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SENATE SUBCOMMITTE VOTES TO KILL COPS PROGRAM AND WEAKEN CRIME BILL Reno: "We've Come Too Far to Turn Back Now" WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General Janet Reno today reacted sharply to a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee's vote to kill the 100,000 police hiring program, cut funding for the Violence Against Women Act, eliminate the drug court program and weaken other elements of last year's Crime Act. "It makes no sense to put fewer cops on the beat, more addicts on our streets, and more domestic violence and rape victims on their own with nowhere to turn," said Reno. "It is a stinging rebuke of our nation's major police organizations, who unanimously agree that this is the one crime program that is working to make our streets safer." The COPS Program "We've already committed funds for more than 20,000 officers, and more are on the way," said Reno. "We can't scrap a proven success for an open-ended block grant program that wouldn't guarantee a single new officer." COPS Director Joe Brann called the vote "deeply disappointing." "I believe that the Subcommittee's action is out of touch with the goals of America's law enforcement officers." Law enforcement groups have condemned the block grant proposal. President Clinton has repeatedly vowed to veto any attempt to tamper with the COPS program.​The Violence Against Women Act The Subcommittee also voted to slash funding for the Justice Department's portion of the Violence Against Women Act grants, which were slated under last year's crime bill to rise to nearly $175 million next year. The vote would reduce that figure by nearly $75 million. "We can't turn our back on women in the fight against sexual assaults, rape and domestic abuse," said Bonnie Campbell, Director of the Justice Department's Violence Against Women Office. "These cuts would mean fewer shelters, prosecutors and police officers to fight violence against women and help victims." Drug Courts The Subcommittee also voted to provide eliminate the Crime

Act's $1 billion drug court program. Drug courts are designed to force criminals out of the cycle of drug addiction before they return to the streets. Offenders must undergo mandatory, periodic drug testing, mandatory substance abuse treatment, and are subject to graduated sanctions for failing to show satisfactory progress in their treatment regimens. Only non-violent offenders are eligible to participate. "More than half of those who enter the criminal justice have substance abuse problems," said Reno. "Studies show that drug courts help offenders kick the habit and break the cycle of addiction and recidivism, and the drug court in Miami cut recidivism by one-third. That's why they are supported by a bipartisan spectrum of prosecutors, judges, public defenders, law enforcement officials, and treatment specialists from across the country." ### 95-470