FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AG
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1998 (202) 616-2777
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS 4.4 PERCENT INCREASE IN FY 1999 BUDGET
TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT AGAINST YOUTH VIOLENCE, ILLEGAL DRUGS,
CYBERCRIME, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Reno:" We Must Prepare for the Law Enforcement Challenges of the 21st Century"
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today announced that it is seeking a 4.4 percent increase to enhance its fight against youth violence, cybercrime, illegal drugs, and illegal immigration. The Department is requesting a total of $20.9 billion in Fiscal Year 1999.
Since President Clinton took office, the Justice Department's budget has increased more than 87 percent.
"Over the past several years, we have witnessed a decrease in violent juvenile crime, a drop in drug related crime, a concerted effort to protect against computer crime, and an increased emphasis on protecting our borders," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "We are moving in the right direction, we cannot stop now. Today's budget request will enable us to build on our past successes and prepare us for the challenges of the 21st Century."
Highlights of the requested resources will help pay for:
$481 million in new and redirected grants to fight youth violence and to support additional community prosecutors, who will interact more closely with the people they serve;
16,000 more community oriented police officers on the street, bringing the total to 99,000 by the end of FY 99;
75 FBI agents and 24 attorneys to defend against cybercrime;
257 new DEA agents and 64 U.S. Attorneys to continue the government's comprehensive attack on drug trafficking; and,
1,000 new Border Patrol agents.
FIGHTING CRIME AND YOUTH VIOLENCE
"Although juvenile crime, like all violent crime, has declined, we must not let up," said Reno. "These funds will make it possible for prosecutors across the country to begin working together with community residents to identify and solve specific crime problems in their neighborhoods. Our COPS grants have helped spread community policing across America. Now we want to support community prosecutors to help revolutionize how communities come together to fight crime."
Developing Community Prosecutors: $50 million in new funds to support community prosecutors across the country, who will interact directly with police officers and community residents. The program complements the community oriented policing approach;
Targeting Youth Violence: $100 million in new grants to state and local prosecutors offices to hire new prosecutors and pay for technology, equipment and training to assist in reducing the rate of youthful violent crime. The funds will also be used to increase successful identification and rapid prosecution of young, violent offenders and promote collaborative efforts between prosecutors and public and private agencies;
Establishing Intervention Programs: $95 million for an At-Risk Children's grant program to support juvenile crime intervention programs, such as anti-truancy, school violence, and curfew initiatives;
Creating a New Youth Violence Court Program: $50 million for a new youth violence court program to increase the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness with which youth are processed and adjudicated within the justice system;
Funding Anti-Gang Programs: $175.9 million in restructured juvenile justice grants for anti-gang and youth violence programs;
Putting More Police on the Beat: $1.4 billion to fund an estimated 16,000 community oriented police officers, bringing the total to 99,000 officers funded by 1999. The President's 1994 Crime Bill promises to fund 100,000 officers by the year 2000;
Combatting Violence Against Women: $270.8 million for programs to combat violence against women, including continued civil legal assistance and research programs and a new $10 million program aimed at reducing the impact of family, school and community violence on young children; and,
Upgrading Technology: $65.3 million in added funding to upgrade crime technology, such as DNA testing and identification, and criminal records and history programs.
"With the right resources, the Administration's juvenile justice legislation, and new relationships between prosecutors and the people they serve, we can build on our success in fighting crime," Reno added.
"Every day, more Americans and more businesses are using the information superhighway," said Reno. "We need to ensure that the superhighway remains a safe and secure place to do business," said Reno.
Increased funding in this area will go towards:
Adding 75 FBI Agents: 75 FBI agents to expand the number of computer investigations and infrastructure threat assessment squads that operate throughout the country;
Developing Early Warnings: $10.4 million in increased funding for infrastructure threat assessment efforts, including designing, developing and implementing a comprehensive and secure early warning system;
Defending Against Cybercrime: $1.5 million in added funds for the Criminal Division to provide federal, state, local and foreign agencies with guidance on how to develop legally sound responses to computer crime and on how to address potential and suspected abuses and infiltrations;
Hiring 24 Attorneys: 24 attorneys to enable U.S. Attorneys' offices to identify, prosecute, and convict those persons and entities responsible for committing cybercrime; and,
Protecting the Critical Infrastructure: $36.7 million in increased funding to be used in part to implement the recommendations of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection and to ensure the continuance of essential Justice Department functions during an emergency.
"These funds will enable us to keep pace with the cybercriminals of the
21st Century," added Reno.
CURBING DRUG TRAFFICKING AND ABUSE
"By adding more drug enforcement agents and prosecutors and increasing testing and intervention programs, we can further decrease drug use and help stem the violence it brings into our communities," Reno said. The Justice
Department will seek a record $7.7 billion in its fight against drug trafficking and abuse, representing a 2.6% increase over last year.
Adding 257 DEA Agents: 257 DEA agents to continue implementing a comprehensive strategy of attacking methamphetamine production, trafficking and abuse; stemming the flow of drugs entering the U.S. from Caribbean nations; and, intensifying enforcement efforts against major heroin traffickers and reducing its availability;
Hiring 69 New Attorneys: 64 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 5 Criminal Division attorneys to enhance prosecutorial efforts against drug traffickers and improve coordination among intelligence and law enforcement communities in narcotics efforts;
Funding Drug Testing and Treatment: $94 million in additional grants to state and local agencies to conduct drug testing and intervention programs and residential substance abuse treatment programs for state prisons; and,
Adding DEA Resources: $2.5 million for additional DEA resources and staffing to strengthen international intelligence gathering activities and protect its operations from being compromised by electronic eavesdropping devices.
PROTECTING OUR BORDERS AND PROVIDING BETTER SERVICE
"The Department's FY 1999 budget seeks to strengthen proven, existing programs, guard against illegal immigration, and promote legal entry into the country," Reno said. The record $4.2 billion budget request for INS, represents a 10.3% increase over last year.
The additional funding will provide resources for:
Hiring More Agents: $103 million to deploy 1,000 new Border Patrol agents;
Upgrading Equipment: $14.6 million in added funding to purchase strategic surveillance equipment, such as night vision goggles, infrared scopes and a force-multiplying technology with a 360-degree field of vision, allowing agents greater ability to cover the Southwest Border;
Monitoring Smuggling Transportation Corridors: $30.2 million in added funding to combat alien smuggling by strategically placing INS agents and investigators along major smuggling transportation corridors;
Removing Criminal Aliens: $35.5 million in added funding to add more detention space; hire additional investigative and deportation staff, and provide for alien transportation and detention related costs;
Utilizing Immigration Fees: $68 million in additional immigration fee initiatives to be used for such measures as increasing airport staffing to more quickly inspect passengers, training international personnel in anti-smuggling techniques, and enhancing document and benefit fraud investigations; and,
Continuing to Overhaul the Naturalization System: More than $200 million in funding to overhaul the naturalization system, which will increase its integrity and begin to decrease the backlog and waiting time for individuals seeking citizenship. This is the same level of funding that is available in FY 1998.
SUPPORTING OTHER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INITIATIVES
FIGHTING HATE CRIMES
$5.6 million for the Department's Hate Crimes Initiative, including the formation of local working groups in which federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, as well as local community leaders meet to address hate crimes in a comprehensive manner. The Department anticipates redirecting 50 FBI agents and prosecutors toward hate crimes cases.
TARGETING CRIME IN INDIAN COUNTRY
$157 million in new and redirected funds as part of a joint $182 million initiative with the Department of the Interior to address a public safety crisis on Indian lands. Funds will be used to add 30 FBI agents and 26 attorneys to enhance Indian Country investigations and prosecutions, reduce violent crime, gang-related violence and juvenile crime on Indian reservations; establish the Indian Tribal Courts Program; create a new Drug Testing and Intervention Program on Indian lands; and to construct and expand correctional facilities.
PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DEFENSIVE CIVIL LITIGATION
$16.6 million in added funds to provide the Department with the litigation resources necessary to represent the interests of the United States in its capacity as employer, regulator, administrator of federal benefits, law enforcer, contractor, and property owner.
BUILDING OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE
$753.5 million in added funds to address a wide variety of infrastruc-ture and technology needs to ensure that the Department is able to meet the law enforcement challenges of the 21st Century. These include:
$72.5 million in new funds to ensure that federal law enforcement personnel narrow the bandwidth they use to transmit radio signals, as required by the National Telecommunication and Information Administration Organization Act;
$32.7 million in added funds for the U.S. Marshals Service to enhance courtroom and holding cell construc-tion, to staff and support the automated prisoner and fugitive information system, and to replace aging aircraft;
$50 million in additional funding to upgrade FBI computer hardware and software to increase computer workstation and server speed and capacity for investigative support applications;
$317.2 million in increased funding for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to absorb the D.C.-sentenced felon population; and,
$130.1 million in enhanced funding for the Border Patrol to plan and construct additional detention facilities, new office space at headquarters and regional offices to support new agents.
"Law enforcement will face many new challenges in the next century," said Reno. "Our 1999 budget request prepares us for the challenges that lie ahead."
# # #
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|