Last year, President Obama’s budget called for a $527.5 million increase in spending for the federal bureau of prisons. This year? The president is suggesting an increase of another $606 million, which would bring total federal prison spending to $6.8 billion. It seems that part of that money will be used for rehabilitation programming and part will be used to add more beds to the prison system by opening a new facility. But the details are pretty scant:
The Administration proposes $8.4 billion for the operations of the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee and the Bureau of Prisons, and will help stabilize the prison population by advancing evidence-based sentencing reform legislation. The Administration will continue to explore fiscally sound, data-driven administrative procedures to address population stress on the prison system such as expanded use of alternatives to incarceration, increased reliance on risk assessments, and diversion for non-violent offenders. In addition, drug treatment and prisoner re-entry programs will be expanded to enhance returning prisoners’ prospects for successful re-entry. Prison overcrowding also will be addressed through the activation of a newly constructed prison at Aliceville, Alabama, which will add more than 1,750 beds.
- A $38 million cut to the Drug Enforcement Administration;
- A $588 million cut to the offices of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing, and Violence Against Women;
- A $100 million increase to Second Chance Act programs designed to help inmates reenter society;
- And a $50 million cut to juvenile justice programs, apparently to be re-focused into a sort of Race to the Top juvenile justice equivalent, where states are rewarded for improving their systems for dealing with young offenders.