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February 26, 2009

Looking for hope and change in the DOJ part of the Obama budget

Via whitehouse.gov, I discovered that the full text of the budget for Fiscal Year 2010 is on the website of the Office of Management and Budget.  And here is a link to a few pages discussing funding for the Department of Justice, which starts this way:

The President’s Budget for the Department of Justice (DOJ) is $26.5 billion.  The Budget addresses the key priorities of the President and the Attorney General, including those for National Security and crime fighting programs in the FBI and other DOJ components, to include resources for combating financial fraud and protecting the public interest.  The Budget funds the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program, ensures that prison and detention programs are adequately funded, to include prisoner reentry programs, reinvigorates Federal civil rights enforcement, and increases border security.

Here is the specific discussion of reentry funding in the DOJ document:

Expands Prisoner Reentry Programs. The Budget includes $109 million for prisoner reentry programs, including an additional $75 million for the Office of Justice Programs to expand grant programs authorized by the Second Chance Act that provide counseling, job training, drug treatment, and other transitional assistance to former prisoners.

Because I have never been a budget maven, I am not sure whether or how these numbers might reflect "change we can believe in."  But, since all the hope and change talk has been slow to come to discussions of the federal criminal justice system, I doubt this budget portends any significant changes from the status quo with regard to federal crime and punishment issues.

February 26, 2009 at 01:27 PM | Permalink

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