $1.89 billion.

Although the anticrime numbers seem large, they are far below the billions of dollars sought by the Biden White House for local programs to reduce violence.

In a speech last week to the National Public Safety Partnership, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the Biden budget request for 2023 includes "almost $11.2 billion to tackle violent crime."


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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