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The budget funds nine Presidential initiatives ($395 million) and related enhancements for immigration, prisons, and drug enforcement.
Immigration: The Administration proposes a five-year, $500 million initiative to obtain a universal six-month processing standard for all immigration applications and petitions. This funding will provide additional personnel, employee performance incentives, and resources to make customer satisfaction a priority. In addition, the Administration proposes $75 million to fund 570 new Border Patrol agents in both 2002 and 2003. With the hiring of these new agents, it is estimated that about 11,000 agents will be deployed along the Nation's Northern and Southern borders. The budget also requests $20 million to fund intrusion detection technology including high-resolution color and infrared cameras and state-of-the-art command centers. An additional $7 million would also be provided to establish intelligence units along the Northern and Southwest borders to protect against terrorist threats.
Prisons: The budget includes $821 million for prison construction, modernization, and bringing newly built prisons into operating service, and for contract bed space to prevent dangerous levels of overcrowding in Federal prisons. In addition, the budget includes $5 million to establish a faith-based, prison pre-release pilot program. The pilot will be hosted at four Federal prisons that are geographically diverse, encompass varying levels of security, and include both male and female inmate populations. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the rate that ex-offenders are returned to prison. The budget also includes $140 million to support additional detention beds to keep pace with the growth in criminal and alien detainee population.
Drug Enforcement: The budget includes funding for reimbursing localities for costs associated with drug prosecutions along the Southwest Border; assistance to State and local law enforcement agencies for the clean up of methamphetamine labs; and would maintain funding for drug courts at historically high 2001 enacted levels.
Justice's State and local grant assistance programs have grown over five-fold since 1992, reaching $4.6 billion in 2001, spread across over 60 programs of varying size. The 2002 Budget proposes redirecting $1.5 billion from programs that have accomplished their initial objective, have been awarded on a non-competitive basis through legislative action, or are otherwise of questionable merit. The reallocation will permit increases for Federal law enforcement agency priorities, as well as for selected State and local grants, including Violence Against Women Act programs, Weed and Seed crime prevention, projects Child Safe and Sentry, drug treatment at State prisons, and targeted local prosecutor initiatives.
The Department of Justice faces financial, performance, and accountability challenges in a number of areas.
The Administration is committed to building and maintaining an immigration services system that ensures integrity, provides services accurately and in a timely manner, and emphasizes a culture of respect. It often takes INS three years or more to process some immigration applications and petitions. As mentioned above, to improve the focus of the INS on service and to reduce the processing delays, the Administration proposes a universal six-month standard for processing all immigration applications and petitions.
The Administration is also committed to addressing systemic problems in INS, particularly those related to INS' dual missions of service and enforcement. To avoid internal conflict of mission, the Administration proposes restructuring and splitting the INS into two agencies with separate chains of command and accountability, reporting to a single policy leader in the Department of Justice.
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