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March 23, 2018

New spending bill includes a lot more money for Justice Department to fight drug war even harder

A helpful reader made sure that I did not miss the important criminal justice story within this week's budget drama.  Specifically, the new spending bill signed today, as detailed here, includes lots more money for the Department of Justice to hire a lot more agents and prosecutors to, presumably, bring a lot more federal drug cases:





This Act includes $114,000,000 for General Administration, Salaries and Expenses.

Opioid and heroin epidemic. -- The Act includes significant increases in law enforcement and grant resources for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the rising threat to public health and safety from opioid, heroin and other drug trafficking and abuse. This includes a total of$446,500,000, an increase of $299,500,000 more than fiscal year 2017, in DOJ grant funding to help State and local communities respond to the opioid crisis.

Federal Law Enforcement and Prosecutors. -- The Act includes significant increases for DOJ Federal law enforcement and prosecution agencies which will help DOJ investigate and prosecute high priority cases, including those involving opioids, heroin, and other drug trafficking amongst other law enforcement priorities that were agreed upon by the Committees in this explanatory statement. The overall increase is $717,691,000 more than fiscal year 201 7 which includes: $101,750,000 for U.S. Attorneys; $62,452,000 for U.S. Marshals Service operations; $36,912,000 for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) diversion control program and $87,350,000 for DEA operations; $25,850,000 for the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces; $263,001,000 for Federal Bureau oflnvestigation (FBI) operations; $35,176,000 for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and $105,200,000 for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) operations.

My sense is that these "significant increases" in resources for federal agents and prosecutors could and likely will impact the federal prison population a lot more than any number of higher-profile developments like a memo encouraging pursuit of the death penalty or changes in marijuana policies. one can never repeat the mantra too much: "Follow the money."

March 23, 2018 at 05:01 PM | Permalink


Yes, I totally agree. Big pile of money like that will fill the federal prisons and even have a few new ones built. With a big machine fueled, there will be lots more under flimsy evidence sent to the slammer for eternity.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Mar 23, 2018 10:11:09 PM

Did they increase funding for indigent defense?

Posted by: ? | Mar 23, 2018 10:25:24 PM

The rent seeking theory explains lawyer anomalous behavior. In the rent, taxes are collected by force. The government gives to a favored group. But no value is produced. It has been stolen, in a crime. The rent includes follow the money, but is bigger. The rent is actually a crime. If Sessions produces no benefit, he should be prosecuted.

Posted by: David Behar | Mar 24, 2018 9:26:39 AM


It is the criminal justice version of that song...

Posted by: #meetoo | Mar 25, 2018 5:31:54 PM

Feds are attacking the drug problem at the wrong level. When dealers get drugs its spread all over the place and much of it gets sold. If they target the root source, the kill it at its base, therefore they must target Big Pharma first. Thats where they get the buggest bang and dont need much resources either.

Therefore with the feds going in ghis ozthetic durection, they will loose again. It certainly doesnt take Wiley E Coyote Super Genius to figure this one out.

Maybe uf Prez Trump wSnt messing with Stormy Daniels, Tweeting at night till 2:00 in morning and trying to remove all if Obamas accomplishments, he would understand this.

Yes I know they indicate they're going after Pharma, well then they should iof already done it. Its all just a big money waste kf time. A 3rd grader can figure ghis one out.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Mar 25, 2018 11:05:58 PM

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