Segment 1 Of 3 Next Hearing Segment(2)
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OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
MARCH 5, MARCH 7, AND MARCH 14, 2002
Serial No. 71
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR., WISCONSIN, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
DARRELL E. ISSA, California
MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
PHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel
Subcommittee on Crime
LAMAR SMITH, Texas, Chairman
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia
RIC KELLER, Florida
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
JAY APPERSON, Chief Counsel
SEAN MCLAUGHLIN, Counsel
ELIZABETH SOKUL, Counsel
KATY CROOKS, Counsel
ERIC HULTMAN, Full Committee Counsel
BOBBY VASSAR, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
March 5, 2002
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS: COORDINATION AND DUPLICATION
March 7, 2002
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS: EVALUATION OF EFFECTIVENESS
March 14, 2002
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS: WASTE FRAUD AND ABUSE
March 5, 2002
The Honorable Lamar Smith, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime
The Honorable Deborah Daniels, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Nolan Jones, National Governors Association, Washington, DC
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Ms. Laurie O. Robinson, former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Ralph E. Kelly, Commissioner, Department of Juvenile Justice, Frankfurt, KY
March 7, 2002
The Honorable Lamar Smith, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime
Mr. David B. Muhlhausen, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Analysis, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Prepared Statement
Mr. John Cary Bittick, President, National Sheriff's Association, Washington, DC
Dr. Laurie Ekstrand, Director, Justice Issues, General Accounting Office, Washington, DC
Mr. David B. Mitchell, Executive Director, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Reno, NV
March 14, 2002
The Honorable Lamar Smith, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 WITNESSES
The Honorable Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice
Ms. Tracy A. Henke, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Carl Peed, Director, COPS Program, U.S. Department of Justice
Ms. Bonnie Campbell, former Director, Violence Against Women Office, Office of Justice Programs
Statements Submitted For the Record
March 5, 2002
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 The Honorable Bobby Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia
The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas
Shay Bilchik, President/CEO of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
Material Submitted For The Record
March 5, 2002
Press Release from the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., a Representative in Congress From the State of Wisconsin, and Chairman, the Committee on Judiciary
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from Laurie O. Robinson, former Assistant Attorney General, Ofiice of Justice Programs
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from Nolan E. Jones, Director, Human Resources Committee, National Governors Association
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from Debroah Daniels, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
March 7, 2002
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Resolution from the National Sheriffs' AssociationRecommending that Congress Continue Funding for the Office of Domestic Preparedness
National Sheriffs' AssociationONDCP/CTAC - Action by the National Sheriffs' Association to Support ONDCP's Counterdrug Technology Assesment Center (CTAC) and Requesting Assist to Combat Terrorism
National Sheriffs' AssociationFEMA and ODP - Action by the National Sheriffs' Association to Oppose OMB's Proposed Elimination of Federal Funding for Counterterrorism and Shift of Authority to FEMA
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from John Cary Bittick, President, National Sheriffs' Association, Washington, DC
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from David B. Muhlhausen, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Analysis, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC
Repsonses to Post-Hearing Questions from Laurie E. Ekstrand, Director, Justice Issues, General Accounting Office, Washington, DC
March 14, 2002
Letter from Carol Petrie, Director, Committee on Law and Justice National Research Council, The National Academies
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Letter from Chris F. Ryan, M.S. Associate Director of Public Affairs of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA)
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from Bonnie Campbell, Esq., fomer Director, Violence Against Women Office, Office of Justice Programs
Reponses to Post-Hearing Questions from Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from Carl Peed, Director, COPS Office, U.S. Department of Justice
Responses to Post-Hearing Questions from Tracy A. Henke, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
United States General Accounting OfficeThe Honorable Bob Schaffer, House of Representatives, Juvenile Justice: Better Documentation of Discretionary Grant Monitoring Is Needed (October 2001, GAO0265)
United States General Accounting OfficeReport to the Honorable Bob Schaffer, House of Representatives, Juvenile Justice: OJJDP Reporting Requirements for Discretionary and Formula Grantees and Concerns About Evaluation Studies (October 2001, GAO0223)
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United States General Accounting OfficeReport to Congressional Requesters, Justice Discretionary Grants: Byrne Program and Violence Against Women Office Grant Monitoring Should Be Better Documented (November 2001, GAO0225)
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS:
COORDINATION AND DUPLICATION
TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2002
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 4:10 p.m., in Room 2237, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee on Crime will come to order. I am going to recognize Members for opening statements, including myself, and then introduce the witnesses. We'll look forward to a very informative hearing today.
Today the Crime Subcommittee holds the first in a series of oversight hearings to examine the operations of the Office of Justice Programs, OJP. This hearing will focus on the overlap and duplication that exists within OJP and the efforts that are being taken and should be taken to reduce that duplication.
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This Subcommittee has planned three oversight hearings on the Office of Justice Programs. The next hearing, which will be on Thursday, March 7, will examine the methods OJP uses to evaluate the effectiveness of the grants it distributes to State and local governments. The following Thursday, March 14, we will hear testimony regarding programs that have been less than successful and grants that have been used for questionable purposes.
All of these hearings are designed to help the Office of Justice Programs and this Committee reorganize and refocus the grant dollars into programs that work. The goal of these hearings is to determine how we can improve the process at OJP to create a more integrated system that will better serve State and local governments and the American people.
More than $4 billion was appropriated last year for grant programs at OJP. That represents a 400 percent increase in the last 10 years. The Federal Government owes it to the taxpayers to ensure that their money is being used in an effective and efficient manner. Taxpayers deserve to know what programs the Federal Government is funding with their money and whether these programs work or not.
The Office of Justice Programs, which consists of five bureaus, six program offices, and six administrative offices, is the primary grant-making office within the Department of Justice. The programs that OJP is currently operating were authorized by various crime bills during the past two decades. Although these grant programs provide a vital resource for State and local law enforcement agencies, some of the programs at OJP overlap or duplicate other programs at OJP and within other agencies.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 For example, some COPS programs, Local Law Enforcement Block Grants, and Byrne grants are all focused on providing funds to local jurisdictions to fight crime in the same way.
The duplication and overlap also exist in the functions of the offices.
The lack of coordination among the various bureaus and offices sometimes results in administrative duplication in the Office of Justice Programs.
On another subject, in the budget request for fiscal year for 2003, the Administration reduced the funding for OJP by approximately $1.2 billion. A substantial portion of this reduction was in funding for Office of Domestic Preparedness, which it proposed to transfer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA.
The Judiciary Committee is not sure FEMA is the appropriate agency for these responsibilities.
The Committee is concerned that the transfer of counterterrorism training and equipment grant programs out of the Department of Justice to FEMA will shift the focus away from law enforcement and reduce local crisis management capabilities.
Today the Subcommittee looks forward to hearing from our four witnesses on the above subjects, and several others as well. That concludes my remarks, and now the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott, will be recognized for his opening statement.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I'm pleased to join you in convening this oversight hearing on the Office of Justice Programs.
We are aware of the important role OJP plays in administering its more than 50 grant programs for the benefit of State and local law enforcement, juvenile justice, victims of crime, and others. OJP's organizational structure is unique. It has developed over the years as a direct response to congressional funding, including many earmarks and mandates.
The bureau's offices and programs in OJP are numerous and complex in their design and operation. Substantive functions of the bureaus are vested by law in their directors rather than the Attorney General or the Assistant Attorney General. These statutes have provided that the directors have final authority over grants, cooperative agreements and contracts awarded by their respective agencies. And as a result, OJP operates, to a large degree, as a network of independent agencies which share a common infrastructure.
Funding for OJP programs exceeded $4 billion up from $1.1 billion in 1995. As a result of the rapid growth in size and complexity of operations, inefficiencies, duplications, and difficulties began to be noted by some of those observing or negotiating the maze of grant, research, and technical assistance programs under OJP.
So in 1997, Congress, through the appropriations process, directed OJP and DOJ to develop a proposal for reorganization, which would clarify and streamline its operations. In 1999, DOJ responded with a report, which proposed changes to the present OJP structure in an effort to accomplish these objectives. They proposed various changes, such as focusing authority in the Assistant Attorney General through the elimination of presidentially appointed bureau chiefs, elimination of some bureaus, consolidating some program offices, and consolidating all research under NIJ.
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During the oversight hearings in 1999, we heard from a variety of customers of OJP, including researchers, practitioners, administrators and advocates of OJP programs. Some of the witnesses expressed support for the proposal or parts thereof; others expressed criticisms in opposition to the proposal or parts thereof. And I suspect we'll hear a divergence of views about OJP reorganization in this series of hearings as well.
Mr. Chairman, I have a lot more to say, and I'd like unanimous consent to enter the rest of this statement into the record. And thank you for holding up the markup of the cyberterrorism bill, because that had OJP reorganizational issues in it, so that we can hear from the witnesses on that particular issue before we take up that bill.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Scott. And without objection, your entire opening statement will be made a part of the record, as will the opening statements of other Members, as will several submissions we've had of testimony of individuals who are not here today.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Scott follows in the Appendix]
Mr. SMITH. We especially appreciate the presence of the other Members who are here, they being the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Coble, and the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Keller. And do they have opening statements they wish to make?
The gentleman from North Carolina?
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Mr. COBLE. Mr. Chairman, a very brief statement. You and Mr. Scott have pretty well covered it.
You touched on duplication and overlapping in your opening statement, and duplication and overlapping is a problemor problems that continue to plague this city generally and this Capitol Hill specifically.
I recall, Mr. Chairman, and I'll say to Mr. Scott as well, back when we were working on the welfare reform package, I was amazed to find, Mr. Chairman, the different programs that involved a dozen different entities addressing the same problem, but yet making separate appropriations. So I'm not suggesting that quartet is guilty of this. [Laughter.]
I don't mean to imply that at all.
But if duplication and overlapping are areas that need attention, I think this hearing will serve a good purpose, and I thank you for it.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Coble.
Does the gentleman from Florida have an opening statement?
Mr. KELLER. Mr. Chairman, my only opening statement is to thank the witnesses for taking time to appear before us today and look forward to hearing your testimony.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Mr. COBLE. And I failed to do that, too, Mr. Chairman. It's good to have the witnesses.
Mr. Chairman, I must say, I have a 4:30 meeting, so I'm going to have to leave before too long.
Mr. SMITH. We're just glad you're here, present for the creation here. Thank you, Mr. Coble.
Thank you, Mr. Keller.
I'll introduce the witnesses who are here today. They are the Honorable Deborah Daniels, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice; Dr. Nolan Jones, National Governors Association, Hall of States, Washington, DC; the Honorable Laurie O. Robinson, former Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs; and Mr. Ralph E. Kelly, Commissioner, Department of Juvenile Justice, Frankfurt, KY
We welcome you all, and we'll begin with Ms. Daniels. But let me say at the outset, as you all were notified, we hope to keep your testimony within 5 minutes, and there will be ample opportunity for you to expand on that testimony during the question-and-answer period. And also, let me request that in your 5-minute statements, that you not take too much time to describe the current programs, but focus as much as possible on ways we can improve the programs and eliminate duplication that's the subject of the hearing.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 With that, Ms. Daniels, we'll begin with you.
STATEMENT OF DEBORAH DANIELS, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Ms. DANIELS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I'm pleased to have the opportunity to discuss with you this Administration's efforts to improve the structure and operations of the Office of Justice Programs. We greatly appreciate your interest and your support of our efforts, which are a continuation of Ms. Robinson's efforts over time to eliminate duplication and waste, to streamline our management and operations, to improve accountability for taxpayer dollars, and to ensure optimal service to the public in the 21st century.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, OJP has been of fastest-growing Federal agencies in the past decade. And in fact, you yourself mentioned that we had reached an appropriation level of over $4 billion. At this point, OJP is overseeing more than 40,000 grants, valued at over $20 billion.
However, as these new programs and funding streams were added over the years, you've also noted, an effective infrastructure was not in place to accommodate them. The result is a decentralized, inefficient, and overlapping bureaucracy that wastes valuable government resources and significantly contributes to inefficiency and shakes the citizens' trust and confidence in their government and its management.
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Briefly, just to give you an idea without berating this issue: at least four of our bureaus and one office work on domestic violence issues: all five bureaus and at least one office address child abuse; and at least three bureaus, and one office address juvenile drug abuse, at least four bureaus, almost all offices address youth violence.
In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America, improving our ability to reach local law enforcement and State law enforcement and serve the public has taken on a new urgency.
To assist in safeguarding our Nation's internal security as well as to continue to assist in the fight against more traditional crime, which we must continue to do, we must maximize our efficiencies, minimize waste, and get the greatest number of dollars out to the field as promptly as possible.
We appreciate the fact that the Members of the Subcommittee share these goals. And as you know, Mr. Chairman, we're recently submitted a report to the Congress, describing our goals and our objectives to reaching those goals in order to improve our operational effectiveness, accountability and reliability, the efficiency of our programs, and how we serve and inform our constituencies.
I believe that we will continue these discussions that we have begun with the field, but we've taken into account, in developing our proposals, a lot of very good recommendations that have been made from the field and from my immediate predecessor, Laurie Robinson, who I am delighted is with us today, in trying to craft something that is going to make us more efficient and accountable and target our resources to maximize public benefit.
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We have four basic goals in this reorganization, and they are to improve responsiveness, assistance, and accountability to all of our customers; to eliminate duplication and overlap, which was a great concern expressed by Mr. Coble a moment ago; to ensure measurable grant and program outcomes; and to enhance communication, cooperation, coordination, and efficiency.
We've developed a set of corresponding objectives to try to reach these goals, and they include, first, developing a strategic plan that reflects our statutory requirements and the mission and goals of the President and the Attorney General. This plan will ensure meaningful outcomes, appropriate fiscal management, and accountability.
Second, we believe that it's necessary to amend the statutes governing OJP's bureaus and program offices to provide that all authority for all operations at the Office of Justice Programs rests in the Attorney General, while recognizing and meeting the need for maintaining the integrity of the research and statistics functions within OJP.
Third, standardizing management policies and procedures throughout OJP and consolidating administrative offices will help us to ensure procurement methods that are uniform, uniform policies and procedures across OJP, which in turn will assist us in streamlining our management and producing cost savings.
Fourth, instituting an OJP-wide automated grant management system to improve efficiency and consolidating all our information technology services under a new chief information officer, whom we've recently hired. We believe that will go a great length to improve our ability to manage grants and improve the ability of our customers to access our services and to negotiate the maze which is OJP.
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Fifth, we want to become more retail orientated, more customer friendly. We want to focus more on results and improving service to our customers. This will include examining our current functions that could be contracted out to increase efficiency, to improve our interaction with grantees, and to maximize the utilization of taxpayer resources.
Sixth, we want to centralize communications within OJP to better coordinate the release of information, data, and publications, eliminate duplication, and flag potentially contradictory findings.
Seventh, we need to improve the coordination of our legislative, statutory, and regulatory activities and reviews by centralizing the authority for these activities within OJP's Office of General Counsel.
And finally, consolidating and coordinating many currently overlapping functions to reduce the duplication that results in fragmented grant programs, confusion both within OJP and out in the field, and a misuse of taxpayer resources.
In addition, Mr. Chairman, at your request, the OJP staff has examined the programs which are administered by OJP, by other Justice Department offices, and by other Federal departments, to identify areas of overlap and duplication. We have compiled a great deal of information for you, which I know will be forthcoming. I'm sorry we could not have it to you before this movement.
But our review found that OJP administers a number of programs that share certain characteristics or purposes with other OJP department and other Federal agency programs. But no OJP program actually duplicates any other such program in every particular.
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Most, however, share a fundamental focus, such as service to victims of crime, addressing juvenile justice issues, delinquency issues, or improving technology, with at least one other entity either within OJP, outside OJP but within the department, or in some other Federal agency.
However, most of these programs that are administered by OJP have specific statutory goals and purposes that while they minimize the potentialfor precise duplication of effort, they somewhat diffuse the potential impact of our effort to assist the field, because they are somewhat duplicative and overlapping of other programs.
To address this issue of overlap, we have worked already to collaborate with other agencies of the Department of Justice as well as other Federal agencies on programs involving similar areas of interest and authority.
One recent example is our serious and violent offender reentry initiative, in which we're collaborating with the National Institute of Corrections within the Department of Justice. It involves a collaboration within OJP of our Office of Corrections and our Juvenile Justice Agency, and also, the other U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, HHS, and Housing and Urban Development.
We continue to look for areas of possible collaboration to reduce duplication and overlap, such as this one, and to also enhance communities' access to Federal funds. We believe this a way to address the issues that you've raised today.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the terrorist attacks of September 11th, and the threat of continued terrorist activity on American soil, have made it even more urgent that OJP streamline and coordinate its efforts, that it maximize its resources, that it improve its services, and it collaborate extensively with other agencies of the Federal Government. To ensure that America's front-line defenders, our State and local public safety officers, have the resources they need to protect our liberties and to safeguard the Nation's internal security.
I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that I and the other members of our OJP leadership team stand ready to work with the Congress to achieve these goals. I've provided the Subcommittee with a more extensive written statement, and I would ask that it be included in the record. And I'd be pleased to respond to questions either now or at the conclusion of this testimony, at the wish of the Committee. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Daniels follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE DEBORAH J. DANIELS
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss with you this Administration's efforts to improve the structure and operations of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). We appreciate your interest in and support for these efforts to eliminate duplication and waste, streamline our management and operations, improve our accountability for taxpayer dollars, and ensure optimal service to the public in the 21st Century.
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As you know, Mr. Chairman, OJP was established by the Justice Assistance Act of 1984, and reauthorized in 1988, to provide federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist crime victims. Its origins go back to the 1960s, however, and a series of individual enactments over time that created the various sub-agencies of what is now OJP.
OJP strives to make the nation's criminal and juvenile justice systems more responsive to the needs of state, local, and tribal governments and their citizens. OJP partners with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as national and community-based organizations, to develop, operate, and evaluate a wide range of criminal and juvenile justice programs. To accomplish its mission, OJP administers a mix of formula and discretionary grant programs and provides targeted training and technical assistance on ''what works'' and ''best practices.''
CURRENT OJP ORGANIZATION
OJP's organizational structure is unique. As a result of various authorizing statutes and funding mandates by Congress, OJP currently consists of five bureaus, six program offices, and seven administrative offices. The OJP program bureaus are:
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides funding, training, and technical assistance to state and local governments to combat violent and drug-related crime and to help improve the criminal justice system. Its programs include the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance formula and discretionary grant programs and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants (LLEBG) program.
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects and analyzes statistical data on crime, criminal offenders, crime victims, and the operations of justice systems at all levels of government.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supports research and development programs, conducts demonstrations of innovative approaches to improve criminal justice, develops new criminal justice technologies and standards for law enforcement equipment, and evaluates the effectiveness of OJP-supported and other justice programs.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides grants and contracts to states to help them improve their juvenile justice systems and sponsors innovative research, demonstration, evaluation, statistics, replication, technical assistance, and training programs to help improve the nation's understanding of and response to juvenile violence and delinquency.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) administers victim compensation and assistance grant programs created by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA). OVC also provides funding, training, and technical assistance to improve the nation's response to crime victims.
The Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) coordinates the Department of Justice's initiatives relating to violence against women and administers grant programs to help prevent, detect, and stop violence against women.
The Corrections Program Office (CPO) provides financial and technical assistance to state and local governments to implement corrections-related programs, including correctional facility construction and corrections-based drug treatment programs.
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The Drug Courts Program Office (DCPO) supports the development, implementation, and improvement of drug courts through grants to local or state governments, courts, and tribal governments, as well as through technical assistance and training.
The Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) helps communities build stronger, safer neighborhoods by implementing the Weed and Seed strategy, a community-based, multi-disciplinary approach to combating crime and revitalizing crime-plagued neighborhoods.
The Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education (OPCLEE) provides college educational assistance and training to individuals who commit to public service in law enforcement.
The Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) currently is responsible for enhancing the capacity and capability of state and local jurisdictions to prepare for and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism involving chemical and biological agents, radiological and explosive devices, and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD). As you may know, the Administration is proposing transfer of ODP's funding and functions to FEMA in 2003.
In addition, OJP's American Indian and Alaskan Native Coordinator (AI/AN) improves outreach to tribal communities and coordinates funding, training, technical assistance, and information dissemination to tribal governments.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 OJP has been one of the fastest growing federal agencies this past decade, with its resources more than quadrupling and reaching an annual appropriation level of over $4 billion. Today, OJP is overseeing more than 40,000 grants valued at over $20 billion.
However, as new programs and funding streams were added to OJP over the years, there was not appropriate planning to ensure that an effective infrastructure was in place. The result is a decentralized, inefficient, and overlapping bureaucracy. Under the current organizational structure, the OJP bureaus and offices often do not communicate, coordinate, or collaborate. This has resulted in lost opportunities for responding to crime, assisting law enforcement, and providing services to victims; and considerable frustration within the criminal justice community, as well as within the OJP.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, efforts to reorganize OJP have been underway for several years. In 1997, the Congress began an examination of the OJP infrastructure and the statutory framework that has shaped that infrastructure for the past 14 years. As the Congress noted in the conference report accompanying the Justice Department's fiscal year 1998 appropriations bill, since 1995, funding for OJP programs had grown by 213 percent, from $1.1 billion to over $3.4 billion. The conferees asked the OJP Assistant Attorney General to report on ''the steps OJP has taken'' and to recommend ''additional actions'' to ensure coordination and reduce duplication and overlap among the OJP components. Responding to that request, the OJP Assistant Attorney General submitted a report to the Congress that presented options for improving coordination in OJP grant administration.
However, in October 1998, Congress expressed further concern about the OJP structure and, in the conference report that accompanied the fiscal year 1999 Justice Department appropriations bill, the conferees asked the OJP Assistant Attorney General to develop a plan for a new organizational structure for OJP. OJP's proposed reorganization plan was submitted to the Congress in March 1999.
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In November 1999, in the conference report accompanying the fiscal year 2000 Justice Department appropriations bill, the Congress asked the OJP Assistant Attorney General to submit to the Congress a ''formal reorganization proposal'' to implement selected components of OJP's March 1999 proposed reorganization plan. Consequently, in February 2000, the proposed new structure for OJP was forwarded to the Congress for its review. In April 2000, Congress approved the proposal. However, the former OJP leadership did not move forward to implement the new organizational structure. Thus, in 2002, OJP operates under the same structure that existed in 1997.
CURRENT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America, improving OJP's ability to assist state and local law enforcement has taken on a new urgency. To assist in safeguarding our nation's internal security, as well as to continue to assist in the fight against more traditional crime, OJP must maximize efficiency, minimize waste, and identify ways to get the greatest possible number of dollars out to the field as promptly as possible. These are the goals of Attorney General Ashcroft and all of the current OJP leadership, and I believe, Mr. Chairman, that you and the Members of this Subcommittee share those goals.
At the same time, the current Department and OJP leadership recognize that reorganization of OJP should be more than just streamlining and creating efficiencies and coordination. Reorganization should strive to improve OJP's overall responsiveness to the criminal justice field, states and localities, individual citizens, and Congress. Reorganization must also leverage federal funds to the greatest extent possible, in order to ensure the wise investment of taxpayer dollars.
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In addition, OJP's reorganization should meet the charge President Bush set for federal agencies to promote ''an active but limited government; one that empowers states, cities, and citizens to make decisions; ensures results through accountability; and promotes innovation through competition. The primary objective must be a government that is citizen centered, not bureaucracy centered; results-oriented, not process-oriented, and market-based, actively promoting, not stifling, innovation and competition.''
To guide these reorganization efforts, the current OJP leadership has developed four strategic goals. These are:
Improve responsiveness, assistance, and accountability to all OJP customers.
Eliminate duplication and overlap.
Ensure measurable grant and program outcomes.
Enhance communication, cooperation, coordination, and efficiency.
We also have developed a set of corresponding objectives to meet those goals. These are:
1. Objective: OJP should have a strategic plan that reflects statutory requirements and the mission and goals of the President and the Attorney General. This plan will ensure meaningful outcomes, appropriate fiscal management, and accountability. It also will result in improved communication, coordination, and collaboration among the OJP components to ensure the wise investment of taxpayer dollars and provide real progress and improvement in the criminal justice field.
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2. Objective: The statutes governing OJP's bureaus and program offices should be amended to provide that all authority resides in the Attorney General rather than in the Assistant Attorney General or in program heads. This consolidation would help meet the Congressional mandate to ''ensure centralized management'' of OJP's activities. Congress has already taken significant steps to consolidate the administrative authority of OJP in past appropriations bill, and most recently in the USA Patriot Act. This centralization of authority, support, and program functions would help OJP become a collaborative, coordinated set of programs.
3. Objective: Management policies and procedures should be standardized throughout OJP. To improve organizational management and performance, the numerous administrative offices should be consolidated. In addition, standardization would ensure uniform procurement methods, policies, and procedures across OJP, improving and streamlining management and producing cost-savings throughout the agency.
4. Objective: An OJP-wide grant management system should be instituted. Many OJP grants are still processed on paper. Only a handful are automated. We are moving forward to fully automate the process and to utilize a single, comprehensive grant management system for all grant programs. This would allow applicants to apply on-line and for grantees to submit periodic financial and programmatic reports on-line, as well. To help accomplish this objective, we recently appointed a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) for OJP and proposed to the Congress that all information technology services be consolidated under the CIO's authority.
5. Objective: OJP should be ''retail-oriented.'' Instead of focusing on internal processes, hierarchy, and ''stovepipes,'' OJP should focus more on results, communication, and partnerships. We are working to eliminate internal barriers to accomplishing this objective so that OJP can be more responsive to the needs and questions of grantees, as well as the overall criminal justice, public safety, and victim assistance fields. In addition, we also propose examining current internal OJP functions that could be contracted out to increase overall efficiency, maintain or improve interaction with grantees, and maximize the utilization of taxpayer resources.
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6. Objective: Centralized communication should be established at OJP. Currently, there is little internal coordination of information, data, publications, etc. This has led to the dissemination by OJP of duplicative and even contradictory information. To achieve more centralized communication, we have proposed centralizing the Congressional liaison, media information, and publishing functions of OJP. This would assist in eliminating duplication and flagging contradictory findings. However, this centralization would not affect the objectivity of research at the National Institute of Justice or statistical collections of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
7. Objective: Improved coordination of legislative, statutory, and regulatory activities and reviews. We have proposed centralizing authority for these activities within OJP's Office of General Counsel. This would result in strengthened oversight of grantee compliance with statutory requirements, eliminate confusion in drafting legal opinions and legislative analyses, and ensure consistent interpretations of legal and legislative matters.
8. Objective: Consolidate and coordinate currently overlapping functions. OJP's December 1997 report to Congress identified significant duplication of issues and programs within OJP. Initiatives are undertaken by bureaus or program offices without knowing of ongoing work in other parts of OJP. The 1997 report pointed out the significant duplication that exists within OJP:
at least 4 OJP bureaus and 1 OJP office work on domestic violence issues;
all 5 OJP bureaus and at least 1 OJP office address child abuse:
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at least 3 OJP bureaus and 1 OJP office address juvenile drug use;
at least 4 OJP bureaus and almost all OJP offices address youth violence.
We also recently discovered that at least 1 OJP bureau and 2 OJP offices were working on offender re-entry programs. This duplication and overlap result in fragmented grant programs, confusion both within OJP and in the field, and a misuse of taxpayer resources.
Therefore, we have proposed consolidating similar programs and grant activities. For example, we have proposed moving the Drug Court Program Office (DCPO) under the umbrella of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). While training and technical assistance for drug courts is primarily provided by DCPO, the majority of drug court funding is provided through BJA's block grant programs. By consolidating drug court programs within BJA, we can better coordinate our efforts and maximize our effectiveness in delivering these services to the field.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, we recently submitted a report to the Congress describing this Administration's goals and objectives to improve OJP's operational effectiveness, improve OJP's accountability, reliability, and efficiency of its programs, and improve how OJP serves and informs its constituencies. This report also complies with instructions from Attorney General Ashcroft directing OJP to make its grant processes more efficient and accountable, and to target its resources to maximize public benefit; and takes into consideration recommendations and suggestions made by our partners in the field over the past several years.
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Mr. Chairman, I know you and this Committee are concerned about the problem of duplication among the OJP bureaus, offices, and programs. I agree that this issue is particularly troubling. Duplication and overlap waste valuable government resources, significantly contribute to inefficiency, and shake citizens' trust and confidence in their government and its management.
To begin to address this problem within OJP, OJP staff have recently examined the programs administered by OJP and by other Department offices and agencies, and researched programs administered by other federal departments. Given the large number of programs that OJP administers, programs were grouped in seven broad purpose areas. These are: (1) juvenile justice and school violence; (2) family violence and violence against women; (3) law enforcement technology and information sharing; (4) victims of crime; (5) corrections and offender management; (6) substance abuse and drug prevention, and (7) law enforcement assistance.
Our review indicated that OJP administers a number of programs that share certain characteristics or purposes. Although no program administered by OJP actually duplicates any other such program in every particular, most do share a fundamental focus (such as service to victims of crime, addressing the issues of juvenile justice and delinquency, or improving technology) with at least one other. Most of the programs administered by OJP have specific statutory goals and purposes that minimize the potential for precise duplication of effort, but lead to considerable overlap.
It should be noted, for example, that the majority of activities and purposes encompassed by these programs well could fit within the broad framework of the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Programs and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) Program. The 28 purpose areas of the Byrne Program and the seven purpose areas of the LLEBG Program are broad enough and flexible enough to support nearly all the initiatives and activities authorized through other programs administered by OJP. There is even duplication between the purpose area of the Byrne Program and LLEBG, which is why the President's Fiscal Year 2003 budget proposes to consolidate them into a unified Justice Assistance Program.
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In the area of Juvenile Justice and School Violence (Category 1), OJP has identified several programs that have substantial similarities:
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program
Child Abuse Investigation and Prosecution
Children's Justice Act Tribal Grant Program
Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement
Each of these programs supports efforts to assist communities, organizations, and agencies in preventing and responding to child abuse or child sexual abuse.
In the area of Law Enforcement Technology and Information Sharing (Category 3), OJP has identified two programs that have substantial similarities:
Crime Laboratory Improvement Program
Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement Grant Program
Both programs support improvement in the capabilities and operation of state forensic labs. While the Crime Lab Improvement Program is a broad program supporting laboratory access to specialized forensic services and improving cooperation and communication between and among jurisdictions, the Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement Grant Program supports improvement in the timeliness and quality of forensic science or medical examiner services in the states. Both of these programs support improvements in the operational efficiency and quality of services provided by non-federal crime laboratories.
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In the area of Substance Abuse and Drug Prevention (Category 6), OJP has identified three programs that have substantial similarities:
Gang-Free Schools and Communities Program
Drug Prevention Demonstration Program
Tribal Youth Program
Each of these programs supports efforts to reduce juvenile drug use or delinquency through education and counseling.
OJP also has identified one program that can be considered to be authorized by more than one statutory provision. Funding for drug courts is authorized explicitly by at least three provisions, and could be authorized under at least three Byrne program purpose areas.
In addition, although OJP is the primary component within the Department of Justice (DOJ) responsible for administering grants, a number of grant programs are administered by DOJ offices other than OJP. Most of these programs do not substantially duplicate the programs administered by OJP. There are, however, several DOJ programs that have significant similarities in their purposes or operation when compared with OJP programs. Examples of these include the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services' (COPS) Cops in Schools program and Innovative Community Policing grants.
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Moreover, there are a number of programs administered by other federal agencies that are similar to programs administered by OJP. In the area of Juvenile Justice and School Violence (Category 1), these include the Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools Program, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Justice Act Tribal Grant Program and Demonstration Grants for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Among High-Risk Populations. OJP also has identified:
19 different programs that address Family Violence and Violence Against Women (Category 2);
26 programs and grants that can be used for Law Enforcement Technology and Information Sharing (Category 3);
14 programs for Victims of Crime (Category 4);
8 programs in other federal agencies in the area of Corrections and Offender Management (Category 5);
14 OJP and numerous other federal programs related to Substance Abuse and Prevention (Category 6); and
33 different OJP programs in the area of general Law Enforcement Assistance (Category 7), as well as programs administered by COPS, DOJ's Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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To address the issue of overlap, OJP has worked to collaborate with other federal agencies on programs in areas of similar interest and authority. Examples include the new Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, a collaboration among OJP, DOJ's National Institute of Corrections, and the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Housing and Urban Development; the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, a collaboration among OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Department of Education, and HHS; and the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS), which involves a collaboration among OJP, the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In addition, to further research in the area of criminal and juvenile justice, OJP collaborates with such agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. OJP continues to look for areas of possible collaboration to reduce duplication and overlap and to improve communities' access to federal funding.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the threat of continued terrorist activity on American soil have made it even more urgent that OJP streamline and coordinate its efforts, maximize its resources, and improve its services to ensure that America's front line defenders, our state and local public safety officers, have the resources they need to protect our liberties and safeguard the nation's internal security. In addition, we must maximize the use and availability of our resources in the more traditional crime-fighting, victim assistance, and delinquency prevention activities that constitute remainder of OJP's mission. I want to assure you, Mr. Chairman, that I and the other members of the current OJP leadership stand ready to work with the Congress to meet these goals.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Daniels.
The entire opening statements of all witnesses will be included in the record, without objection.
STATEMENT OF NOLAN JONES, NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, DC
Mr. JONES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee. Let me thank you for this opportunity to appear before you.
I have submitted my written statement, as you said, for the record, so I'll take a few minutes just to summarize those statements pursuant to your letter of invitation.
Let me say from the beginning that the National Governors Association does not have an official policy on any of the reorganization plans. So my testimony today sort of will outline several programs, not all programs that are going to the States, such as Byrne, SCAAP, prison grants, juvenile justice, Office of Domestic Preparedness.
I want to talk a little bit about the necessity of coordinating all these plans and coordinating them through the State government. And finally, I will give some guidance that we've come up with for reorganization.
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The Byrne program, Mr. Chairman, that was started earlierat the beginning of this program, we talked about it being some two or three decades, back in the lateearly '70's, was called the Justice Assistance Grants Program, and it was this program that produced many of the offices and institutes that are currently at OJP, programs such as juvenile justice, community policing and many of the drug programs, like the treatment alternative to street crime was started with Byrne grants, just to name a few.
All of these programs are coordinatedcurrently, some of them are coordinated through the Office of Justice Programs.
Later, we had programs outside of Byrne coming through the crime bill added, such as prison grants, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, the SCAAP program, and then later, the addition of the juvenile accountability block grant, and the Office of Domestic Preparedness.
These are programs coming to the State from different offices within the Office of Justice Programs. Then there is the program, the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant, which I will single out, and talk about a few minutes.
The funds are sent directly to local governments. The States have no role except for some minor residual funds. Most of the States don't know which communities get funds, how much they will receive, what they will use them for.
This has produced frustration at the State level, where they would like to take a holistic look at the crime problem and how the funds are spent. This is bad for local government programs, because some of the local governments did not accept their share of these grants andbecause they couldn't afford the match requirements. I talked with several of the States and they said, had they known this, they would've been happy to try to help them with their match requirement had they known these programs needed match requirements.
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After the two or 3 years of these program monies, and many times these groups come to the States seeking to continue the programs, whereas they haven't nurtured the States and gotten the States involvement beforehand, trying to get them to accept these programs.
Most recently, after the attacks of September 11th, but it was even clear beforehand, many locals had been using their funds to purchase communications equipment. What became clear was that the equipment they were purchasing was not compatible, even with their neighboring and surrounding jurisdictions. States had been trying to take up the issue of providing standardizing equipment and purchasing standardized equipment.
I've also heard from States who said that they had no idea of what was going on with such programs as drug courts within the State, the Weed and Seed program that's within many States that the States say that they have no involvement with, and the school resource office, to just name a few.
Let me say, Mr. Chairman, that it wasn't in many instances that the States even wanted to control the funds of these programs they would just like to know about them, like to be a part of them, and would like to offer comments on these programs as they are coming into the States.
Therefore, I would say that any reorganization plan must be in tune with how programs are administered by the States and the problems caused by passing money directly to local governments. Of course, the programs themselves may be even legislative funded, like LLEBG.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 But what we're saying that where possible, maybe the administration of these programs should try to coordinate as much as possible with State-level programs.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me say some principles I would say that you should keep in mind when you're thinking about reorganization of the Office of Justice Programs.
First, number one, programs should have clear guidance for States about application, evaluation, and accountability. Policy directives should be understood so that State officials can develop a close relationship with our Federal partners in promoting the programs' objectives.
Number two, rules and guidance relating to similar programs should be consistent.
Number three, the agencies should be able to expedite the process of getting information concerning new grant programs and technical assistance and training resources out to the appropriate State agencies. It is important that States receive rules and guidance in a timely manner.
Number four, the agency or department, where possible, should promote the flexible use of funds, understanding that States may not approach a particular problem in the same manner.
And number five, finally, the agency should, where possible, facilitate cooperation between State and local jurisdictions. In providing technical assistance, our funding of programs for local government, Federal agencies must always coordinate with their appropriate State agencies.
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Mr. Chairman, I will be happy to answer any questions, and thanks again for this opportunity to address you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Jones follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF NOLAN JONES
Thank you Mr. Chairman for this opportunity to testify this afternoon. First, let me say that I will not take a position on behalf of the National Governors Association (NGA) on any reorganization plan that has been prepared for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP). I plan to discuss how certain programs administered by OJP operate and have benefited states over the years. Furthermore, I want to focus on the need for states to coordinate all programs and funding from the federal government to local jurisdictions and programs. The Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) program is an example of a program that by-passes states.
Over the years, there have been several programs develop to assist states in fighting crime. Among them are the Byrne Memorial Grant program, the Juvenile Justice Program, the Violent Offender Incarceration and Truth-In-Sentencing Grants (VOI/TIS), the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JAIBG) program, and the Office of Domestic Preparedness Program.
EDWARD BYRNE MEMORIAL STATE AND
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
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The most essential crime fighting program over the years has been the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant program, which is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in OJP. This program began with the 1968 Crime Act as a justice assistance block grant, and evolved over the years, making grants to states for enforcing state and local laws to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system in attacking violent crime and serious offenders. Grants provide for additional personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and information systems for the apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, and detention and rehabilitating of persons who violate state law, and to assist the victims of such crimes. This program, now called the Byrne grants, has changed over the years with reauthorization and allowable uses of grant funds. In fact, many current programs now functioning as Institutes or Offices within OJP were developed and tested in states with Byrne funds. The experimentation and innovation by states produced many significant and lasting criminal justice initiatives. For example: before there was a federal juvenile justice and delinquency prevention grant program established in the Justice Department, justice assistance block grant funds to states were used to create the first community-based youth services bureaus for troubled youth and to establish juvenile officers in police agencies. Before federal drug treatment block grants were available from the Department of Health and Human Services, justice assistance block grant funds were used to develop and test drug testing protocols to screen arrestee and correctional populations and treatment programs for incarcerated drug-dependent offenders.
Other initiatives that used justice assistance funding given to states by the federal government were: intensive supervision probation and alternative to prisons, career criminal programs, and AIDS awareness training for law enforcement. Also, subsequent Byrne Memorial grants have supported the development of management information systems, crime statistics data collection, case tracking protocols, personnel development and training curricula, and community oriented policing. Since the September 11th attacks, Byrne funding has enabled states to provide assistance to first responders in equipment upgrades and technical assistance.
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States have been able to experiment and promote these innovations because Byrne funds are very flexible in their allowable use and have been measured by the program outcomes and productivity. This is truly states serving as a laboratory in the criminal justice system. Programs that have been successful, such as community oriented policing, have been expanded on a national level by the federal government.
One of the best initiatives coming out of the justice assistance grant and subsequently Byrne grants program has been the advancement of planning within the criminal justice system. The first grants called for states to do system wide planning about criminal justice. For the first time in many states, prosecutors, police, judges and correctional officials were brought together to discuss ways of improving the criminal justice system. Governors appointed councils made up of individuals from these various state and local criminal justice agencies to focus on developing better crime fighting programs. Also, Governors established administrative staff to assist these councils in various ways of data gathering, technical assistance, and to promote their working together effectively as a system. These are the state agencies that distribute the Byrne grants funds in most states, which allows for innovative crime fighting program development.
JUVENILE JUSTICE PROGRAM
In 1974, Congress passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) with a grant program to promote the Act's objectives. The original objectives were twofold: to bring about the removal of status offenders from secure correctional institutions, and to assure that adult and juvenile offenders were separately confined in correctional facilities. A third objective was added to prohibit the detention of juveniles in jails and lockups intended for adult offenders. Subsequently, a fourth objective was added that asked states to examine biases in correctional placement based on race and income. Continuous funding of the Juvenile Justice program under the JJDP Act has assisted states in meeting these objectives. Although the program is small in the federal scheme, continued funding demonstrates that federal commitment, along with leadership by states, have helped to meet the objectives of the Act. Currently, the JJDP Act programs are administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) within the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice.
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PROGRAMS IN THE 1994 CRIME BILL: VOI/TIS, JAIBG AND SCAAP
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, known as the 1994 Crime Bill, provided assistance to states through several programs. One program was the Violent Offender Incarceration and Truth-In-Sentencing (VOI/TIS) Incentive grants program, which provided funds to states for expanding prison bed space for violent offenders, and to make sure that all convicted felons served the maximum sentence imposed by the state law. This program was managed by the Corrections Program Office within the OJP. This program was not funded for fiscal year 2002, and the President budget does not request funding for fiscal year 2003. States used VOI/TIS funds to renovate and expand correctional facilitates. Many state are currently in need of funding in this area.
The 1994 Crime Bill created a new juvenile program aimed at the violent youthful offenders. The Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JAIBG) program is administered by OJJDP in OJP and provides block grants to states for promoting greater accountability in the juvenile justice system. As a results, juvenile offenders face consequences for their behavior that causes injury to persons, and loss or damage to property. JAIBG funds may be used to develop programs such as graduated sanctions for dealing with the youthful offenders.
Another program that provides assistance to states is the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which was enacted by the 1994 Crime bill and is administer by the Bureau of Justice Assistance at OJP. SCAAP provides assistance to state and local governments for part of the costs of incarcerating certain criminal aliens who are being held as a result of state and/or local charges or convictions.
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No funds are provided for the program in the fiscal year 2003 President Budget request. Funding for this program is sometimes mistaken to be a grant; however, the funds are a partial reimbursement for the incarceration of aliens, who are the responsibility of the federal government.
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK GRANT (LLEBG)
The LLEBG program provides direct funding to approximately 3,500 local jurisdictions. These jurisdictions apply directly to BJA for funding to underwrite projects designed to reduce crime and improve public safety. Most states do not know which jurisdictions are funded. In some cases, they are notified after the funds are awarded. In some instances, states may have funded similar programs in the jurisdictions. The lack of notification and coordination lead to inequitable allocations. It is entirely inconsistent with all current efforts on homeland security. State governments are in the best position to determine overall needs and to formulate statewide crime control strategies that do not exclude one area in favor of another. Moreover, as we all know, crime simply does not respect borders between local jurisdictions.
In addition, states are responsible for financing and administering the corrections, courts, and in many jurisdictions, prosecution, defense, and probation functions of the criminal justice system. In sparsely populated jurisdictions, states also support and provide law enforcement services for rural communities. Most states provide policing for state highway systems and funds and manage laboratory, training, and other support services for local law enforcement agencies.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Already, the majority of states pass through to local governments in excess of two-thirds of their Byrne Memorial grant allocations in any given fiscal year. That is how community policing and other local law enforcement programs got started. Most states provide financial and other types of support for local criminal justice expenditures from other nonfederal sources. Many states contribute funds to help local governments meet federal matching requirements and continue successful program when federal support terminates. It was reported that several local jurisdictions did not apply for LLEBG funds because they did not have the matching funds. When states were informed (after the fact), many said that they would have helped the jurisdiction if they had known.
The urban centers are the principal beneficiaries of crime control program funds. However, time and money spent on fighting crime in the nation's cities should not mean that rural areas are denied the crime-fighting resources that they increasingly require. Directing the LLEBG and other funds to local jurisdictions without informing and processing the grants through states may have the net effect of focusing the national crime agenda exclusively on urban areas while disrupting and undermining state and local cooperation in addressing crime problems overall. The federal government should reach out and encourage state and local governments to work together in developing solutions to their problems.
OFFICE FOR DOMESTIC PREPAREDNESS (ODP)
Finally, the Office for State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support, which is in OJP, provides assistance to states to enhance their capability to prepare for and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism. This office provides grants (without a match) for equipment and technical assistance for state and local response agencies. States prepare a comprehensive plan involving local responders that must be approved by ODP for funding. The events of September 11, 2001 have enhanced the significance of this office.
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PRINCIPLES FOR REORGANIZATION
Mr. Chairman, I must emphasize again that NGA does not have a position on any reorganization plan or the placement of any program in a federal agency or department. However, here are some suggestions about placement and program management principles to keep in mind while developing a reorganization structure.
1. Programs should have clear guidance for states about application, evaluation and accountability. Policy directives should be understood so that state officials can develop a close relationship with their federal partners in promoting the program's objectives.
2. Rules and guidance relating to similar programs should be consistent.
3. The agency should be able to expedite the process of getting information concerning new grant programs and technical assistance and training resources out to the appropriate state agencies. It is important that states receive rules and guidance in a timely manner.
4. The agency should, where possible, promote the flexible use of funds understanding that states may not approach a particular problem in the same manner.
5. The agency should, where possible, facilitate cooperation between state and local jurisdictions. In providing technical assistance or funding of programs for local governments, federal agencies must always coordinate with the appropriate state agencies. There should not be any direct assistance to local governments or agencies without state coordination.
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Mr. Chairman: Again thank you for this opportunity to testify. I will be happy to answer questions at the appropriate time.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Dr. Jones.
STATEMENT OF LAURIE ROBINSON, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Scott, Mr. Chabot, and Mr. Keller, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here this afternoon.
I had the opportunity and the privilege to serve for nearly 7 years as Assistant Attorney General of OJP and, as the Chairman has noted, during that time the budget increased from $800 million a year to over $4 billion. Pretty massive growth.
From my experience, it is clear that OJP's structure and the fact of more than 60 separate funding streams does hinder its ability to advance a coordinated program that is effective and that is free of duplication. So I commend all of you for addressing this issue. I think that the goal of ensuring responsiveness to principles of good government and sound management is one that all of us, regardless of party, can share.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 I should state at the outset that I am a very enthusiastic supporter of the Federal criminal justice assistance program. I think it has a tremendously important leadership role to play in helping provide States and localities with ideas, with technical assistance, with funding to address crime.
What, then, are the real problems, the core problems? In contrast to the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration, LEAA, program back in the 1970's, which was an integrated organization with clear, functional divisions, centralized authority and very few funding streams, OJP has operated, as we're hearing this afternoon, with decentralized policymaking and enormous statutory overlap in the responsibilities that each of these offices have.
This structure has created problems that include difficulty in developing a corporate vision of how to advance the agency's mission, often overlapping substantive initiatives, as we've heard, and a maze-like structure that is very daunting for State and local customers to follow through.
All of this together results in lost opportunities for responding to crime, most basically. And what's needed is to move OJP to a more cohesive, centralized management structure comprised of coherent components with distinct functions that share a common mission.
As we've heard this afternoon, a few steps have been taken. In 1998, Congress, for the first time, gave the Assistant Attorney General all programmatic grant-making authority within the agency and also directed the development of the reorganization plan that was sent to Congress in 1999.
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That report's goals, if I can touch on these for a moment, reflect what I think are Management 101 principles of achieving coordination: consolidate program work by topic; place all of the research in one component, all the statistics in another; centralize authorities; reduce the number of separate decision-makers, i.e., the presidential appointees; set up a one-stop shop information point of OJP customers; and create some kind of geographically based operation, what we called State desks, like an Iowa desk. For example, to handle all of the grant management and monitoring for that particular State.
Now, there's no magic about these particular organizational boxes that we suggested. But what is important are underlying principles of an integrated, centrally managed organization.
Let me offer five specific recommendations, and I have additional ones in my written statement, Mr. Chairman.
First, I would encourage you all to review carefully the proposals that already have been advanced, including the 1999 report and the proposals Assistant Attorney General Daniels has recently released.
Second, I would encourage you to look at a two-pronged legislative action plan on a faster track to give the Assistant Attorney General at OJP any additional statutory authority needed now to achieve consolidations in streamlining. But then, on a longer term track, I would encourage to consider developing from the ground up a new Federal criminal justice assistance program. And here I would urge you to look back at the 1968 Safe Streets Act that created LEAA for the structure of a much simpler program with very few funding streams.
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Third, I think it's important to recognize the fundamental difference between program work and research and statistics, as you proceed. While it's important to work to integrate knowledge-building functions into program developmentin fact, I think it's essentialit's also crucial to maintain the integrity of research work so that the findings are viewed as credible and objective.
And finally, I would say, Mr. Chairman, the importance of recognizing that changing a huge program like this is tough work. In addition to the challenges of a long-standing bureaucracy, you will be bombarded, if you haven't been already, by dozens of interest groups. I think these are well-intentioned, but often, I would say, they are deeply invested in the status quo of existing agency relationships and perhaps less interested in the broad oversight questions that the Subcommittee is tackling, namely, how to make an overall government program like this the best that it can be.
So, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to be here. And I would say that despite these challenges, the gravest mistake would be to sidestep the need for change altogether. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Robinson follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE LAURIE O. ROBINSON
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to talk about coordination and duplication issues relating to the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP).
The size and scope of the federal criminal justice assistance programcharged with responsibility for effective stewardship of substantial criminal and juvenile justice initiativesis enormous: During the nearly seven years (19932000) I served as Assistant Attorney General for OJP, the agency's annual budget grew from $800 million to over $4 billion. In the year I departed, OJP was administering some 42,000 grants totaling over $23 billion.
From my experience, however, it is clear that OJP's unusual and unwieldy structurecoupled with the more than 60 often overlapping funding streams it administershinders its ability to advance a rational, integrated, customer-friendly program to help states and localities fight crime. For that reason, I commend the Subcommittee for addressing this issue. The goal of ensuring responsiveness to principles of good government and sound management is one all of us, regardless of party, can share.
REFLECTING ON HISTORY
Criminal justice in the United States has historically been, and still remains today, largely a state and local enterprise. While the federal government has remained a somewhat limited partner, its involvement in assisting state and local criminal justice has grown dramatically over the past four decades, from origins in 1965 in a small Office of Law Enforcement Assistance (OLEA)with an annual budget of just $7.5 millionto the multi-billion-dollar Office of Justice Programs today.(see footnote 1)
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Over its nearly four decades and across many Administrations, the program has provided leadership on an issuecrimethat is as central as any to the foundations of a civil society. These contributions range from the work of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) in the l970s in professionalizing law enforcement through LEEP (the Law Enforcement Education Program); to development of bulletproof vests and forensic applications of DNA technology in the 1980s; to community-based initiatives like Weed & Seed and drug courts in the 1990s.
During my tenure as Assistant Attorney General, on my way over to Main Justice every day, I used to pass the National Archives building and ponder the quote on the front that reads, ''What is Past is Prologue.'' Prompted by that, in the summer of 1996, I invited past leaders of the federal assistance program to join me in Washington for a day to reflect on their own experiences and share their best thinking on the program's future directions. Representation included individuals from both Republican and Democratic administrations and from virtually every era since 1965. Two themes emerged that day: First, that despite the different periods of the program they represented, the participants shared a common optimism and belief that the federal government can make a difference in helping states and localities address the problems of crime affecting our country. And, second, that virtually all attendees, across both parties, believed OJP should be reorganized as a single agency under one presidential appointee, with an integrated program, a ''customer service'' model, and strong emphasis on knowledge building through research and statistics. That recommendation on a hot July day six years ago served as a catalyst in our efforts to start exploring what we could do, through structural change, to make the federal criminal justice assistance program of today more effective and stronger.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 INITIAL OBSERVATIONS
Three preliminary points: First, from my own experience in working 30 years in the criminal justice field, I should state at the outset that I am a very strong supporter of the federal law enforcement/criminal justice assistance program. It is my view that the federal government has a significantand uniquerole to play in providing impetus, leadership, and resources to assist state and local governments in addressing crime problems and to help move forward the ''state of the art'' in criminal and juvenile justice. The federal government is uniquely positioned, in my opinion, to build knowledge through research and statistical work and to provide funding and technical assistance to develop, test, evaluate, and replicate innovative approaches to preventing and controlling crimein sum, to provide leadership as an innovator and catalyst in this important area of public policy.
Second, whatever the need for structural changes and streamlining at OJPand there is great need for bothit is important to recognize that the agency's career ranks include a great many motivated and knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to the agency's work and have made significant contributions toward the mission of reducing crime in this country.
And third, in approaching the issue of OJP's future structure, it is important to recognize that, in fundamental ways, program work differs from research and statistics functions. While looking for ways to achieve needed consolidation and centralization across OJP, it is crucial, as well, to preserve sufficient arms length relationships to ensure that research and statistics work is viewed as objective, credible, and not politically driven. A natural tension clearly exists between integrating knowledge-building functions into the agency's program development side, on the one hand, and ensuring that their integrity is maintained and some independence preserved, on the other. This requires careful balancing.
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WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS?
In contrast to the LEAA program in the 1970san integrated organization with clear functional divisions, centralized authority, and a limited number of funding streamsOJP has evolved over time to operate with six presidential appointees (probably unique across the government in such a small agency), decentralization of policymaking and administrative responsibilities, and enormous statutory overlap in mission and responsibilities among its many bureaus and offices. Thinking of the U.S. Army slogan ''Be all that you can be,'' it is clear that the federal criminal justice assistance program today is not ''all that it can be.''
The program's decentralized structure has created problems that play out principally in four areas:
Difficulty in developing a ''corporate vision'' for advancing the mission of the agency: Despite the tremendous amount of money that Congress has put into state and local criminal justice, it is difficult, under OJP's structure, to implement a comprehensive plan for directing funds at key problems. Multiple offices and bureaus have pieces of responsibility, for example, in addressing issues like drugs or gangs. Mounting one comprehensive, integrated program to address these problems requires greater centralization of authorities and a change in the culture of balkanized turf that currently exists in OJP;
Often overlapping, substantive criminal justice program initiatives administered by the presidentially appointed heads of those program components: OJP's history provides too many examples of individual ''fiefdoms'' operating independently, uncoordinated in their work, and frequently competitive (or, at times, in ''open warfare'' with each other). During my tenure at OJP, we put tremendous energy into effecting better coordination through staff working groups, inter-bureau planning efforts, and other devices. However, despite good intentions, these efforts were not enough. Fundamental problems remain. As I described in a 1997 report to Congress, for example, four OJP bureaus and one office worked on corrections; five bureaus were addressing hate crimes; four bureaus and one office were tackling domestic violence, five bureaus and one office were addressing child abuse, and, for a period of years, it seemed every OJP entity was addressing youth violence. In some instances, a specialized functione.g., statistics collection by BJSaccounts for the involvement of a bureau or office (and it is critical to OJP's mission that this niche be filled). But even accounting for that, enormous programmatic overlap remains, causing confusion to the field and potentially defusing the impact of limited grant dollars. Even where functional responsibilities appear to be clearly assigned, they are not: the Bureau of Justice Assistance has funded program evaluations; the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) runs a grant program; a full research and statistics operation exists in the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)separate from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and BJS; law enforcement-related programs are run by BJA, the COPS Office, the Police Corps Office, NIJ, and OJJDPand this list could go on! And too often in the past, the work of individual bureaus rests on the individual interests of those at the helm, rather than being parts of an overall, coordinated plan.
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Need for more effective means for resolving internal management issues: Again, because of decentralized authorities (including in administrative areas, like personnel) and the presence of a large number of presidential appointees in a small agency, if conflicts arise over internal management issues, they are often difficult to resolve. Good management in that situation rests on the diplomacy, ''people skills,'' and personalities of the individuals involved; that is not a sound way to manage an agency responsible for billions of taxpayer dollars;
A confusing labyrinthine structure presents a daunting challenge for state and local officials and criminal justice professionals: OJP is a difficult organization to navigateeven with the help of a good Web site, programs plans and other guides. During my time as Assistant Attorney General, I conducted a number of constituency focus groups. Over and over, criminal and juvenile justice practitioners and state and local officials articulated frustrations concerning the absence of a central point of contact. The state or local agency administrator in search of funding for a particular initiative may find it necessary to contact each bureau or office of OJP individually to determine the most promising source of support for the effort.
What is the impact of all this? Most fundamentally, it comes down to lost opportunities for responding to crime, such as working to
Quickly respond to emerging crime challenges (e.g., like methamphetamine);
Target comprehensive help to a particular jurisdiction facing special needs;
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Amass resources to undertake the important scientific process of demonstrating and evaluating new ideaswith evaluation considered at the front end of program development; and
Fund programs grounded in research about ''what works.''
What is needed is to move OJP from a confusing, decentralized agency to a more cohesive centralized management structure comprised of coherent components with distinct functions and competencies that share a common mission.
HAVE ANY STEPS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN TO ADDRESS THESE PROBLEMS?
In fiscal year 1998 Congress, through the appropriations process, directed OJP's Assistant Attorney General to report on the extent of coordination within the agency and steps being take to reduce duplication. I submitted a report in December, 1997 to Congress describing the steps that were being taken to reduce fragmentation and develop coordination strategiessuch as joint publication of bureau program plans, coordination working groups, and more frequent cross-OJP leadership meetings. The report also spelled out options for potential remedial action, including amendment of OJP's statutes to consolidate grant-making in the assistant attorney general and, more radically, authorization of a new integrated federal criminal justice assistance program.
In October, 1998, as part of the fiscal year 1999 appropriations for the Department of Justice, Congress directed OJP's assistant attorney general to develop a plan for a new organizational structure for OJP ''. . . with streamlined, consolidated authorities.'' In addition, it amended OJP's statutes to place programmatic grant-making authority for the first time in the assistant attorney general. In response to the directive, OJP conducted outreach to over 50 constituent organizations and practitioners and consulted with persons with the Department, OJP and its bureaus. A report detailing a proposed reorganization was submitted to Congress on March 10, 1999.
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A MORE RATIONAL STRUCTURE FOR THE FEDERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The goals of the reorganization plan submitted to Congress in 1999 were, in many ways, simple. They reflected basic ''Management 101'' principles of accountability, defined lines of authority, and clarity in definition of component functions. Specifically, the report recommended:
Consolidating programmatic work by topical area to avoid duplication and overlap and provide focused thinkingand policy leadershipon key issues (e.g., administering all corrections grants in one office);
Placing all research in one component and all statistical work in another;
Reducing the number of presidential appointees so there are not six separate decision makers and policymakers in one small agency;
Setting up a ''one stop shop'' point of contact in OJP for state and local practitioners to provide information about best practices and available publications, technical assistance, training, and grantsin sum, to serve as a ''traffic cop'' or ''triage point'' in helping customers access help from throughout OJP; and
Creating ''state desks'' for grant management to handle grant monitoring and provide customer assistance on a geographically-organized basis (e.g., an ''Iowa desk'' where Des Moines' mayor can learn about all the OJP funding coming into his state). I understand that Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels and BJA Director Richard Nedelkoff are moving ahead to structure BJA to set up grant management on a state-by-state basis. I applaud that. However, this needs to be done OJP-wide. Right now, as an illustration, 10 or 12 different OJP staffers separately travel to one New Hampshire state agency to monitor grants there. This makes no sense.
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There is no particular magic about the specific organizational boxes we suggested in the March '99 report or the names we gave them. What is important, however, are the underlying principles of an integrated, centrally managed organization that they reflect.
POTENTIAL NEXT STEPS
The job of overhauling an agency's structure is daunting. Bureaucracies resist change and are skilled in slowing its pace. Interest groups are frequently invested in the status quo and many receiving substantial funding through long-established relationships with agency staff. Many practitioners express concerns about organizational change, fearing that attention to their issue area will be diminished. But even recognizing those hurdles, attention to the problemsand actionis needed.
Where to start? Let me share several recommendations:
Review the specific proposals, and the commentary supporting them, that have already been advanced, including the March '99 report and the recommendations Assistant Attorney General Daniels recently announced. The 1999 report, for example, addresses at some length steps that could be taken to better integrate research into the overall agency mission, while still preserving the integrity of research and statistical work;
Reach out to experienced state and local practitionerspreferably front line people who are not necessarily current direct OJP granteesas well as representatives from the academic research community and other past leaders of the federal assistance program over the last four decades for their perspectives;
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Undertake a legislative action plan consisting of two steps: First, on a faster track, provide OJP's Assistant Attorney General with additional statutory authority to continue consolidation of subject area offices and administrative authorities for areas like personnel. Second, on a longer term track, consider the option of developingfrom the ground upa new federal criminal justice assistance program. Here I would recommend you go back to the original 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (Pub. L. 90351 (Jun. 19, 1968)) to look at the potential structure of a much simpler federal assistance program with limited funding streams and clear division of authorities.
As you proceed, I would also recommend focusing particular attention on funding streams and OJP work in the area of technology. This may be the area of the single greatest confusion in the field about what funding streams exist, how they fit with each other, and how to access them. Right now, that work is scattered through a number of OJP's bureaus and offices.
Keep in mind the importance of maintaining centers of leadership/knowledge in key practice areas. Practitioners need to feel they have a home ''point of contact'' in a large federal programstaff who understand and are knowledgeable about their issues and who are responsive to their needs. This is true whether for law enforcement professionals, corrections, the courts, victim assistance providers, or juvenile justice practitioners. This is an important part of ensuring that OJP is a truly customer-oriented agency. And there are effective ways to provide this kind of ''home'' within the agency in different areas and yet still operate under a much more cohesive and rational structure.
Recognize the natural tensions in a federal program of this kind: Throughout the history of the federal criminal justice assistance program, healthy tensions have existed: For example, over who makes decisions on funding (Federal agency officials in Washington, based on knowledge about ''what works''? Or people ''on the ground'' at the state and local level who see, close at hand, their real needs?); and between states and localities (Should all funding to cities and counties be passed through the state?). These debates are part of the backdrop for the federal criminal justice assistance program, as they have been for nearly 40 years. Important values are represented by each ''side.'' Resolving those issues will continue, as in the past, to require delicate balancing.
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Examine the impact that ''earmarking'' has had on the federal assistance program in recent years. Discretionary grant funding is critical if the federal criminal justice assistance program is going to test innovations and evaluate the resultsprobably a uniquely federal function. Yet, in recent years, most of the central discretionary grant programs for both criminal justice and juvenile justice in OJP have been Congressionally earmarked for specific projects. While many of the programs funded through this process are worthy ones, the extent of earmarking has diminished greatly the agency's capacity to fulfill central pieces of its statutorily created mission.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present views to the Subcommittee about the federal criminal justice assistance program. Despite the challenges in tackling the set of issues before you, the gravest mistake, in my view, would be to sidestep the need for change altogether.
I would be happy to respond to any questions you or the Subcommittee Members may have.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Robinson.
STATEMENT OF RALPH E. KELLY, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE, FRANKFURT, KY
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Mr. KELLY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My name is Dr. Ralph E. Kelly, and I'm the commissioner of Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. One of the great things about being last whenever you make a presentation is that you can decide what you shouldn't repeat and say again.
And even thoughone of the differences, I think, in my testimony this afternoon, is that I'm a consumer of services on behalf of the State of Kentucky. And my major concern is, in whatever reorganization takes place, is keeping a strong and effective Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
I go back 35 years in this business, and I can remember the early days of Law Enforcement Assisrtance Administration (LEAA) and the beginning of funding coming down from the Federal Government. And I can also remember back in those days that juvenile justice issues were never, ever paid attention too.
Yet, when juvenile crime began to rise to the proportions that it was several years ago, we all began to pay more attention. And many States took the initiative to separate their juvenile justice programs from either the larger adult correctional system or the larger sometimes overburdened child welfare system. And, New Jersey under Governor Whitman's leadership, and Florida and North Carolina and, of course, Kentucky and Ohio and Nebraska are just a few that have gone to separate juvenile justice systems because they recognize the need to have a system that paid greater attention to juvenile justice issues.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Juvenile Justice is not a subcomponent of correction, although we do share some of the same issues. But it can't be viewed as just another correctional kind of thing. And so our concern, people in my position around the country and certainly the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, is that whatever reorganization occurs, that it needs to pay attention to having a separate system of juvenile justice, because with reorganization comes reduction sometimes in the abilities to sustain a comprehensive system of support and assistance that is currently available. Many members of the juvenile justice field believe that one of OJJDP's strength is that includes within its operational structure all the key functions needed to support them in their work: demonstration; training; technical assistance; and above and beyond, research and evaluation.
The reorganization plan put forth so far seems to fly in the face of this.
Effective research and evaluation must involvemust involvethe coordination and direction of the practice and operation varies. You simply can't have good research unless it is somehow linked to the field itself. I mean, what's the point of having research if it doesn't help you change programs and make programs go in different directions? That's the whole purpose of evaluation.
Research cannot be accomplished in a vacuum, nor can it be effective without a complete understanding of the day-to-day issues facing juvenile justice practitioners. Research and evaluation must be coordinated with the many functions of OJJDP to make it viable, effective, and meaningful.
Now I, like any manager in government, don't like to see duplication, overlapping programs, and waste of taxpayers' dollars. And certainly, as a head of an agency in he State of Kentucky, I work every day to make sure that we coordinate and make sure we don't have that kind of overlapping. But one of the things I would implore you to consider, as you consider various reorganization proposals, is that juvenile justice over the last decade has made significant changes to the effect that juvenile crime has gone down. To send a message to the juvenile justice field that you need not have a separate agency of some type or separate approach at the Federal level to help us move ahead is the wrong message to send.
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Somewhere along the line, I think that we can deal with the duplication of effort, we can deal with the overlapping, we can deal with the other things that both the current Assistant Attorney General and the former Assistant Attorney General have pointed out, which certainly will make some sense.
But I believe that we have to do that in such a way that we protect the ability of the juvenile justice focus at the Federal level we at the State level depend upon and need, and not so much in terms of dollars and cents, but more so in terms of technical assistance, research and evaluation, and demonstration. Certainly, OJJDP and Kentucky were great partners when we came into being as a separate department in Kentucky. We had a consent decree from the Civil Rights Division of Justice, which we had to adhere to and get into compliance with. And it was the tremendous assistance from OJJDP that helped guide us and provided us technical assistance in making many of those changes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kelly follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RALPH E. KELLY
Members of the Subcommittee, good afternoon and thank you for this opportunity to speak to you about the juvenile justice system and my experiences in Kentucky over the past 5 years. My name is Dr. Ralph E. Kelly, and I am the Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
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It's an honor and a pleasure to offer my thoughts to you as you consider ways to improve the federal role in juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.
I fully support the federal responsibility in juvenile justice as you have affirmed in the 'purpose' section of H.R. 1900, which you passed last year:
''to support State and local programs that prevent juvenile involvement in delinquent behavior, to encourage accountability for acts of juvenile delinquency, and to assist State and local governments in addressing juvenile crime through technical assistance, research, training, evaluation and dissemination of information.''
The juvenile court was founded one hundred years ago. Over the course of this century of progress there have been many positive developments in the juvenile justice field.
In the last quarter century, probably the most significant improvement has come in the area of implementing protections to make sure young people who come in contact with law enforcement do not become victims of abuse or assaults or other maltreatment.
In the past 30 years, in which I have had direct experience as a state juvenile justice administrator, I have seen much progress in the partnership between federal and state efforts, more coordination and communication between federal and state officials, and much more constructive research and information on effective strategies and approaches.
The challenges facing our juvenile justice system heading into the next century are multi-faceted. Although the juvenile violent crime arrest rate is declining and is at its lowest level in many years, the consensus is that it is still too high. The increase in the arrest rates for girls and young juvenile offenders has changed the composition of violent offenders entering the system. Also, the number of offenders entering the system with multiple mental health problems has been dramatic.
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Recent research gives us a compelling picture that the better we are able to intervene at earlier ages the better we will be at reducing incidences of both delinquency and victimization. For instance, we know that juveniles who are known to the juvenile justice system before attaining 13 years of age are responsible for a disproportionate share of serous crimes and violence. Also, there is a significant connection between child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency. We know that people who experience any type of maltreatment in childhood are more likely than people who were not maltreated to be arrested later in life.
At the same time there is a growing body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of community based delinquency prevention strategies such as mentoring, family therapy, and prenatal and infancy home visitation programs.
Our experience in Kentucky is illustrative. Over the past 5 years we have made a concerted effort to develop a comprehensive system that has seen much success. We are proud of the progress we have made. Here are some examples:
Early interventionwe fund more than 100 early intervention and prevention programs in the counties with the highest number of juvenile arrest.
Alternatives to incarcerationThrough our Title II and Title V grants, along with state general fund dollars, we have developed a significant number of alternatives to detention programs.
Our graduated sanctions and intensive in home services, along with a growing treatment foster home program has reduced our need for expensive residential beds.
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As a result, during my administration, we have seen a significant drop in violent crime among juveniles.
This progress could not have been possible without the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
OJJDP has been an ally of ours every step along our path to establishing our current system which ranks as one of the best in the country, I'm proud to say.
Although we struggled a few years ago to come into compliance with the OJJDP regulations, we have eliminated the number of status offenders illegally in detention and eliminated any juvenile from being held in a jail.
In Kentucky, it was OJJDP that provided valuable support, technical assistance, research, and funding to launch us in this direction and to sustain our progress.
Over the years we have come to rely on OJJDP as an active and integral partner in the multi year process we instituted to transform our system. Kentucky went from a state facing many challenges to a model to hold up across the nation as exemplary of what is possible with a clear focus, unambiguous goals, and federal support and leadership.
I am concerned that the reorganization being considered today would lessen the ability of this office to offer the level of support we have come to expect and appreciate in our state.
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Without OJJDP at our side these past few years we never would have been able to achieve the progress we have seen. If that support is diminished my fear is the progress will be much harder to sustain or even may stop altogether. That would be a tragedy.
While Kentucky will do our utmost to continue to make improvements, I worry about other states and communities. If the progress stops in other communities, perhaps in places that have not seen the success we have seen, or that do not have institutions in place to carry on, or that are only just beginning to put in place proper systemic changes; in these places there may be tragic consequences without the support of a comprehensive organization such as OJJDP.
It would be tragic if effective, community-based alternatives to incarceration would wither from lack of support, or if newly implemented strategies for prevention would end for lack of resources, support, or federal guidance or technical assistance.
My concern is that with reorganization comes reduction in the ability to sustain a comprehensive system of support and assistance that is available now, and that is so desperately needed in the field.
Many members of the juvenile justice field believe that one of OJJDP strengths is that it includes within its operational structure all of the key functions needed to support them in their worke.g. demonstration, training and technical assistance, research, evaluation, data, and publications. The reorganization plan put forward by both this administration and the previous one, seems to fly in the face of this position. Effective research and evaluation must involve the coordination and direction of the practice and operational areas. Research cannot be accomplished in a vacuum nor can it be effective without a complete understanding of the day to issues facing Juvenile Justice Practitioners. Research and evaluation must be coordinated with the many functions of OJJDP to make it viable, effective, and meaningful to the field.
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If, as is being proposed, these functions will be split up between different offices, and no longer housed within OJJDP, it will create fragmentation and lessen coordination, which would seem to be at odds with the purpose of the reorganization.
By dismantling a strong and effective federal agency you will also be sending a disheartening message to the field. The message will be that the federal government no longer sees juvenile crime as a priority but rather only as another sub group of adult crime.
To summarize, let me assure you, I am one who is fully committed to do my utmost to support you in your efforts to continue to improve the system.
The challenges to the field are many and varied. We must continue to seek better and more effective ways to reduce juvenile crime and to prevent children and young people from engaging in delinquency in the first place.
I am concerned, however, that the proposed reorganization would not bring the desired results. A comprehensive approach fostered by OJJDP has served us well in recent years. Dividing some functions among many different offices is a recipe for disorganization and ineffectiveness, and generally will weaken the Juvenile Justice effort at the federal level. I urge you to consider keeping a strong and united focus on juvenile delinquency through the OJJDP.
Thank you again for this opportunity and I look forward to working with you as we continue to strive to achieve our goals of reducing juvenile delinquency. Our children deserve no less.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
Ms. Daniels, let me address my initial questions to you first. And actually, on this first one, I might ask you to respond and also Ms. Robinson to respond as well, and that is that you are aware of the suggestion that we transfer the Office of Domestic Preparedness to FEMA, out of the Department of Justice, and I expressed the concerns that I think are the Committee's concerns in my opening statement. Would you agree with those concerns about the transfer of that department out of DOJ?
Ms. DANIELS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the question. I know this is something that has raised concerns on the part of some Members, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to address it.
First of all, we're very pleased with the work that the Office for Domestic Preparedness has done. It's a very young entity. It wasit only really began its functions in 1998. And it has collaborated very closely with FEMA and many other Federal agencies in attempting to serve the needs of training and equipping first responders around the country.
Now, the Justice Department's primary mission is that of law enforcement. And so, our primary focus must always be on law enforcement.
There are, however, tens of millions of first responders throughout the country, from law enforcement to medical technicians to public works employees to firefighters. So there is a vast panoply of entities needing to be served.
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The Office of
Mr. SMITH. So, let meI'm not sure I understand your answer. Do you have concerns about that proposed transfer or not?
Ms. DANIELS. No, sir. Actually
Mr. SMITH. You don't. Okay. That answers my question
Ms. DANIELS. The purpose of this hearing is to address issues such as duplication and overlap, and I think the very purpose of the proposal in the 2003 budget request from the President is to minimize duplication and overlap by centralizing first responder training, as opposed as to prevention, disruption, intervention, investigation training.
Mr. SMITH. I want to get back to that in just a minute.
Ms. Robinson, what about you? Do you have concerns about that proposed transfer?
Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, I do, Mr. Chairman. One of the nice things about being outside government is you can have your own opinions and proceed. [Laughter.]
I'm concerned about it for a couple of reasons. And, admittedly, I'm not there on the front lines in government at this point. But understanding the culture of law enforcement is a very key aspect of making that office's work effective.
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I set up that office in 1998. I worked directly with them because it was such a priority area for Congress and for the department.
And I worry about FEMA's ability to engage effectively with 18,000 State and local law enforcement agencies. FEMA's normal approach, as I understand it, is working through governors. Governors don't control local law enforcement. And that would be the first point.
And the second point, it seems to me in the post-9-11 era, when State and local law enforcement is trying so hard to engage more closely with Federal law enforcement, the FBI and others, moving this program out of the Department of Justice to me, as an individual, does not make sense.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Robinson.
Ms. Daniels, let me go back to your testimony. You make the point, which is amazing, that in 2002, OJP operates under the same structure that existed in 1997. That's fairly incredible to me that there haven't been some changes or improvements, given all the proposals that have been made. As Mr. Scott pointed out in his opening statement, in fact, I think the budget's gone from $1.5 billion to $4 billion during that same period of time.
You mentioned in your opening statement eight objectives that ought to be met. The obvious question is, when do you think any of those objectives are going to be implemented?
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Ms. DANIELS. Mr. Chairman, actually some of them are well underway. We think that many of the things we are attempting to do, we can actually accomplish, short of, for example, statutory change. There are some things that I've mentioned that require that.
But for example, at this point, given the current statutory setting in which we find ourselves after the passage, in particular, of the Patriot Act, the Assistant Attorney General now can control the functions of all of OJP to the extent that we can address such things as standardizing our management practices.
I think it was Dr. Jones who mentioned that there's this disparity in similar programs across subentities within OJP. We are now capable and are moving toward standardizing our grant application process, standardizing our grant monitoring, standardizing our evaluation processes, such that we can achieve many of these things, and I think can move forward to do so.
There will be certain structural changes that we'll want to move forward in collaboration with this Subcommittee on, and we'd like to continue to work with you toward that end. There are various things that we can do now.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Daniels.
Let me say to the Members who are present that we will have a second round of questions. And with that, I'll recognize the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott, for his questions.
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Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. Robinson, you mentioned LEAA?
Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCOTT. Were you describing that as a good or a bad model?
Ms. ROBINSON. I think that looking back at the 1968 Safe Streets Act as a starting point is a good thing to do. It doesn't mean, in any way, that we should buy into every aspect of it, but I do think that going back to essentialsin 1974, the juvenile justice delinquency act was passed, so that, too, could be looked at.
So it's a question of going back to original building blocks.
Mr. SCOTT. You mentioned the idea of a State desk. Let me let the others comment on whether that's a good idea or a bad idea.
Anybody have a comment on the idea of having a State desk withinfor each State?
Mr. JONES. From a State perspective, at least it seems that the States would have a place that they could get information, and wouldn't have to sort of doing a lot of shopping around the offices and things, so that would be sort of a coordinating force. I'm not sort of endorsing it one way or the other, but just for an answer I would say that at least when they call, if the desk is set up appropriately, so that they could give answers to all kinds of questions and understand all the kinds of funding streams that come down from and come to each station, it might be an appropriate thing that should be looked into. I don't know. That's not an endorsement, however.
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Mr. SCOTT. Well, let me, while you're answering, Dr. Jones, let me clarify your testimony. You were somewhat critical of the funding coming directly from the Federal to the local without any coordination, comments, by the State governments. You indicatedlet me make sure I've got this rightthat you're not asking to run those programs or redirect the money, but you would like an opportunity to comment so the money is being used as effectively as possible. Is that accurate?
Mr. JONES. And in some instances, according to the program, we would say that the funding perhaps should come through the States, because it could be directed more to the appropriate entity, where it'swe want to go or add State money to it appropriately. So that would depend upon the type of program.
Mr. SCOTT. Ms. Daniels, you indicated computerization of theto help you track the grants. You had 40,000 grants. Are you suggesting that they're not tracked now by computer?
Ms. DANIELS. Actually, Congressman, we have a situation in which while we can track financially pretty well by computer, and we can track what's happening with the money; we have a good system for that. We don't have as good a system for tracking for what's happening with the programs.
And, I might suggest that with respect to your prior question, if we can clean up some of these problems, we will have less of a problem with the constituency out there trying to negotiate a very difficult system. So we think that if we can clarify some of those things, there will be less of a problem, although we do agree that we should coordinate our monitoring as well, whether it's geographically or subject matter, but coordinate grant monitoring.
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Finally, I think
Mr. SCOTT. How do you evaluate the programs if you're not tracking them? How do you evaluate the programs to know whether or not people wasted the money?
Ms. DANIELS. Well, you know, that's a very good question, Congressman.
Mr. SCOTT. I'm not sure I want to get the answer.
Ms. DANIELS. And that's, I think, an ongoing problem.
What we are doing now is utilizing the Government Performance and Results Act to build in at the front end of all our outgoing grants, solicitations and grant awards, a baseline measurement and then an ongoing measurement, so that we'll be able to determine outcomes, because we really believe that we ought to be sending more money to fund what works. And we'll have to take that money from somewhere, and the idea would be to take it from things that are not working so well or to improve the things that are not working so well.
I'd also suggest that one of the things that may help Dr. Jones and the State constituency is that the Attorney General has begun, in 2001, and we'll be doing this annuallysending out a report to the States, because it is really problem that the States don't know what money is coming into their State. And this will help them be more informed on that issue.
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Mr. SCOTT. One of the problems on duplication is that some of the root causes of some problemslike drug abuse, teen pregnancy, dropout prevention, crimehave the same root causes, so some programs would naturally fit in any of those categories. So, to some extent, there has to be some, I imagine, some overlap.
I had one other question for Ms. Daniels, that is on the prison transition programs, transitioning people out of prison. Virginia, right now, is cutting many of those programs, because our budget is in such a mess. What opportunities are there for Federal funding of those programs?
Ms. DANIELS. Congressman, we're pretty excited about our reentry program, so I'm pleased that you asked the question, and thank you for that.
Wethis is, we think, an unprecedented way to approach providing and making accessible Federal funding to communities while assisting them in building sustainable programs. I think that's been a conundrum that has faced the Federal Government and State and local governments for years.
What we have done is, actually, a number of things. First, we've pooled some funds among the Federal partners. Secondly, we have created a Web site that directs potential grant applicants to broader availability of funding that is ongoing funding that they can use to set up something that might be more sustainable. And then we are going to assist them in identifying the things that they really have ongoing in their communities but which are not done in a collaborative fashion, so that they really are stovepiped and don't complement each other.
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And by bringing all those things together, we think they can create a sustainable program. We can direct them to the Federal funding that they need. And in the long run, they can achieve some very good results.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Scott.
The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Keller, is recognized for his questions.
Mr. KELLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. Daniels, let me ask you, who is the head, currently, of the COPS program?
Ms. DANIELS. Carl Peed from the great State of Virginia, as a matter of fact, I might say to Mr. Scott. Carl Peed is a former sheriff from Virginia, and he and I worked very closely to collaborate. As you know, COPS is not part of OJP, but we work very closely together.
Mr. KELLER. Do you think it should be part of OJP?
Ms. DANIELS. Carl and I arewe do a lot of things that are very similar. And we are coming to recognize how many of those things there are.
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OJP, actually, collaborates with COPS probably to a far greater degree than most people know. We dowe manage many of their grant programs. We provide financial monitoring for them and assist them with those functions so that we can reduce overhead costs.
Mr. KELLER. Is part of this reorganization to put COPS under OJP?
Ms. DANIELS. No, sir. Our reorganization proposal does not address COPS.
Mr. KELLER. Okay. Let me switch gears and ask you about an announcement today from Attorney General Ashcroft about the formation of the National Security Coordination Council of the Department of Justice. The President's budget described the responsibilities of this council as coordinating all functions of the Department of Justice relating to national security, particularly the department's effort to combat terrorism directed against the United States. And he announced that you, as the Assistant Attorney General for this Office of Justice Programs, would serve on the council.
Given that the President's budget proposal would zero out all the counterterrorism grant funding at the Office of Justice Programs and transfer that function to FEMA, what will be your responsibilities on the council?
Ms. DANIELS. I appreciate that question, Mr. Keller, because I think there is a misunderstanding about what OJP can continue to do in this area.
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We do a number of things with respect to counterterrorism. We do State and local anti-terrorism training in the area of prevention, disruption, intervention, prosecution of terrorism. That is a separate function from the Office for Domestic Preparedness, which does first responder training; what do you do when it's already hit, and what do you do at the scene, and how do you deal with the scene?
What we will be doing is continuing to actually increase our training throughout the Department of Justice, and that's through OJP and its various components, through COPS and through other entities, including the FBI, of course, to increase our prevention, disruption, investigation functions. We'll be doing additional research. We already do a substantial amount of technological research to try to adapt technologies to this particular use.
And NIJ's Office of Science and Technology will continue to do that in close collaboration with those out in the field.
Mr. KELLER. So even though the money has been transferred to FEMA, you still think you've got a role to play on this council and have valuable advice for them?
Ms. DANIELS. Only the first responder activities are to be transferred to FEMA. We also are very involved in information and intelligence sharing through the regional information systemI'm sorry, the regional information-sharing system, which is a close partnership with State and local law enforcement.
So there are a number of things that the Office of Justice Programs continues to do, not to mention the Department of Justice as a whole
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Mr. SMITH. Would the gentleman from Florida yield for a minute?
Mr. KELLER. Yes, I will yield.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Daniels, I just wanted to make sure I understood.
I thought that the Administration was proposing to zero out all counterterrorism funding with OJP. And if that's the casethat is not the case?
Ms. DANIELS. No, sir. There is a single office, whose funding would be moved to FEMA and actually enhanced once it's over there, and that's the Office for Domestic Preparedness, which specifically is first responder training and equipping grants.
Mr. SMITH. So they're not zeroing out the funding for the counterterrorism?
Ms. DANIELS. No, sir. The other aspects of what we do.
Mr. SMITH. Okay, thank you, Mr. Keller.
Mr. KELLER. Ms. Robinson, let me just ask you, since you used to be in charge there at OJP, what do you think about this idea of keeping the COPS program kind of independent there and not under OJP? Is that a good idea or a bad idea or are you indifferent one way or the other?
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Ms. ROBINSON. Well, I saw the COPS office do some tremendous work over a number of years in really getting community policing established around the country. I think I would go back to my recommendation that as we look down the road, to createI would urge you to consider creating a new integrated Federal assistance program that all of these pieces eventually should be together.
Mr. KELLER. Thank you, Ms. Robinson.
And, Mr. Chairman, I'll yield back.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Keller.
The gentlewoman from Texas, Ms. Jackson Lee, now the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, is recognized for her questions.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And I thank you for what I think is a very important hearing. It's particularly important because we are the authorizing Committee, and I noticed that a report was submitted to the appropriators, Ms. Daniels, on January 29th, 2002. I believe we have a copy, but I hope the same sense of importance is given to the authorizing Committee.
I'm not sure if I agree with the reorganizational plan, and I was sharing my concerns with the Chairman. I am not sure, though I know that White House budget reflects the reorganization plan, I'm not sure whether the appropriators' responseobviously, they are securing a report that they asked for. But I am concerned as to whether they will then proceed in an amending forumto take this plan and make it a reality without the combined insight of the authorizers that have been workingI guess with the responsibilities of the Department of Justice throughout its tenure. That's what we do, the Judiciary Committee. So I hope that reflects on the record.
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And I'll proceed to say that I raised some of the concerns of those who oppose the reorganizational plan, though I am very comfortable with the concept of competency, efficiency, and effectiveness, which I know that you're concerned about with your particular office. And I assume that is the concern of those who want to reorganize.
But I do know that you still have the responsibility of reviewing the particular budgets of both your bureaus and programs. Is that my understanding?
Ms. DANIELS. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And so my assumption is that when you review those budgets, you obviously would look, with your expertise and Ms. Robinson's expertise, would look for conflicts, duplication, in those circumstances.
So I put that on the record, and I'm going to proceed with my questions. I do have one yes or no question for you.
I noticed your Office for Victims of Crime. What happened with the New York victims fund? Did that not comebecause I know there is a special master. Did that come under your office?
Ms. DANIELS. Actually, that's being handled by the Civil Division within the Department of Justice. Our
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Ms. JACKSON LEE. Was that a decision by the Attorney General or waswasn't your department the normal department for that?
Ms. DANIELS. Well, not really, Congresswoman. It's not a grant program, as our agency is accustomed to dealing with. This is really ait involves a special master who is going to ascertain in negotiation with people who are punitive plaintiffs in potential lawsuits.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. So you did not lose power by that
Ms. DANIELS. Oh, no.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I don't need you to defend it. That's okay. I just wanted to make sure that was not a losing of power. You are in a grant arena with respect to the victims issues; is that my understanding?
Ms. DANIELS. Don't mind at all. Thank you.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Let me then proceed with my question to Commissioner Kelly. I have the same interests that you have dealing with juvenile justice issues.
When I first came to Congress, we spent about a year traveling across the country, visiting with States about their emphasis in juvenile programs. We visited those States that had ''three strikes, you're out'' at the juvenile level, incarcerating juveniles with adults and those issues, and hopefully we made a difference.
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In this reorganizational potential plan, I would ask you the question, though this is not exactly how they proposed it, what do you see as a value to having the juvenile justice program and research of juvenile issues combined together? There is a separate entity that deals with research. Would it be helpful to put research of juvenile issues along with juvenile justice programmatic dollars together?
Mr. KELLY. Well, I believe currently, Congresswoman, that research is part of OJJDP's current mandate. And although I'm not a researcher per sebut I've had enough experience in doing research and reading research to understand fully that you've got to have a very clear linkage between the field and the research effort.
It would do Kentucky no good, for examplewe have State police keep statistics and do research, mental health does research, child welfare does research, and a host of other agencies in State government. It would make no sense to put that all into one department of State government called the research and evaluation department, because it would lose sight of research being focused on what the needs of juvenile justice are, for example, because research and evaluation, the benefit of it, is to tweak programs, and to make programs more effective. That's why today we've been a victim of bad practicein the past were we haven't really paid attention to research.
And I think over the last decade, many of our State legislatures, particularly the one in Kentucky, is concentrating now on saying, ''Prove to me that this is effective.'' Well, if I'm going to prove it to you, then I've got to be able to have a research piece that is viable and that is effective. And having it someplace out there is not always the best way to do it.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. You need the practical along with the research, so that you can feed off of each other.
Mr. KELLY. Otherwise the researchers don't know what to concentrate on. I mean, research is pure in one respect. But on the other side of the coin, you've got to have a field for the practice.
And most researchers are not practice people. I mean, very rarely do you get somebody in academia who has come up through the ranks and earned their doctorate degree, but they also worked in the field at one time; that's a rare thing. Most academicians are not people who know the fields. They've got to have the benefit of that relationship with people doing the practice every day.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you.
There'll be a second round?
Mr. SMITH. Yes. Thank you, Ms. Jackson Lee.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
Mr. SMITH. Dr. Jones, in your testimony, you mentioned five suggestions that you had. What I'd really like to know is what duplication did you have in mind that would address those five suggestions toward?
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Mr. JONES. I would love to get back to the field and talk to some of the State people and get back to you, to get you a more coherent answer. I couldn't sort of come up at the top my head with some at this point in time.
But we were talking basically about how the programs come to the State and whether they come from different areas. And some of the similar things that Ms. Daniels was talking about, where wewhen we were asked for certain accountability, certain guidance that this was clear about it, that the agencies were clear with what they wanted, that there was consistency with one or the other who was given similar grants to the States. That's the kind of thing that we had in mind.
Mr. SMITH. Okay, on those five suggestions, it seems to me that there was an overlap between them and the suggestions or objectives, I guess, that Ms. Daniels had and some of the suggestions that Ms. Robinson had. When we talk about duplication and the need to make these programs more responsive, do you feel that there is room for shall we say substantial improvement within the OJP area?
Mr. JONES. Well, yes, in terms of organization, I would sayI'd have to say yes, in terms of that there should be some kind of improvement in that area.
Mr. SMITH. Okay, thank you.
Ms. Robinson, let me go to you, if I may. Again, I have a habit of reading everybody's testimony, so my questions usually are based upon that. I thought it was remarkable the meeting that you called in 1996, now 6 years ago, where you pulled in people from various agencies, departments, Republicans, Democrats, everybody, and there was unanimous agreement on the need to make OJP more efficient, more responsive, and more effective. And yet, really nothing has been done since then. And that's over two administrations, so we can be bipartisan in that, to some extent, as well.
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But what's been the problem? Why have we not made the improvements we should have concerning the great expansion of the number of programs? And what can be done to implement the suggestions that you have and the others have today?
Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, I think that, as I alluded to in my oral statement, that bringing change in a large program like this is just very, very difficult. There are Members up here, to be candid, who are invested in different funding streams, who care deeply about them. There are people in the fieldand that's as it should be. It's a very complex area, criminal and juvenile justice. It obviously requires a great deal of thought to approach the question of how to organize it in a way that it is rational and effective and can get the mission accomplished.
Mr. SMITH. Let meI meant to further addand, by the way, I think I was wrong when I said ''over two administrations.'' This Administration is actually trying to change things for the better, in my judgment.
But you mentioned a report detailing proposed reorganization that was submitted to Congress in 1999, so we've had the blueprints, we've had the outlines, we've had the proposals, and still haven't done much.
Ms. ROBINSON. Well, actually, maybe I look at the world more optimistically. I think we at least have gotten proposals out there.
In the fall of 2000, Congress, through the appropriations statute for the Department of Justice, did put its imprimatur on several parts of the reorganization: the State desks, organizing the offices by topic, and having one central information point. And they asked the department to proceed with those plans.
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Through thatI left as Assistant Attorney General in February of 2000. And in the following months, before the Administration ended, there were planning groups and reports put out, but no concrete steps, as I understand it, were taken. And at that point, the Administration changed.
I'm encouraged by
Mr. SMITH. Are you more optimistic now?
Ms. ROBINSON. I am optimistic that it's getting attention from Ms. Daniels and others, yes. And I know that tackling this kind of thing is difficult. There are very many legitimate concerns and interests about the juvenile area, about how to deal with victims of crime, about the research and statistics, ensuring that they remain credible and objective. So it's not a simple process, but it is one that needs to be tackled.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Robinson.
Mr. Kelly, let me direct my last question to you, and I think it comes, appropriately enough, after the remarks by Ms. Robinson. And that is that there's an acknowledgement that a lot of these programs are worthwhile. At the same time, I hope you would admit that there's probably duplication and inefficiency in these programs as well.
And I got the feeling, in your testimony, you were trying to walk a very fine line between saying that there waswhat you couldn't say, that there was no duplication, and yet making a case for the programs themselves.
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In fact, though, don't you feel that there is duplication? Isn't there fairly substantial room for improvement in the way these programs are run, administered, and implemented?
Mr. KELLY. After reading the testimony of Ms. Daniels and Laurie Robinson, I'm sure there is duplication. I'd be shocked, the size of the Justice Department, if there wasn't duplication.
So I'd be the first one to say that we certainly want to try and correct as much duplication and get the greatest bounce for our buck as possible.
The thing I want to see is that, as we look to change the system, to avoid the overlapping, the duplication, and the lack of coordination, that we protect the viability of an agency in State governmentin Federal Government that focuses on juvenile justice issues. That's paramount.
If we do that, then we lose, I'm afraid, many of the gains that we've made in keeping the focus on the need of juvenile justice. And like I said earlier, there are many, many States have begun to see and make changes so that juvenile justice has a single focus in their State by making it a separate department, a separate agency.
And I think there's a way to eliminate much of the duplication and keep that focus there. And obviously, I don't know as much about OJP as Ms. Daniels and Ms. Robinson, but I'm sure there's got to be a way, if one is committed, to the fact that there's got to be a juvenile justice focus.
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Mr. SMITH. I think that makes it unanimous that there's room for improvement, there's too much duplication, and we should eliminate that, but eliminate that by keeping the worthwhile programs, too.
Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
Ms. Jackson Lee, do you have any more questions?
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I would like a second round, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. SMITH. Excuse me?
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I would like to
Mr. SMITH. Okay. The gentlewoman is recognized for her questions.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Kelly, just to comment, the Members of this Committee, most of them are lawyers and will have a tendency to cross-examine. When they do that, you don't have to agree with us. [Laughter.]
I will just comment that's all
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Mr. SMITH. It's too late. He already agreed. [Laughter.]
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I was trying to interject or object, but I knew that we were in a hearing.
I will just add, for the record, that all change is not progress.
We have a common interest, though, and that is, of course, the juvenile justice issues. But I have a commonnot a common, but a perspective of this particular program. I think Ms. Daniels and Ms. Robinson probably had one of the better or best jobs in government or, at least, in the Department of Justice. Why do I say that? Because your particular area was an area that was very people-directed and orientated, if you will. The different areas, both bureaus and programs, really related to outside the beltway. And I applaud you for your commitment to what these particular disparate programs and bureaus stand for.
So that's why I make an argument that I will review the proposal but all may not be good to merge and to, if you will, diminish the independence of these particular areas.
For example, the victims programs, the Violence Against Womenwho are now very concerned that with merger or with combining you, lessen their prominence on some of their issues.
And, Mr. Kelly, Commissioner Kelly, I would commend to you the perspective of that with respect to juvenile justice issues. We have come a mighty long way with juvenile justice issues, and my Ranking Member, Mr. Scott, started with mehe was here before me. But we were into the ''three strikes, you're out,'' we were into locking them up; that was the call of the day. And I do believe that this particular program and bureau has helped to give grants to help local communities be more openminded and more creative with how they deal with juvenile issues.
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So I am not enthusiastic about the approach. And let me raise these questions, then, to Ms. Robinson: What about my perspective, the kind of presence that these particular bureaus have had to have, as relates to Violence Against Women, Office for State and Local Domestic Preparedness, theI guess I'm going over the oneslet me look at the onesthe Bureau of Justice Assistance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenileand then Office for Victims of Crime. And then the program offices, I was reading them as well.
But they had topical substance to them, and I think that's important to the communities to be able to understand that these are important.
Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, I absolutely agree with you. And in my written testimony, one of the points that I made was that it is important to preserve what I called kind of centers of leadership, policy, knowledge around areas like domestic violence, law enforcement, corrections, and that list could go on.
But there are ways of structuring the program that can make them work more closely together, more effectively together. But I in no way recommend eliminating focus in these important issues.
And I would also, back on your first comment, say it was the best job in government anyone could have.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I can imagine.
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Have you read the January 29th, 2002, proposed reorganizational plan? Have you had that before you?
Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, I have.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Are you giving us any opinion on that?
Ms. ROBINSON. I have not commented in detail on it. It has many consistent themes, but I'd have to go back and look to
Ms. JACKSON LEE. So you're notthis isyour testimony is not a seal of approval on this proposal.
Ms. ROBINSON. No, but I would say that the general principles annunciated in it are very consistent with what I was trying to forward, and that I would support them.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. But there are many ways of getting toward your principles?
Ms. ROBINSON. Absolutely.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. With respect to the merger or movement of the Office for Domestic Preparedness, let me offer a counterproposal. I believe that the purpose with first responders, particularly police, have a great basis in the Department of Justice, just as police, law enforcement. I am well-aware of the greatness of FEMA.
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I have as a resident of Texas, as my State, know that we could not have survived over the past couple of years without the excellent work of our FEMA directors, plural, and their staff.
But FEMA is a fluid organization. It moves with the tide. It goes to emergency and crisis areas. And I don't understand the reasoning, except for another budget line to FEMA, that would have taken a law enforcement-directed effort out of the Department of Justice and moved to FEMA.
Ms. DANIELS. Thank you, Congresswoman. And I appreciate you bringing that up.
You may recall that FEMA actually started as the civil defense agency in the Cold War days. And times changed, and it needed to be a fluid agency, and it became more of a natural disaster agency.
I think everyone agrees, including the director of FEMA, that FEMA now needs to undergo, in light of the terrorist threat to this country, a certain mission shift in order to effectively do this. I would simply say that the purpose of this is to consolidate a lot of activities that are geared in many agencies toward first response training into a single agency. The idea is to consolidate those things. We'll continue to collaborate closely with FEMA and other agencies, as we all must under the current threatening circumstances.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Well, maybe thatand I thank the Chairman for his indulgence.
Maybe that was where we should start first, which is the reordering and the understanding of where Governor Ryan is going and where the Administration is going on reordering our fight against terrorism.
FEMA hasit did start that way. But we've known it in current years and decades as hurricanes, storms and various other type natural disasters.
So, you know, this kind of lateral movement doesn't give us a sense that the mission is prominent. It's moving little pieces. And I'd be interested in a more unified focus of what we're doing.
But I appreciate your explanation of that.
Mr. Chairman, I would just simply close my line of questioning by saying two points. Part of the fallout of the mergers, the Violence Against Women Office's advocates being very concerned that they will be, if you will, diminished in status. And they're looking to be put outside the Department of Justice, and I don't know if that's always the best approach. But they are frightened that they will lose their status, and that's why I'm concerned about the reorganizational plan.
And then, lastly, I would say that I'm delighted that Dr. Jones is here. I'm a great advocate of States. But likewise, coming from local government, I would make the point that I am a proponent of getting grants directly to local entities who can utilize the dollars quickly and benefit neighborhoods and blocks and cities and various small entities where the people actually are.
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With that, I'll yield back.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Jackson Lee.
Ms. Daniels, I want to follow up briefly on what the Congresswoman just mentioned as an issue, and that was proposed, by some people, transfer of the Office of Violence Against Women outside of OJP.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. The question I asked Ms. Daniels was that you had made reference to the Office of Violence Against Women, and some have proposed transferring that out of OJP.
And I was going to ask Ms. Daniels if she supported or opposed that proposal.
Ms. DANIELS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I appreciate the opportunity to address this issue, because I want to make it very clear that in no way does our proposal for reorganization suggest any change in terms of the Violence Against Women Office. We think it has a very important function and should continue as an entity within the Office of Justice Programs.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Having said that, I would reemphasize the last part of that statement. We think there are a lot of synergies between the Violence Against Women Office and a number of the other operations that we have at OJP. And it's essential to us that the Violence Against Women Office work very closely with the juvenile justice office, with the Office for Victims of Crime.
Those three in particular do a lot of work in protecting victims of child abuse, children who have witnessed violence between adults and that sort of thing. And we think that it is essential that they work very closely together. Moving VAWO out would make that difficult.
And we also enjoy a number of economies of scale on the basis of the work that we do closely together.
Mr. SMITH. So, Ms. Daniels, the answer to my question was that that is not in your proposal?
Ms. DANIELS. It is not in our proposal to either merge it with anything else in OJP
Mr. SMITH. Okay.
Ms. DANIELS [continuing]. Or certainly not to move it out.
Mr. SMITH. Transfer it out. Okay.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 3 Speaking of transfers, Ms. Robinson, tell me whether you are supportive of or opposed to transferring the Office of Science and Technology to OJP.
Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, you mean out of NIJ?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, correct.
Ms. ROBINSON. That's an issue that I did not have to tackle during my tenure as Assistant Attorney General. But sitting outside government, as I do now, there are many things that do make sense about such a transfer.
One of the things I'd reflect on, and I was very familiar with the work of the office during my time there, is that much of it is technical assistance like in its nature. And whether that should belong in a research institute I think is a very good and open question.
Secondly, and I did mention this in my written statement, if there is any area across criminal justice where there is confusion in the field about the different funding streams, and how to access them, it is in the area of technology. And having some greater combination of that and, I would say, reporting directly to the Assistant Attorney General, makes a lot of sense. But at least to combine those together.
Right now, BJS, BJA, NIJ, various offices and the COPS office have parts of the technology issue. There is such potential there. It is so important that trying to get a greater handle on comprehensive integrated work with States and localities on technology is really crucial.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Robinson.
Let me ask you, which I probably should have asked you personally first, you're down as a former Assistant Attorney General. You ought to be a consultant. And I'm sure that Ms. Daniels would welcome that.
What do you do now? We know what you were a former of. Are you practicing law now?
Ms. ROBINSON. I am more than a ''former.'' I'm currently senior fellow with the University of Pennsylvania's Jerry Lee Center of Criminology here in Washington, working on crime policy issues and happy to be of whatever assistance.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Well, thank you all for your testimony today. It was very helpful, very useful. And as you know, this begins thethis is the first part of a three-part series on the general subject of oversight, which we think is so important, both to the Committee and to Congress.
So thank you again. And I thank you, Ms. Jackson Lee, for being the Ranking Member.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. We stand adjourned.
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[Whereupon, at 5:30 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
Next Hearing Segment(2)
(Footnote 1 return)
It is worth noting, however, that, even with the current high levels of federal grant assistance, federal support constitutes only 4% of state and local spending relating to crime.