Department of Justice FY 2009 Budget Request

President's Request Supports Increase for Department's National

Security Efforts

Feb 04, 2008, 00:00 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Michael
 B. Mukasey today announced that the President's fiscal year 2009 budget
 proposal for the Department of Justice is $22.7 billion. The FY 2009 budget
 request includes a 6 percent increase over the FY 2008 enacted budget for
 the Department's law enforcement and prosecution programs, including $492.7
 million to improve the Department's counterterrorism and intelligence
     "The Department of Justice's mission is multi-faceted: It ranges from
 investigating and prosecuting terrorists, online predators and drug
 kingpins, to fighting corporate fraud, to protecting the government's
 interest in a wide range of litigation," said Attorney General Mukasey.
 "The fiscal year 2009 budget supports our mission and includes targeted
 enhancements to ensure the nation's security and to bolster our law
 enforcement efforts along the Southwest Border."
     Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Department has significantly
 strengthened its efforts to enhance our national security and protect our
 homeland, and the FY 2009 budget reflects those priorities. Key priorities
 and requested FY 2009 program increases are as follows:
     -- Protecting the American People by Preventing Terrorist Acts: $492.7
     -- Fighting Criminal Activity on the U.S. Southwest Border $100.0
     -- Supporting Essential Federal Detention and Incarceration Programs
 $67.1 million
     In addition, the FY 2009 budget includes a total program level of over
 $1 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance.
     The Department's top priority remains the prevention, investigation,
 and prosecution of terrorist activities against U.S. citizens and
 interests. The FY 2009 President's Budget requests $492.7 million in
 investments to improve the nation's counterterrorism investigative
 capabilities to identify, track, and dismantle terrorist cells operating in
 the United States and overseas, and to fortify the nation's intelligence
 analysis capabilities.
     The FY 2009 President's Budget bolsters the national security functions
 of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with $7.1 billion in total
 resources, including $447.4 million in investments that will support FBI's
 intelligence and counterterrorism programs, improve surveillance
 capabilities, bolster weapons of mass destruction response, and protect the
 security of the nation's cyber systems. In addition, this budget provides
 $84 million in total resources for the National Security Division, which
 will strengthen its ability to support intelligence operations to combat
 terrorism and other threats to national security. The following summarizes
 the key program changes, for preventing and combating terrorism and
 improving intelligence:
     Federal Bureau of Investigation
     -- Operations: $235.5 million to identify and analyze national security
 and criminal threats and to develop and execute operational strategies,
 including resources for national security investigations; enhancement of
 the weapons of mass destruction, cyber and Render Safe missions; computer
 intrusion investigative support; and foreign intelligence collection and
     -- Surveillance: $88.5 million to support a surveillance technology
 capability to meet operational requirements, including resources for
 physical and electronic surveillance and collection processing
 exploitation, analysis, and reporting.
     -- Infrastructure: $28.4 million to ensure a safe and appropriate work
 environment and updated technology, including resources for central records
 management, field facility infrastructure, and IT disaster recovery.
     -- Leveraging Technology: $36.1 million to enable an enhanced
 capability for providing services to FBI's partners, including resources
 for analytical support and applied technologies in DNA, communication
 capabilities and forensic analysis.
     -- Partnerships: $5.7 million to promote an established and productive
 network of partnerships at all levels, including resources for the
 expansion of the Legal Attache and Fusion Center programs.
     -- Workforce: $43.4 million to provide a professional workforce that
 possesses the critical skills, competencies, and training required to
 perform the FBI's mission, including resources for security and background
 adjudications, and human intelligence (HUMINT) and other training
 initiatives. Further, resources are redirected to the Office of the
 Director of National Intelligence for the centralized oversight and
 execution of the Intelligence Community's Worklife Program.
     -- Academy Construction: $9.8 million in support of the FBI Academy,
 including construction contract management services and
 architectural-engineering services for upcoming projects and a new
 substation to handle increased electrical power loads.
     Integrated Wireless Network
     -- Integrated Wireless Network: $43.9 million for law enforcement
 wireless communications, which is vital to national security and to the
 life and safety of our law enforcement officers. The 9/11 Commission
 identified the inability of first responders to communicate with each other
 and recommended that this issue be addressed. These resources will employ a
 multi-pronged approach to providing tactical wireless communications
 capabilities for law enforcement personnel across the country. This
 approach provides for: $19.0 million to replace outdated legacy equipment
 with narrowband compliant technology for the FBI, the Drug Enforcement
 Administration (DEA), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Alcohol
 Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and $24.9 million to implement the
 Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) in the Washington, D.C. area. The
 Department intends to implement IWN on a nationwide basis over a multi-year
 time frame.
     Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
     -- Oversight: $1.2 million to enable the OIG to assist the Department
 in ensuring that its counterterrorism funds are used effectively. With
 these resources, the OIG will continue to examine issues such as the FBI's
 use of national security letters and USA Patriot Act Section 215 orders to
 obtain business records and its progress in hiring, training, and retaining
 intelligence analysts.
     The Southwest Border is the principal arrival zone for most illicit
 drugs smuggled into the United States, as well as the predominant staging
 area for the subsequent distribution of drugs throughout the country. The
 Southwest Border also poses significant challenges for enforcing the
 nation's laws against illegal immigration, including human smuggling. In
 addition, the threat of terrorism looms large wherever criminals regularly
 exploit gaps in homeland security. Given the magnitude of the threat, it is
 imperative that the Department add resources to better disrupt the
 organizations responsible for the movement of illicit drugs, proceeds, and
 weapons across the Southwest Border and to bring their leaders to justice.
 To address this ever-growing threat, the Department proposes $100.0 million
 in new resources to create the Southwest Border Enforcement Initiative to
 strategically focus the Department's law enforcement and prosecutorial
 efforts on the U.S. Southwest Border to combat violent crime, gun
 smuggling, illicit drug trafficking, and illegal immigration. Specific
 increases include:
     Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
     -- Firearms Industry Regulation: $948,000 to enhance ATF's ability to
 inspect and investigate the firearms industry to strengthen oversight in
 the region and implement a focused inspection program to identify
 purchasers, traffickers and non-compliant licensees that may be sources of
 illegally trafficked firearms used by violent criminals.
     Criminal Division
     -- Reducing Gang Violence: $289,000 to work in tandem with the DOJ Gang
 Targeting, Enforcement, and Coordination Center's enforcement efforts to
 combat ever-increasing gang threats facing the nation along the Southwest
     Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
     -- Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team (FAST) Expansion: $7.0
 million to establish two additional teams to assist DEA's host nation
 counterparts in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, where
 drugs flowing to the United States are produced or transited. These teams
 will provide the expertise, equipment, and personnel to augment DEA country
 offices targeting the most significant violators, Priority Organization
 Targets and Consolidated Priority Organization Targets (CPOTs).
     -- Strategic Drug Flow Enforcement Operations: $2.0 million to conduct
 an additional Operational All Inclusive (OAI) deployment each year in the
 western hemisphere. OAI is DEA's primary large-scale and successful Drug
 Flow Attack enforcement operation in the source, transit, and arrival
 zones. This operational funding provides for travel, aviation support,
 intelligence collection, and host nation support.
     -- Tactical Aircraft Section: $8.9 million to purchase, operate, and
 maintain one new Bell 412 twin-engine helicopter to support interdiction
 operations in the transit zone, including FAST deployments, and address
 air, maritime, and land drug trafficking threats.
     -- Southwest Border Staffing: $2.6 million and 16 positions to prevent
 the flow of drugs across the Southwest Border.
     Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
     -- Information Technology: $10 million for EOIR, including $8.3 million
 for a Digital Audio Recording System to be provided to immigration courts
 nationwide to improve the audio quality in the immigration courts; and $1.7
 million for the Immigration Review Information Exchange System, through
 which EOIR will share mission-critical information with other federal
 agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the DOJ's Civil
     Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement (ICDE)
     -- Vehicle Identification Initiative: $2.8 million to support
 communications costs associated with the Vehicle Identification Initiative,
 an effort to gather valuable law enforcement intelligence regarding
 Mexico-based Consolidated Priority Organization Targets and affiliated
 "Gatekeeper" organizations involved in bulk cash smuggling. Also included
 is $500,000 to provide sufficient IT infrastructure for the Organized Crime
 Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Fusion Center to process and develop
 the data collected.
     -- Fugitive Apprehension Initiative: $1.7 million and six Deputy U.S.
 Marshals to increase USMS's capability to apprehend OCDETF fugitives both
 domestically and in foreign countries, particularly those fugitives linked
 to South America and Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations.
     -- Drug Prosecution: $5.1 million to support prosecution activities
 against significant drug trafficking organizations and money laundering
 organizations responsible for transporting, importing, manufacturing or
 distributing drugs and smuggling illicit proceeds across the U.S./Mexico
     Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT)
     -- Detainee Housing and Transportation: $37.6 million to accommodate an
 anticipated increase in the number of detainees housed in non-federal
 facilities. These resources will be utilized to fund the costs associated
 with prisoner detention, care and transportation of detainees along the
 Southwest Border.
     U.S. Attorneys
     -- Southwest Border Prosecution: $8.4 million and 83 positions (50
 attorneys) to support additional prosecutorial efforts along the Southwest
 Border. Additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys and paralegals are needed to
 respond to cross-border criminal activities and the increases in
 immigration cases resulting from the substantial increases in Border Patrol
 agents and the U.S. Government's overall effort to gain operational control
 of the border.
     U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)
     -- Prisoner Security and Transportation: $12.7 million and 73 positions
 (52 Deputy U.S. Marshals) to manage the increasing workload along the
 Southwest Border. As the number of illegal immigrants entering America has
 risen, the USMS has experienced substantial prisoner and fugitive workload
 growth along the Southwest Border. This funding will allow the USMS to meet
 its responsibilities for protecting and securing federal detainees before,
 during, and after their judicial proceedings.
     As a result of successful law enforcement policies targeting terrorism,
 violent crime, and drug crimes, the number of criminal suspects appearing
 in federal court continues to grow as does the number of individuals
 ordered detained and ultimately incarcerated. The FY 2009 President's
 Budget request provides significant resources needed to increase capacity
 for the detention and incarceration of those accused or convicted of
 violent crimes. During FY 2007, the nation's federal prison population rose
 approximately 4 percent to 200,020, and it is projected to exceed over
 213,000 by the end of FY 2009. The request provides $67.1 million in
 additional resources for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to manage this growth,
 including funds for additional contract beds.
     The FY 2009 request addresses BOP's responsibility to protect society
 by confining offenders in the controlled environments of prisons and
 community-based facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and
 appropriately secure, and that provide work and other self-improvement
 opportunities to assist offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens.
 Specific increases include:
     Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
     -- Contract Confinement: $50 million to add prisoner space (4,000 beds)
 in contract facilities to house low-security inmates for six months in FY
 2009. Using contract beds for the confinement of low-security inmates
 provides a flexible approach to manage this population.
     -- Institution Population Adjustment: $17.1 million for costs of the
 increasing inmate population above the number of newly activating beds.
 Resources will enable the BOP to meet the marginal costs of providing
 security, food, medical care, clothing, utilities, unit management,
 education, records and maintenance associated with the population increase.
     The Department's portion of the President's FY 2009 budget contains
 over $1 billion in discretionary grant assistance to state, local and
 tribal governments. The budget request also eliminates all earmarks from
 state and local grant programs; the FY 2008 Department of Justice
 appropriations act included over 1,500 earmarks totaling over $675 million.
 Included in the FY 2009 budget request is funding for the creation of four
 new, competitive grant programs. These programs will provide states,
 localities and tribes with considerable flexibility to address the most
 pressing problems facing communities today: violent crime, domestic
 violence, and crimes against children. The four grant categories and their
 amounts are:
     -- Violent Crime Reduction Partnership Initiatives: $200 million to
 help communities suffering from high rates of violent crime to address this
 problem by forming and developing effective multi-jurisdictional law
 enforcement partnerships between local, state, tribal and federal law
 enforcement agencies.
     -- Byrne Public Safety and Protection (Byrne) Program: $200 million to
 assist state, local, and tribal governments with their highest-priority
 concerns, such as violent and drug-related crime and presidential
 priorities, such as DNA backlog reduction and offender re-entry programs.
     -- Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program: $185 million to
 consolidate existing juvenile justice and exploited children programs, and
 to assist state, local and tribal governments in addressing multiple child
 safety and juvenile justice needs: reduce incidents of child exploitation
 and abuse, including those facilitated by the use of computers and the
     -- Violence Against Women Grants Program: $280 million to consolidate
 all the Violence Against Women programs into one new flexible, competitive
 grant program, creating a new structure that can help state, local and
 tribal governments address multiple domestic violence needs.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice