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Police Hiring, Youth Crime Programs Would Get Boosts in Biden Budget

Federal anticrime programs had mixed success in the Biden administration's proposed budget for the year starting October 1. Although President Biden announced the overall budget amounts last week, it was only this week that detailed proposals were sent to Congress.

In the crime area, the White House seeks major increases for helping localities hire community policing officers and for many violence against women and juvenile delinquency prevention projects.

However, the budget reduces significantly basic "justice assistance" grants to the states and aid to crime victims programs, which would drop from $1.795 billion this year to $1.130 billion next year.

Officials explained that the crime victim reduction is necessary because the money comes out of fines paid to the federal government, which have declined in recent years.

Here are a few key requests in the Biden budget for the Justice Department. The full, line-item DOJ budget request for next year may be found here.

—A new Accelerating Justice Reform initiative for $300 million (see details below).

—A Community Violence Intervention Initiative, $200 million next year, compared with $50 million this year. An additional $50 million is expected to be appropriated from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

—Police hiring grants – $388 million next year, compared with $224 million this year.

—Second Chance Act for former prisoners, $90 million next year, compared with $95 million this year.

—DNA analysis grants, $147 million next year, compared with $170 million this year.

—Sexual assault kit backlogs, $100 million next year, $55 million this year.

—Drug courts, $88 million next year, $95 million this year.

—Juvenile justice grants to states: $308 million in two categories for next year, compared with $140 million this year.

—Youth mentoring, $120 million next year compared with $107 million this year.

—A new "alternatives to youth incarceration" program for $50 million.

The Biden budget seeks three large appropriations through so-called mandatory spending, outside of the regular appropriations process.

One of them would spend $2.175 billion to fund the hiring of 100,000 police officers nationwide.

Another, $884 million ($4.4 billion over five years), would create a Gun Crime Prevention Strategic Fund to provide states and localities with resources to prevent gun crime and reduce victimization, including task forces focused on reducing gun and violent crime rates, reducing court backlogs, improving pretrial supervision, training, recruitment and retention for law enforcement agencies.

A third is $300 million in discretionary funding the first year (to be followed by over $1.6 billion annually in funding in subsequent years) for a new Accelerating Justice System Reform initiative to “address existing drivers of correctional rates, racial disparities and adverse outcomes for civilians [that could be used to fund] evidence-based solutions in prevention, diversion, intervention, rehabilitation and reentry.”

It is important to note Biden made a similar accelerating justice reform proposal last year that received only a tiny amount when Democrats controlled the House.

Under Republican leadership in the House now, Congress is even less likely to approve Biden's major spending proposals.


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