Yesterday, President Obama unveiled his $3.9 trillion 2015 budget proposal, which allocates $27.4 billion to justice programs.
The President’s budget provides $115 million in continued support for Second Chance Act programs. This represents an important federal investment in evidence-based strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism by authorizing funding for the development and coordination of reentry services, such as employment training, substance abuse treatment, and mentoring. To date, nearly 600 Second Chance Act grants has have been awarded across 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Significant funding is also proposed for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which helps state and local governments avert prison growth and cut corrections spending and reinvest those dollars in public safety strategies. The budget proposes $30 million for justice reinvestment, which includes $1 million for the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.
The President’s budget also proposes that funding for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) be combined with a drug and mental health courts program. Despite the Administration’s efforts to consolidate the program, Congress has expressed its support for MIOTCRA through continuous funding of the program during FY 2006-2014.
The budget also included funding for various school safety initiatives, including $75 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Program:
- This initiative will bring together the nation’s best minds to research the root causes of school violence, develop technologies and strategies for increasing school safety, and provide pilot grants to test innovative approaches to enhance school safety across the country.
- Provides $10 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.
Below is a breakdown of key criminal justice programs in the President’s budget proposal that are CSG Justice Center priorities. These funding levels for 2015 will not be finalized until Congress passes the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.
Justice Funding Highlights