From Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken decisive and historic action to make America’s communities safer. Last year, the President brought Members of Congress from both parties together to secure the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—the first significant piece of legislation to address the epidemic of gun violence in America’s communities in three decades. This historic legislation expands background checks and funds crisis intervention, including red-flag laws, and helps keep guns out of the hands of people, including convicted dating partners, who are a danger to themselves and others. It makes historic investments in upstream violence prevention and reduction programs and addressing the youth mental crisis by expanding community violence prevention programs and expanding trauma informed services to mitigate the impact of violence. And it builds on the Administration’s efforts to crack down on ghost guns, rogue dealers, and gun trafficking.
The President has also been clear about the Administration’s commitment to investing in safe, effective, and accountable community policing, community violence intervention, and crime prevention. In May 2022, after Senate Republicans blocked passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act last year—even though leading law enforcement groups supported a deal—President Biden signed a historic Executive Order to advance effective, accountable policing and strengthen public safety. In August, the Biden-Harris Administration released the comprehensive Safer America Plan that funds the police for safe, effective, and accountable community policing and promotes effective prosecution of crimes affecting families, invests in upstream crime prevention and a fairer criminal justice system, and takes additional steps on guns to keep dangerous firearms out of dangerous hands.
The Budget builds on this progress by making investments to prevent and reduce crime and improve the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in improving public safety and public trust and easing the burden on police, invest in Federal Law Enforcement to combat gun violence and other violent crime, support state, local, and tribal law enforcement and other first responders, and reinvigorate Federal civil rights enforcement. The President believes we can and must do more to prevent and reduce crime and save lives. The Budget:
- Invests in Federal Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Community Violence Interventions, and Prevention to Combat Gun Violence and Other Violent Crime. The Budget makes robust investments to bolster Federal law enforcement capacity. The Budget includes $17.8 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of nearly $2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafﬁcking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the ﬁrearms industry, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Budget also includes $1.9 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to support personnel dedicated to ﬁghting violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations. And the Budget provides $51 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. In addition, the Budget provides a total of $2.9 billion for the U.S. Attorneys, which includes 130 new personnel to support the prosecution of violent crimes. The Budget also continues to fund the President’s comprehensive Safer America Plan, including funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on our streets for accountable, community-oriented policing.
- Supports Effective and Accountable State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement and Public Safety. The Budget provides DOJ $4.9 billion in discretionary resources for State and local grants to enhance public safety, including $537 million for the COPS Hiring Program, and $30 billion in mandatory resources to fully fund President Biden’s Safer America Plan, a comprehensive blueprint to protect the safety of our communities through evidence-based strategies that promote effective and accountable crime prevention. As part of the Safer America plan, the Budget includes funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on the street for accountable community policing. The officers will be recruited, trained, hired, and supervised — consistent with the standards in the President’s Executive Order — in order to enhance trust and public safety. The Budget requests $19.4 billion over 10 years for crime prevention strategies and affirms the President’s goal to provide $5 billion over 10 years for community violence interventions. The Budget also includes $717 million, an $86 million increase, in Tribal public safety and justice funding at the Department of the Interior.
- Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence. The Budget proposes $1 billion to support implementation of programs through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which was recently reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. This is a $300 million or 43-percent increase over the 2023 enacted level, which was the highest funding level in history. The Budget funds new VAWA programs to address online abuse, and provides substantial increases for longstanding VAWA programs, including key investments in legal assistance for victims, transitional housing, and sexual assault services. In addition, the Budget provides $120 million, an increase of $65 million above the 2023 enacted level, to the Ofﬁce of Justice Programs for the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to address the rape kit backlog, and for the Regional Sexual Assault Investigative Training Academies Program.
- Reinvigorates Federal Civil Rights Enforcement. In order to address longstanding inequities and strengthen civil rights protections, the Budget invests $252 million, an increase of $62 million over the 2023 enacted level, in the DOJ Civil Rights Division. These resources would support police reform via pattern-or-practice investigations, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights, and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.
- Improves the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System. The Budget advances and invests in comprehensive, evidence-informed, and high-impact initiatives to enhance public safety and advance equity in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. The Budget supports key investments to provide comprehensive, intensive, and market-driven workforce development services and reentry to people in the Federal prison system. The Budget also invests $300 million to support the first year of a new ten-year Accelerating Justice System Reform program as part of the President’s Safer America Plan, with a total of $14.7 billion in mandatory funding requested over the following nine years, which will provide state, local, and tribal governments with additional resources they need to advance evidence-based strategies that will prevent violence and ease the burden on law enforcement and the court system in cases that do not merit their intervention. Doing so not only enhances public safety, but also delivers evidence-based criminal justice reform that advances equity. The Budget also proposes $760 million for juvenile justice programs, an increase of $360 million over the 2023 enacted level, to bolster diversionary juvenile justice strategies.
- Counters Cyber Threats. The Budget expands DOJ’s ability to pursue cyber threats through investments that support efforts to build cyber investigative capabilities at FBI ﬁeld divisions nationwide. These investments include an additional $63 million for more agents, enhanced response capabilities, and strengthened intelligence collection and analysis capabilities. These investments are in line with the National Cybersecurity strategy that emphasizes a whole-of-Nation approach to addressing the ongoing cyber threat.