By the CSG Justice Center Staff
Today, the House Appropriations Committee approved a federal spending bill that allocates $29 billion for Department of Justice programs in FY2017.
Under this bill, Second Chance Act (SCA) programs would receive $68 million, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) programs would receive $12 million, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) would receive $27.5 million.
Congressional leaders recently took bipartisan action in support of these three key criminal justice program, which focus on increasing public safety and reducing recidivism and help state and local governments address their criminal justice challenges:
- Congressmen Bill Johnson (R–OH), Danny Davis (D-IL), Mark Walker (R–NC), and John Conyers, Jr. (D–MI) circulated a letter in support of funding for SCA, which garnered 98 signatures in the House. SCA—which was signed into law with overwhelming bipartisan support in April 2008—is a commonsense, evidence-based approach to improving outcomes for people returning to their communities from prisons and jails.
- Congressmen Doug Collins (R–GA), Bobby Scott (D–VA), Leonard Lance (R–NJ), and John Conyers Jr. (D–MI) circulated a letter in support of funding for MIOTCRA, which garnered 79 signatures in the House. MIOTCRA created the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and seeks to improve access to treatment for people with mental disorders involved in the criminal justice system by funding such initiatives as mental health courts and crisis intervention teams.
- Congressmen Adam Schiff (D–CA) and Tom Marino (R–PA) circulated a letter in support of funding for JRI, which garnered 52 signatures in the House. Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach to reducing corrections and related criminal justice spending and reinvesting savings in evidence-based strategies that improve public safety while holding people who have committed crimes accountable.
A summary of key programs follows:
The widespread support shown for SCA, MIOTCRA, and JRI helped remind appropriators of the critical need for continued funding for these three important programs. But, committee approval is only the first step in the appropriations process. The appropriations bills must now be passed by the full House and Senate.