The Office of Justice Programs
Since 1984, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) 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, aid crime victims, and assist state and local jurisdictions to better ensure public safety.
OJP is led by an Assistant Attorney General (AAG), who is responsible for the 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, technology development and introduction, research, and statistics programs.
OJP also includes a number of program offices. 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 Desk. Many of these offices were first authorized under the 1994 Crime Act.
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 to help improve the criminal justice system. It administers the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program, the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, Public Safety Officers' Benefits, the Regional Information Sharing Systems Program, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, community prosecution grants, and other grant programs and initiatives.
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. BJS provides financial and technical support to state governments in developing capabilities in criminal justice statistics, as well as improving the accuracy, utility, and interstate accessibility of criminal history records. BJS supports the enhancement of records of protective orders involving domestic violence and stalking, sex offender records, automated identification systems, and other state systems supporting national records systems and their use for background checks.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the principal research and evaluation agency in the Department of Justice. NIJ supports research and development programs, conducts demonstrations of innovative approaches to improve criminal justice, tests new criminal justice technologies, provides technology assistance, evaluates the effectiveness of justice, 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 financial assistance to states, local communities, Indian tribes, and the juvenile justice community to help improve the nation's juvenile justice system 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, 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) works 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. OVC provides federal funds to support victim assistance and compensation programs nationwide, and advocates for the fair treatment of crime victims and the recognition of the crime victim within the justice system. 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.
THE PROGRAM OFFICES
OJP has three offices that administer major programs first 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). OJP also includes an American Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs Desk (AI/AN), which improves outreach to federally recognized Indian tribes.
ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS
OJP's Office for Civil Rights actively enforces civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination by agencies that receive federal funding. OCR has initiated a number of investigations into complaints against various police departments alleging discriminatory traffic stops and searches, or other forms of racial profiling. When complaints are sustained, OJP takes administrative action to remedy civil rights violations, from requiring changes in policy to suspending funding. Even when no violations are found, OJP often recommends changes in policies and practices to help law enforcement alleviate perceptions of bias and to build community trust. OJP also works with agencies to promote the full and equal participation of women and minority individuals in employment opportunities, and investigates complaints of employment discrimination.
OJP'S FY 2000 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 (CVF), has grown from $1.1 billion in 1995 to $4.4 billion in 2000. The FY 2000 budget included $3.4 billion in direct appropriations and $985 million from the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed by collections of fines, penalty assessments, and bond forfeitures from defendants convicted of federal crimes. Congress placed a cap on this fund and limited the FY 2000 CVF obligations to $500 million. In addition, OJP administered $389 million in reimbursable agreements from DOJ and non-DOJ agencies. Overall, in FY 2000, OJP managed nearly $4.8 billion. The chart on page 8 provides details on OJP's FY 2000 appropriations.
THE OJP REORGANIZATION In 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. During FY 2000, much progress was made as OJP continued to refine the reorganization plan and begin preparing for its implementation.
In November 1999, in the conference report accompanying the FY 2000 Justice
Department appropriations bill, Congress directed OJP to prepare and submit to Congress
a formal proposal for implementing selected components of the plan submitted to
Congress in FY 1999. Specifically, these components included the creation of a "one-stop" OJP information center; the establishment of "state desks" for geographically-based
grants administration; and the consolidation and streamlining of OJP program and policy
functions by subject area. In January 2000, the Attorney General approved OJP's
proposal for implementing the new structure and it was forwarded to Congress for review.
In April 2000, with Congress' concurrence, OJP began work on tasks preparatory to
implementation of the new OJP organizational structure. It is expected that the
reorganization of OJP will be implemented in phases in FY 2001.
SHARING INFORMATION WITH THE FIELD
SHARING INFORMATION WITH THE FIELD
The resources and national perspective of the federal government give it a unique role in sharing knowledge about crime, justice, public safety issues, and victims. An important part of OJP's mission is providing state and local justice officials, practitioners, researchers, and the public with information.
To make its resources more understandable and accessible to the public, OJP revamped its previously bureau/office-organized Website. In FY 2000, OJP launched a new Website that was redesigned so that important information could be found by topics and issues relating to all public safety fields. As a result of the new design, inquiries to OJP's public e-mail address increased significantly. On the average, the e-mail box receives over 700 inquiries per month. In 2000 alone, OJP received a total of 7,645 inquiries from law enforcement officials, federal, state and local officials, researchers, non-profit and for-profit organizations, universities, congressional staff members, the media, and the public.
In FY 2000, OJP continued to support the operation of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), 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 number at 1-800/688-4252 provides access to reference specialists who conduct individualized research and provide copies of publications. For criminal justice technology development and standards publications, NIJ manages "JUSTNET" on the Web at www.nlectc.org. Criminal justice practitioners and other interested persons can also request these publications by calling 1-800/248-2742. JUSTNET serves as a gateway to the products and services of NIJ's National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) system, as well as other technology information and services of interest to the law enforcement and corrections communities.
OJP also continued to support the Department of Justice Response Center in FY 2000. 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.
OJP's Office of the Comptroller (OC) answers over 33,000 calls a year at its Customer Service Center. Staff provide prompt answers to funding recipients' financial questions via toll-free telephone (1-800/458-0786) and e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Ninety-seven percent of questions are answered immediately or within 24 hours.
In addition to the $4.4 billion in payments made to OJP and COPS grantees during FY 2000, OC provides formal financial technical assistance to recipients through its nationwide Regional Financial Management Training Seminars. These two-day training seminars are conducted throughout the year, both in Washington, DC and at various locations across the country, at no cost to recipients. OC trained over 3,000 recipient and program staff during FY 2000.
To ensure that OJP's recipients understand and carry out the financial requirements attendant to their awards, OC implemented a risk-based financial monitoring program that examined 1,800 grants in FY 2000, representing over $1.2 billion awarded by OJP. Recipients are either visited or called by OC staff, who provide financial technical assistance, advice, and guidance in support of OJP's programs.
REACHING OUT TO A LOCAL DISTRICT SCHOOL
OJP employees "practice what they preach" and take pride in working with the Washington, DC community. In 2000, OJP marked the 10th anniversary of its partnership with the Benjamin Orr Elementary School. On June 12, 2000, OJJDP and OJP volunteers joined fourth-grade students and teachers from the Orr School for lunch at the District ChopHouse & Brewery. The lunch culminated the 3-week Manners and Dining Out Program, through which students learned some key elements of fine dining. The students each ordered for themselves and calculated the total cost, including tax and tip, for the meal. The students were each given $20 in "Orr School Money," which they used to "pay" their bill. The District ChopHouse & Brewery covered the cost of the meals. A local anchorman interviewed participants for a segment that aired on the 6:00 p.m. news. Over the course of the year, OJP volunteers participated in Orr School reading programs, accompanied Orr students on field trips, and provided holiday gifts for students and their families. Orr students also participated in DOJ events, such as holiday programs.
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