The Obama Administration’s funding proposal for law enforcement and correctional purposes is increasing substantially over 2oo9, opening up the potential for increased resources for reentry courts and other criminal justice reform programs. The budget proposal requests:
“$519 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants in FY 2011. The Byrne-JAG program, which received $518 million in FY 2010, awards grants to state, tribal and local governments to support a broad range of activities that are designed to prevent and control crime. This includes: law enforcement; prosecution, corrections, drug treatment and technology improvements. The Administration has proposed funding the COPS program at $690 million. This is an increase of nearly $300 million from the FY 2010 level of $392 million. Of that total, $600 million is set aside for law enforcement officer hiring. This would equate to roughly 2,900 officers. In addition to these proposed funds, in December, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Jobs for Main Street Act” (H.R. 2847) that included $1.18 billion for COPS hiring programs. The Senate is expected to consider and act on this legislation in the near future.” (see complete article: International Association of Chief’s of Police)
It would be useful to follow this funding closely. Byrne- JAG Grant Funding is distributed largely through state governor’s Offices of Criminal Justice and also directly through grants to local jurisdictions. Once the monopoly of law enforcement and corrections authorities, these funds have been opened up in recent years to support criminal justice and correctional reform, including, Drug Court and Alternatives to Prison. (For funding details, see: OJP/BJP website)
The $690 million budget request for COPS funding for 2010 (an increase of $300 million over last year), as well as the Billion Dollar plus under the “Main Street Act”, under consideration in the Congress, are reason enough to follow the money trail. Community policing resources, the original purpose of COPS is still very much alive as a priority, and provides the means for personnel and resources to monitor drug court participants in many communities (Richland County, Ohio, uses Community policing personnel to do home visits and monitor reentry court participants in the community) .