GM 15-013

Department of Justice FY 2015 Appropriations

This Memorandum covers the final FY 2015 funding levels for selected programs of interest to tribes and Indian organizations in the Department of Justice (DOJ). DOJ is funded under the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill which is now Division B of the Consolidated and Furthering Appropriations Act, 2015 (Act) (HR 83, PL 113-235). The Act was signed into law on December 16, 2014. The Act provides funding for 11 of the 12 appropriations bills through the end of the fiscal year, but only provides funding through February 2015 for the Department of Homeland Security. A Managers’ Explanatory Statement (Managers’ Statement) accompanies the Act, rather than a formal conference report. The Managers’ Statement provides the following guidance regarding the House and Senate Committee reports accompanying the bill (H. Rept. 114-448; S. Rept. 113-181):

Report language included in the House Report 113-448 (“the House report” or Senate Report 113-181 (“the Senate Report”) that is not changed by this explanatory statement or this Act is approved. The explanatory statement, while repeating some language for emphasis, is not intended to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein.

The Managers’ Explanatory Statement and the Act are printed in the December 11, 2014, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD (Parts I and II).

Overall Funding. The FY 2015 discretionary funding level for DOJ is $27 billion which is $706 million below the FY 2014 enacted level and $943 million below the requested amount.

Authority to Waive Some Matching Requirements. Section 214 of the Act (General Provisions of the Department of Justice) authorizes the Attorney General (AG), upon the request of a grantee whom the AG has determined has a financial hardship, to waive matching requirements for Second Chance adult and juvenile reentry demonstration projects; State, tribal and local reentry courts; drug treatment programs; and prison rape elimination programs. This authority applies to FYs 2012 through 2015.

Bakken Oil Region. The Managers’ Statement asks for a briefing on crime in the Bakken oil region:

The Department shall brief the Committees on Appropriations no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act on crime trends in the Bakken oil region, and the Department’s plans, staffing and resource needs to address such crime, as specified in the Senate report.

The Senate report states:

The Committee recognizes the growing incidence of serious crimes committed in the Bakken oil region which crosses multiple State and local jurisdictions. Communities in the region are experiencing unprecedented growth and an influx of workers due to continued demand for labor. Unfortunately, increased crime, including incidents of violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking, have also risen. The Committee directs the DOJ to report within 90 days of enactment of this act on the Department’s current and anticipated presence in the Bakken oil region, including the associated level of staffing and resource needs among its law enforcement and prosecutorial components. The Department shall also include analysis of crime trends in the region in its report to the Committee. (S. Rept. 113-181, p. 60).


FY 2014 Enacted $417 million
FY 2015 Admin. Request $422 million
FY 2015 Enacted $430 million

We have not found a breakdown within the total for Violence Against Women Programs for specific tribal grants but at the Administration’s requested level they would be:

• Grants to Tribal Governments $ 35.7 million
• Indian Coalition Grants program $ 6.2 million
• Sexual Assault Services Program $ 2.7 million

In addition, the Act provides: $1 million for research on violence against Indian women and $500,000 to continue development of a national clearinghouse on the sexual assault of American Indian and Alaska Native women.

Other programs under the Violence Against Women Program are:

• Services, Training, Officers, & Prosecutors (STOP) Grants $195.0 million ($2 million over the FY 2014 enacted level, for formula grants to states)
• Transitional Housing Assistance for Homeless Victims $ 26.0 million
• Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies $ 50.0 million
• Rural Domestic Violence Assistance Grants $ 33.0 million
• Violence on College Campuses $ 12.0 million
• Civil Legal Assistance $ 42.5 million
• Sexual Assault Victims Services Program $ 30.0 million
• Elder Abuse Grants Program $ 4.5 million
• Education and Training for Disabled Female Victims $ 6.0 million
• National Resource Center on Workplace Responses $ 0.5 million
• Family Civil Justice Program $ 16.0 million
• Consolidated Youth-Oriented Program $ 10.0 million


The Senate report states with regard to DOJ and BIA coordination:

Coordination on Tribal Land and the Office of Tribal Justice – The Committee encourages the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to improve coordination to provide critical law enforcement resources to tribes. Both agencies support investigators, tribal courts, and detentions centers, which all play an important role in comprehensive law enforcement in Indian Country, including providing adequate assistance for the operation and maintenance of detention centers. The Committee strongly encourages the Department to renew its focus on working with the BIA to ensure that tribes are receiving sufficient resources to operate detention centers. (S. Rept. 113-181, pp. 61-62.)

Research, Evaluation & Statistics (Administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance)

FY 2014 Enacted $120 million
FY 2015 Admin. Request $137 million
FY 2015 Enacted $111 million

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance

FY 2014 Enacted $1.17 billion
FY 2015 Admin. Request $1.03 billion
FY 2015 Enacted $1.24 billion

Specific amounts within the above total include:

Tribal Law Enforcement Assistance
FY 2014 Enacted $30 million
FY 2015 Admin. Request *set-aside (see below)
FY 2015 Enacted $30 million

The Administration proposed bill language, as it did in FYs 2012-2014, that would provide a seven percent allocation for tribal criminal justice assistance, in lieu of dedicated amounts under State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance and Juvenile Justice. The DOJ anticipated that Indian Country Initiatives would be funded at $102.8 million through the set-aside, an estimated $65 million increase over the amount provided under the separate line-item basis in prior years. The final bill does not adopt this approach, although the Senate Committee had recommended a five percent allocation.

The House report states:

The Committee expects OJP to continue to consult closely with tribes to determine how tribal assistance funds will be allocated among grant programs that improve public safety in tribal communities, such as grants for detention facilities under section 20109 of subtitle A of title II of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-322), civil and criminal legal assistance as authorized by title I of Public Law 106-559, tribal courts, and alcohol and substance abuse reduction assistance programs. The Committee directs OJP to use such consultation to inform the allocation of funds it shall submit as part of its spending plan. The Committee notes that the recommendation includes additional grant funding for tribal law enforcement programs through OVW and COPS. (H. Rpt. 113-448, pp. 60-61)

Bulletproof Vests Partnerships
FY 2014 Enacted -0-
FY 2015 Admin. Request $22.5 million
FY 2015 Enacted $22.5 million

This program, formerly funded under the COPS Programs, reimburses law enforcement agencies (including tribal programs) for up to 50 percent of the cost of each vest purchased for eligible public safety officers.

Implementation of the Adam Walsh Act. The Act provides $20 million, the same as the FY 2014 level. This is a discretionary grant program that funds start-up and ongoing maintenance costs associated with implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

Attorney General’s Initiative on Children Exposed to Violence. The Act provides
$8 million of the Administration-requested $23 million for this joint initiative with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants. The Act provides $376 million for these grants, and the Senate report instructs:

Funding is not available for luxury items, real estate or construction projects. The Department should expect State, local and tribal governments to target funding to programs and activities that are in conformance with evidence-based strategic plans developed through broad stakeholder involvement. The Committee directs the Department to make technical assistance available to State, local and tribal governments for the development or updating of such plans. (S. Rept. 113-113-181, pp. 91-92)

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Initiative Grants. The Act consolidates the National Criminal History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program and provides $73 million, a significant increase over the FY 2014 enacted level of $58.5 million. The Managers’ Statement explains:

These funds will strengthen NICS by assisting States in finding ways to add more records to the system, especially mental health records. This will help close gaps in Federal and State records currently available in NICS, which hinder the ability to confirm quickly whether a prospective purchaser is prohibited from acquiring a firearm. No less than $25,000,000 shall be available only for States meeting the requirements for the NICS Act Record Improvement Program.

Drug Courts and Mentally Ill Offender Act Programs. The Act provides
$41 million for Drug Courts (the same as FY 2014) and $8.5 million for Mentally Ill Offender Act programs ($8.2 million in FY 2014). Congress rejected the Administration’s proposal to combine the programs.

Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services. The Administration requested $45 million in each of FYs 2014 and 2015 (including a $20 million tribal allocation) as a set-aside from the Crime Victims Fund for a new planning initiative for research, evaluation, training and provision of victim services. The Act instead provides $12.5 million from discretionary funds for Vision 21. The Senate report states:

Rather than follow the administration’s proposal to fund this program out of the mandatory Crime Victims Fund, the Committee chooses to provide funding through discretionary resources. The Committee encourages the Department to work with Congress on legislation that will best meet the needs of crime victims in the 21st century, including submitting a proposal to authorize Vision 21.

The Committee supports Vision 21’s goals of funding initiatives that will address the need for more data-driven research and evaluation on victimization and services; holistic legal assistance for crime victims; resources to reach tribal and rural victims in areas where service providers do not exist; support of national emergency hotlines, online, and other programs that serve American crime victims at the national and international level; and capacity building to provide technology- and evidence-based training and technical assistance. (S.Rept.113-181, p. 97)

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. The Act provides $75 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, the same amount as in FY 2014 and the requested amount. The Managers’ Statement instructs that the Department “shall follow the same format for this program as in FY 2014”. The FY 2014 instructions read, in part:

The agreement includes $75,000,000 for a Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, a research-focused initiative to increase the safety of schools nationwide. The Initiative shall bring together the Nation’s best minds to research the root causes of school violence, develop technologies and strategies for increasing school safety, and provide pilot grants to test innovative approaches to enhance school safety across the Nation. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) shall develop and implement the Initiative and shall report to the Committees on Appropriations no later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act on its implementation plans.

NIJ shall collaborate with key partners from law enforcement, mental health, and education disciplines to develop a strategy and model for comprehensive school safety. The model should take into account concerns about the “school-to-prison” pipeline discussed in the Senate report. NIJ shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations a report detailing the results of this effort and an outline of the model not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act. Immediately following the development of this model the NIJ shall make it available via the Department of Justice website.


FY 2014 Enacted $214 million
FY 2015 Admin. Request $274 million
FY 2015 Enacted $208 million

COPS Tribal Hiring. The Act provides $33 million from the amount provided for COPS Hiring Grants ($180 million) to be transferred to the Tribal Resources Grant Program (TRGP).The Administration requested $ 35 million for this purpose. Bill language provides that the tribal funds are “for improving tribal law enforcement including hiring, equipment, training, and anti-methamphetamine activities.”

COPS Policing Development Initiative. Within the COPS Hiring total, the Act provides $7.5 million for the Policing Development Initiative, the same as in FY 2014. Grant funds are provided to state, local, and tribal governments to implement community policing through training and technical assistance and for innovative community policing strategies.

Methamphetamine Clean-Up

FY 2014 Enacted $10 million
FY 2015 Admin. Request $ 7 million
FY 2015 Enacted $ 7 million

These funds are transferred to the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide grants to state and local law enforcement for activities related to the removal and disposal of hazardous materials from meth labs. Tribal governments and territories are eligible for these grants.


FY 2014 Enacted $254.5 million
FY 2015 Admin. Request $299.4 million
FY 2015 Enacted $251.5 million

Juvenile Delinquency Incentive Grants. The Act provides $15 million for these grants and included in it is $5 million for tribal youth grants (same as in FY 2014). Funds may be used for delinquency prevention, alcohol and substance abuse prevention and other programs intended for at-risk youth.

Victims of Child Abuse Programs. The Act provides $19 million, the same as in FY 2014 and $8 million above the Administration’s request. These funds are allocated for several programs, including the Regional Child Advocacy Centers and the National Children’s Alliance, which have established a number of joint initiatives, including the support and development of tribal Child Advocacy Centers.

Youth Mentoring. The Act provides $90 million ($1.5 million over the FY 2014 level and $32 million above the Administration’s request). Funds are used for competitive grants to support national, regional and local organizations in nurturing and mentoring at-risk children and youth.

Other. Other programs funded under Juvenile Justice include State Formula grants ($55.5 million) and Missing and Exploited Children programs ($68 million).

Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding FY 2015 appropriations for the Department of Justice.