Congress Unveils Bill Funding Key Justice Programs

On January 13, 2014 the House and Senate appropriators released the $1 trillion omnibus federal spending package, which includes a $51.6 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill.

In the bill, CJS Programs would see an increase of $1.4 billion over the pre-sequester level of $50.2 billion enacted for fiscal 2013, according to a summary of the legislation provided by House Appropriations Committee.

Under this bill, the Second Chance Act would be funded at $67.7 million, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) would receive $8.2 million, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative would receive $27.5 million, which includes $1 million for the Colson Task Force.

For the bill’s full text, click here.

Appropriators and leadership must now galvanize support for the omnibus among rank-and-file members in order to clear the way for swift consideration in the House and Senate before the current stopgap measure expires. Votes on the bill are expected later this week.

A summary of key programs follows:

2014_omnibus_numbers

Additional funding under the Second Chance Act:

  • $6 million for programs to improve state, local, and tribal probation or parole supervision efforts and strategies
  • $2 million for children of incarcerated parents demonstration grants to enhance and maintain parental and family relationships for incarcerated parents as a reentry or recidivism-reduction strategy
  • $7.5 million for performance-based awards for Pay for Success projects, of which up to $5 million will be available for efforts to implement the Permanent Supportive Housing Model

Other criminal justice funding:

  • $75 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative
  • $5 million for competitive grants to police and juvenile justice authorities in communities that have been awarded Department of Education School Climate Transformation Grants to collaborate on use of evidence-based positive behavior strategies to increase school safety and reduce juvenile arrests.
  • $13.5 million for competitive grants to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, to prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and to assist victims of crime (other than compensation)
  • $1 million for the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections