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Fighting Crime

"For all our children's sake, this nation must reclaim our neighborhoods and our streets. We need a national strategy to assure that every community is attacking gun violence with focus and intensity. I'm here today to announce a national initiative to help cities like Philadelphia fight gun violence. [My Administration] will establish a network of law enforcement and community initiatives targeted at gun violence... We're going to reduce gun violence in America, and those who commit crimes with guns will find a determined adversary in my Administration."

- President George W. Bush, May 14, 2001

The Accomplishments

Making America Safer

  • Violent crime rates decreased 21 percent between 1999-2000 and 2001-2002. The violent crime rate is now down to its lowest point in the last three decades.
  • Property crime dropped 13 percent between 1999-2000 and 2001-2002.
  • There were about 130,000 fewer victims of gun crime in 2001-2002 than there were in 1999-2000, the first two-year period with less than a million gun-crime victims since 1993.
  • Since 2001 the FBI budget has increased 60 percent.
  • The President directed the Department of Justice, as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, to prosecute aggressively those who use guns illegally. The Bush Administration has devoted more than $1 billion to Project Safe Neighborhoods.
  • In 2003, the Department of Justice brought charges against more than 13,000 offenders for Federal firearms crimes, the highest annual figure on record. In the past three years, Federal prosecutions of gun crime have increased 68 percent.
  • The Bush Administration proposed and is implementing Project Child Safe to help provide free trigger locks to all handgun owners.
  • The President supports the bipartisan Crime Victims' Rights Amendment, ensuring that victims of violent crime have the right to be notified of public proceedings involving the crime, to be heard at public proceedings regarding the criminal's sentence or potential release, to have their safety considered, and to have consideration of their claims of restitution.
  • President Bush proposed the Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology initiative, with $1 billion in funding over five years to identify criminals quickly and accurately, protect the innocent from wrongful prosecution, and help identify missing persons. The initiative will help eliminate backlogs of unanalyzed DNA samples, improve laboratory capacity, stimulate research and development, and provide training in the collection and use of DNA evidence.
  • The President signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act exempting law enforcement officers from state laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms.

Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

  • The Bush Administration has secured historic levels of funding for programs that prosecute offenders and protect women against domestic violence.
  • Twenty million dollars in grants have been awarded to help communities establish and support Family Justice Centers across America, which will provide domestic violence victims and their families comprehensive services.

Cutting Drug Use and Increasing Drug Treatment

  • Youth drug use declined by more than 10 percent between 2001 and 2003, meaning 400,000 fewer young people used drugs.
  • Recent use of ecstasy, which sharply increased between 1998 and 2001, fell by half among middle and high school students between 2001 and 2003, and recent use of LSD fell by almost two-thirds.
  • The Bush Administration launched Access to Recovery - an initiative to provide drug treatment to individuals otherwise unable to obtain access to services. People in need of treatment receive an assessment of their treatment need and are issued vouchers to obtain help at effective treatment organizations, including faith-based and community facilities.
  • President Bush proposed $25 million - a $23 million increase - to help schools develop and implement student drug testing programs.

Ending Racial Profiling

  • Less than six weeks after taking office, President Bush called for an end to racial profiling in Federal law enforcement. He is the first President to do so. And the Adminstration has implemented specific guidelines prohibiting the practice in Federal law enforcement.