The President recently submitted his Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to Congress which included $35.3 billion for the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The request seeks to sustain and enhance the Justice Department’s vital work to counter both international and domestic terrorism, reinvigorate civil rights enforcement, address inequities in the nation’s criminal justice system, combat gun violence, advance environmental justice and help reduce the backlog in the nation’s immigration courts.
“This budget proposal advances the Justice Department’s three overarching goals: keeping Americans safe, adhering to the Rule of Law, and seeking equal justice under law for everyone,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “These funds will strengthen our ability to counter international and domestic terrorism, support our efforts to curb violent crime, enhance our enforcement of voting rights and other civil rights laws, protect our nation from cyber-attacks, and double our resources dedicated to addressing gender-based violence and the support of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our request will increase public safety through investments in policing and criminal justice reform, as well as by dedicating funds to combating gun violence. Importantly, this budget makes a down payment on improving access to justice, a prerequisite to equal justice. The department looks forward to working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to help secure its timely passage.”
At the Department of Justice, the Budget would provide:
- More than $1.5 billion to combat international and domestic terrorism – an increase of more than 12% over the FY 2021– which includes an additional $101.2 million to address domestic terrorism with a broadscale approach across the Department.
- $2.1 billion, an increase of $184.3 million, to combat gun violence while focusing on programs that address both gun safety and violent crime.
- $177.2 million over the FY 2021 appropriation to reinvigorate Federal civil rights efforts, including to re-establish and expand the Office for Access to Justice and to support the Community Relations Service with conciliators in local communities.
- $1.0 billion, an increase of $486.5 million, to address gender-based violence through the Office on Violence Against Women, nearly twice the FY 2021 investment in this effort.
- $1.6 billion, an increase of $669.3 million, to implement further reforms to the criminal justice system and continue critical investment in implementation of the First Step Act of 2018.
- $1.3 billion, an increase of $379.8 million, to support programs designed to further strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
- $44.0 million in new resources to advance environmental justice initiatives, including facilities modernization and repair.
- $177.5 million more than FY 2021 to reduce the immigration court backlog and fund new legal support efforts for children and families.
- $1.1 billion, an increase of $150.7 million, to augment Cyber Investigations and Cyber Security.
Countering International and Domestic Terrorism
As the Nation’s top law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice is devoted to a broad-scale approach to counter the threat of both international and domestic terrorism. While the United States has seen unprecedented and troubling levels of domestic violent extremism, the department and its law enforcement agencies remain acutely aware of the threats posed by international terrorist organizations. The budget request includes increased funding for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the principal DOJ law enforcement agency charged with combating terrorism, to conduct domestic terrorism investigations, and for the U.S. Attorneys to manage increasing domestic terrorism caseloads. Further, the budget will support additional response capabilities at the U.S. Marshals Service and support research on the root causes of domestic radicalization at the National Institute of Justice.
The FY 2022 budget invests more than $1.5 billion to combat international and domestic terrorism, including an additional an $101.2 million to address the rising threat of domestic terrorism.
Combating Violent Crime and Gun Violence
The Department is committed to addressing the epidemic of gun violence and other violent crime that has taken the lives of too many people in our communities. As part of the department’s recently announced strategy to reduce violent crime, including through grantmaking opportunities, the budget request establishes innovative new grants for States to incentivize Red Flag and Gun Licensing Laws; creates a new $100 million Community Violence Intervention Initiative to tackle gun violence in our neighborhoods; provides grants for Project Safe Neighborhoods, and expands ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. A new pilot program promotes the development, adoption and use of programs designed to help communities address situations where people become legally prohibited from possessing the firearms they own.
The FY 2022 budget invests $2.1 billion to address gun violence and gun safety, an increase of $184.3 million over FY 2021.
Reinvigorating Civil Rights Efforts
Protecting our Nation’s civil rights is a top priority for the Department, as far too many of our citizens still face discrimination. To help protect marginalized communities, the budget request includes funding to re-establish the Office for Access to Justice, and increases funding for the Civil Rights Division, the Community Relations Service, the Office of Justice Programs and the Office on Violence Against Women. These funds will support the enforcement of voting rights and the protection of constitutional and civil rights; mediation and conciliation services for community conflicts arising from discriminatory practices; the prosecution of hate crimes across the nation, especially in communities uniquely impacted by bias, xenophobia and hate driven by the COVID-19 pandemic; and other civil rights activities.
The FY 2022 budget invests a total of $307.2 million in civil rights efforts, an increase of $177.2 million over FY 2021.
Addressing Inequities in the Criminal Justice System
The Department’s budget request addresses the need to ensure equal justice for all Americans. The budget request prioritizes improving community relations through the Office of Justice Programs. The budget request establishes new programs for community-based alternatives to prison, expands the Part B Formula Grants, and increases funding for the Second Chance Act program. The Department will implement Executive Order 14006 by transferring Federal Prisoner Detention detainees from privately operated to alternate State, local, and Federal facilities with an additional $75.0 million. Finally, the budget continues the historic investment of $409.5 million by the Bureau of Prisons in the First Step Act.
The FY 2022 budget invests over $1.6 billion to address inequities in the criminal justice system in America, an increase of $669.3 million over FY 2021 levels.
Investing in Community Policing
Creating strong, positive ties between law enforcement and the communities they serve is critical to making the Nation’s communities safer and to rooting out systemic inequities in the justice system. Providing resources to police departments to help them reform and gain the trust of communities is a priority of this Department and this Administration. The department’s budget addresses the need to further strengthen relationships between communities and police officers by hiring local police officers and investing in racial sensitivity, hate crime and implicit bias training.
The FY 2022 budget invests a total of $1.3 billion to support law enforcement agencies, including through programs that support community-oriented policing policies and practices, as well as training for law enforcement on racial profiling, de-escalation and the duty to intervene. This is a $379.8 million increase over the FY 2021 level.
Advancing Environmental Justice
The Department is committed advancing environmental justice and supports the President’s Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” The Executive Order establishes a “whole-of-government” approach to addressing the climate crisis and formalizes the government’s commitment to environmental justice. The budget request includes increased funding for the Environment and Natural Resources Division to expand its use of existing authorities in affirmative cases to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change and to continue defensive and other work related to climate change. In addition, the Bureau of Prison will invest in energy saving modernization and repair projects to replace aging equipment with energy efficient models, resulting in reduced energy costs and consumption, as well as other environmentally-sound operational benefits.
The FY 2022 budget invests $44.0 million to advance environmental justice, tackle climate change, and enhance environmental stability.
Reducing the Immigration Court Backlog
Although the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has doubled the number of Immigration Judges onboard since 2015, caseloads continue to grow at an even faster pace, and processing times continue to increase due to a rise in the number of complex adjudications, such as those of asylum claims. The FY 2022 budget addresses this challenge by both providing additional Immigration Judges, and by promoting efficiency initiatives within EOIR. The request supports hiring 100 new Immigration Judges, as well as necessary support staff and attorneys. The request would also enable EOIR to continue to modernize its IT capabilities.
The FY 2022 budget invests $177.5 million in new resources to reduce the immigration court backlog, as well as create the Legal Representation for Immigrant Children and Families Pilot, which supports the enhancement of legal representation of immigrant children and families who seek asylum and other forms of legal protection in the United States after entering at the borders.
This is a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice