Congress Funds Key State Criminal Justice Programs

On Thursday, November 17, Congress passed the “minibus” appropriations bill, which consolidated appropriations for several agencies, including the Department of Justice. The bill provides a total of $2.2 billion for state and criminal justice programs, such as:

  • $63 million for the Second Chance Act. The compromise appropriations bill resolves differences in Second Chance Act funding between the House, which allotted $70 million for the program, and the Senate, which had provided no funding.
  • $9 million for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA). This funding will provide resources to help law enforcement, courts, corrections, and mental health professionals better address the needs of people with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system. To date, 220 grants have been awarded to state and local jurisdictions. 
  • $6 million for Justice Reinvestment, data-driven assistance to states to help reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in strategies designed to increase public safety.

In addition, the package contains a continuing resolution that funds other federal operations until December 16, 2011 – or until Congress completes the remaining nine Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bills.