April 11, 2013

President's FY 2014 Budget Released

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President's Budget Proposes Increased Funding for
Second Chance Act and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative

Yesterday, President Obama unveiled his fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. The $3.77 trillion budget allocates $27.6 billion to justice programs.
The President's budget proposes $119 million for Second Chance Act programs, up from $80 million proposed in the FY 13 budget request. This represents an important federal investment in strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism by authorizing funding for the development and coordination of reentry services, such as employment training, substance abuse treatment, and mentoring. 
Significant funding is proposed for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which helps state and local governments avert growth and cut costs in their corrections systems and reinvest those dollars in public safety strategies. The budget proposes $85 million for justice reinvestment, an increase of $79 million from last year's budget proposal. 
The President's budget also proposes that funding for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) be combined with a drug and mental health courts program. Despite the Administration's efforts to consolidate the program, Congress has expressed their support for MIOTCRA through continuous funding of the program during FY 2006-2013.
The budget also included funding for various school discipline and school safety initiatives:
  • The budget proposes funding of $150 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Program: a program of grants and technical assistance to improve school safety through hiring, training, equipment, and responds to other critical needs. In addition to the hiring of sworn school resource officers, grants made with funds under this program may be used for the hiring of non-sworn school safety personnel, including civilian public safety personnel, school counselors, school psychologists, other qualified psychologists, school social workers, and child and adolescent psychiatrists. 
  • In coordination with the Department of Education's School Climate Transformation Grants, the budget also proposes $20 million for a Juvenile Justice and Education Collaboration Assistance program to help reduce juvenile arrests (and the "school-to-prison pipeline") while improving school safety. This new initiative is aimed at reducing the use of arrest and juvenile justice courts as a response to non-serious youth misbehavior in and around schools. This program will operate in concert with Department of Education School Climate Transformation Grants and other initiatives focused on improving school safety and climate.
Below is a breakdown of key criminal justice programs in the President's budget proposal that are CSG Justice Center priorities. These funding levels for 2014 will not be finalized until Congress passes the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill.

Justice Funding Highlights

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The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government. The Justice Center provides practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies, informed by available evidence, to increase public safety and strengthen communities.
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