Core Justice programs get 1.2 percent boost in 2013 budget

President Barack Obama is calling for $36.5 billion in funding for the Justice Department in his 2013 budget that was unveiled today.

The 2013 budget calls for $27.1 billion in discretionary funding, a decrease of 0.4 percent below the 2012 level of $27.02 billion. But core Justice programs, including law enforcement, litigation and prisons and detention, will see a 1.2 percent increase from 2012 levels.

Justice said the savings will be achieved “by prioritizing uniquely federal responsibilities and streamlining programs and operations.”

Although Obama’s budget request does not break out specific allocations for IT programs, it does provide $257 million to support America’s first responders.

State and local criminal justice programs would receive more than $2 billion in program assistance for hiring police, general purpose criminal justice assistance, violence against women programs, and Second Chance Act grants; the same as in 2012.

The budget also calls for $8.07 billion in discretionary spending for the FBI, a slight decrease from the $8.1 billion called for in 2012, but up from $7.8 billion in 2011.

The budget fully funds the National Security Division and provides for FBI programs critical to mitigating and countering terrorism threats, including funding for additional FBI agents, criminal prosecutors, civil litigators, in-house investigators, and forensic accountants.

It adds $5 million for the investigation and deterrence of intellectual property crime by adding attorneys and FBI agents, bringing total spending to nearly $40 million annually.

To improve the FBI’s capacity to investigate and prosecute the full spectrum of financial fraud, the budget invests more than $700 million for investigations and prosecutions, an increase of $55 million over 2012.

The budget request finances efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations and maintain the security of the Southwest border with new investments in intelligence capabilities and nearly $2 billion in Southwest border enforcement spending.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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