1: The Office of Justice Programs
Since 1984 the Office of Justice Programs has provided federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems, increase knowledge about crime and related issues, and assist crime victims.
OJP is led by an Assistant Attorney General, who is responsible for overall management and oversight of OJP. The AAG sets policy and ensures that OJP policies and programs reflect the priorities of the President, the Attorney General, and the Congress.
The AAG promotes coordination among the bureaus and offices within OJP. Five bureaus - the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime - administer federal grant, training and technical assistance, research, and statistics programs.
OJP also includes program offices that administer specific programs, including those authorized by the 1994 Crime Act. These offices include the Violence Against Women Office, the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, the Corrections Program Office, the Drug Courts Program Office, the Office for State and Local Domestic Preparedness
Support, the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education, and the American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Office.
THE OJP BUREAUS
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 help improve the criminal justice system. It administers the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance, the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants, State Criminal Alien Assistance, Public Safety Officers' Benefits, Regional Information Sharing Systems, and other grant programs.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is the principal criminal justice statistical agency in the nation. BJS collects and analyzes statistical data on crime, criminal offenders, crime victims, and the operations of justice systems at all levels of government. It also provides financial and technical support to state governments in developing state capabilities in criminal justice statistics and improving criminal history records.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the principal research and development agency in the Department of Justice. NIJ supports research and development programs, conducts demonstrations of innovative approaches to improve criminal justice, develops and tests new criminal justice technologies, evaluates the effectiveness of justice programs, and disseminates research findings to practitioners and policymakers. NIJ also provides primary support for the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, a clearinghouse of criminal justice-related publications, articles, videotapes, and online information.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides federal leadership in preventing and controlling juvenile crime and improving the juvenile justice system at the state and local levels. OJJDP provides grants and contracts to states, local communities, and Indian tribes to help them improve their juvenile justice systems and sponsors innovative research, demonstration, evaluation, statistics, and technical assistance and training programs to improve the nation's understanding of and response to juvenile violence and delinquency. OJJDP also administers the Missing and Exploited Children's program, four programs funded under the Victims of Child Abuse Act, and the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provides federal funds to support victim assistance and compensation programs nationwide, and advocates for the fair treatment of crime victims. OVC administers grants for programs designed to benefit victims, provides training for diverse professionals who work with victims, develops projects to enhance victims' rights and services, and undertakes public education and awareness activities on behalf of crime victims. OVC's mission is to enhance the nation's capacity to assist crime victims and to provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime.
THE PROGRAM OFFICES
OJP has three offices that administer major programs authorized by the 1994 Crime Act:
The following offices are also located within OJP:
Six offices within OJP provide agency-wide support. They are the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs (OCPA), the Office of General Counsel (OGC), the Office of Administration (OA), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Office of Budget and Management Services (OBMS), and the Office of the Comptroller (OC). Also, the American Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs Office (AI/AN) improves outreach to federally recognized Indian tribes.
OJP'S FY 1999 BUDGET
Since enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, OJP's annual budget, which includes funding for the Public Safety Officers' Death Benefits and the Crime Victims Fund, has grown from $1.1 billion in 1995 to $3.7 billion in 1999. The FY 1999 budget includes $3.4 billion in direct appropriations and $324 million from the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed by collections of fines, penalty assessments, and bond forfeitures from defendants convicted of federal crimes. In addition, OJP administered $405 million from other Justice Department accounts through reimbursable agreements. Overall, in FY 1999 OJP managed over $4.1 billion. The chart on the opposite page provides details on OJP's FY 1999 appropriations.
THE OJP REORGANIZATION
In making appropriations for FY 1999, Congress directed OJP and the Justice Department to develop a plan for a new organizational structure for OJP that would explore the consolidation and streamlining of agency programs and activities. A major goal of the restructuring project was to craft an organizational plan that would be responsive to principles of good government and sound management.
In March 1999, the Justice Department submitted a plan to Congress for creating a centralized organizational structure that would clarify lines of authority and eliminate duplication and overlap in OJP functions. Under the existing organizational structure, OJP's program and administrative bureaus and offices operate to a great degree as a network of independent agencies, with related, but distinct, functions, missions, and competencies, which share a common infrastructure. The goal of the new organizational structure is to create a centrally administered agency comprised of coherent components, with distinct functions and competencies, which share a common mission.
In the report accompanying FY 2000 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary, Congress endorsed the principles of reorganization set out in OJP's March 1999 plan. OJP and the Justice Department are currently working with Congress to implement the principles of the reorganization plan.
SHARING INFORMATION WITH THE FIELD
The resources and national perspective of the federal government give it a unique role in sharing knowledge about crime and justice. An important part of OJP's mission is reaching out to state and local justice officials, practitioners, and researchers to spread state-of-the-art knowledge and programs nationwide.
In FY 1999, OJP continued to support the operation of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, which supports the information dissemination efforts of all OJP bureaus and offices, as well as the Office of National Drug Control Policy. NCJRS maintains a library of more than 145,000 documents, available in print and through the Web at www.ncjrs.org. The NCJRS toll-free hotline at 1-800/688-4252 provides access to reference specialists who conduct individualized research and provide copies of publications. In FY 1999, NCJRS responded to more than 300,000 telephone requests and distributed nearly 8 million documents. The NCJRS Website received over 3.5 million hits, and NCJRS staff responded to more than 40,000 e-mail requests for information.
OJP has also worked to streamline administrative requirements for its grantees, while simultaneously ensuring sound management of funded programs. OJP is a pioneer among federal grantmaking agencies in developing seamless automated systems and Web-based grant management systems. For example, the Office of the Comptroller, responsible for financial management of OJP's federal grants, operates a phone-activated payment system for grantees, operates a toll-free hotline for grant questions, and conducts a nationwide training program for grantees. In FY 1999, the Office of the Comptroller assisted 25,000 callers, trained more than 4,000 individuals in financial management, and revised the plain English version of the OJP Financial Guide, available online.
OJP continued to support the Department of Justice Response Center in FY 1999. The Response Center is staffed by specialists who answer questions and provide information about Justice Department funding programs, including all OJP and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office funding programs. Center staff also can provide copies of program solicitations, guidelines, and other documents.
Back to OJP FY 99 Annual Report