Vera and NCJA launch a new, updated survey to determine the impact of federal budget cuts

Jul 16, 2013

As a result of congressional budget cuts over the past several years, funding for the U.S. Department of Justice’s justice and research grants has been greatly reduced. These cuts have reduced grants to both state and local criminal justice programs by over 40 percent. Moreover, the Budget Control Act of 2011 imposed automatic cuts in federal spending from 2013 until 2021, further shrinking such grants.

From social services to law enforcement, these cuts are affecting all areas of the criminal justice system. They affect a myriad of people with diverse needs, from human trafficking victims to those requiring substance abuse treatment. For example, grants for critical programs at the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have declined by more than one third, and funds for in-prison drug treatment programs have gone down by 60 percent. The phased budget control measure ensures that these numbers will continue to decline.

The Vera Institute of Justice together with the National Criminal Justice Association is distributing a survey to find out in more detail how different institutions are being affected. This survey, which follows one that was conducted in the summer of 2012, aims to quantify the impact of the budget cuts and narratively record their effects on individuals and organizations. The goal is to provide policymakers with evidence of the cuts’ effects and determine whether the reductions have diminished the capabilities of criminal justice organizations across the United States to control crime. The stories and data collected from this survey will also help government leaders understand the important role that grants play in supporting the criminal justice system and efforts to make it more effective.

If you would like to participate in the survey, please click here. It will close on Friday, July 26.