2DOJ faces impending funding cuts to many of its discretionary budget items. For example, DOJfaces a total $1.042 billion in cuts to programs like the State and Local Law EnforcementAssistance Fund; Juvenile Justice Programs; Community Oriented Police Services; salaries andexpenses for United States Attorneys; salaries and expenses for the Drug EnforcementAdministration; salaries and expenses for the federal prison system; and the Office of JusticePrograms research, evaluation, and statistics budget.
Some of these programs achieve legitimatecriminal justice goals and some do not.We provide several non-exhaustive examples of how to implement this framework:
DOJ should preserve successful state performance incentive funding programs. Forexample, DOJ provides funds for the Adult Redeploy Illinois program through theEdward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and the American Recoveryand Reinvestment Act of 2009.
In FY 2011 and 2012, Adult Redeploy received 100% of its funding from federal sources, a total of $4 million. Adult Redeploy incentivizes localprobation officers to reduce the number of probationers returned to prison by allocating aportion of the savings generated by reduced incarceration rates to these probationoffices.
In its first three years, the Illinois’ Juvenile Redeploy Program reduced thenumber youths sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice by 51%, saving the state nearly$19 million.
Federal funding for this program is scheduled to end soon however. Sucheffective programs should not be cut. All DOJ grants to states should fund programs withAdult Redeploy’s attributes: namely, they are worth their return on investment from acost, public safety, and fairness perspective. In this vein, DOJ should adopt a policymandating that all state and local grant funding decisions are tied to the capability of aproposed project to meet legitimate public safety goals.
The Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has the discretion to grant early release to prisoners whohave committed nonviolent offenses and successfully completed Residential Drug AbuseTreatment Programs (“RDAP”).
Investing in RDAP leads to the safe release of moreprisoners, resulting in a net savings to BOP and DOJ while improving public safety.Providing treatment to prisoners increases their ability to reintegrate, increasingproductivity in the economy and decreasing the likelihood of future crime. For example,according to a BOP study, male participants are 16% less likely to recidivate and 15%less likely to relapse for up to three years after release than male prisoners who do notparticipate in RDAP.
Programs like RDAP should not be cut.
The BOP has the power to reduce prison terms for elderly and sick prisoners, butexercises this authority infrequently.
Elderly prisoners generally do not pose publicsafety threats, but still require significant resources to incarcerate.
Releasing theseprisoners will allow funds to be put to a more productive use within BOP.