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Remarks of Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon at the Fiscal Year 2025 President’s Budget Rollout Stakeholders Briefing, Washington, DC

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the Office of Justice Programs.

I’m Amy Solomon, OJP’s Assistant Attorney General, and I’m so pleased to be joined by the Acting Associate Attorney General, Ben Mizer, as well as my colleagues Chris Alvarez, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Justice Management Division and Controller; Rosie Hidalgo, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women; and Hugh Clements, Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. 

We’ve invited you here today to share highlights from the President’s fiscal year 2025 budget request for the Department of Justice grantmaking divisions. You’ll hear an overview of the DOJ budget from Chris, then we’ll go to Rosie to cover OVW, Hugh will talk about the COPS Office budget, and I’ll wrap up with a summary of OJP’s request. We aim to hold the last 30 minutes for questions and answers. 

To kick us off, I am so pleased to welcome our Acting Associate Attorney General, Ben Mizer. Acting Associate AG Mizer is a DOJ veteran and a wonderful colleague who deeply values the work of our state, local and tribal partners. He’s a strong supporter of DOJ’s grantmaking components and a huge ally of our stakeholders.  

The Associate will need to leave right after his remarks, but we’re so glad that he was able to make time to open today’s briefing. Please welcome Acting Associate Attorney General Ben Mizer. 

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[Slide 1] 

Thank you, Hugh. And thank you, Chris and Rosie.  

I also want to recognize the leadership team at OJP who are joining us today: 

  • First, OJP’s Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Cohen and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management, Maureen Henneberg.
  • Then we have the heads of OJP’s program offices or their designees:
    • Kris Rose, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime;
    • Nancy La Vigne, Director of the National Institute of Justice;
    • Liz Ryan, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention;
    • Kevin Scott, Acting Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics;
    • Helena Heath, Director of the SMART Office; and
    • Tammie Gregg, Principal Deputy Director of our Bureau of Justice Assistance, who’s here on behalf of BJA’s Director, Karhlton Moore. 

I’m pleased that our office heads are not only here for today’s briefing, but they will be available for breakout sessions afterward, along with our colleagues from the COPS Office and OVW. This will give you a chance to have more focused conversations on the issues that are particularly important to you and your networks. 

I also want to recognize our Chief Financial Officer, Rachel Johnson. Rachel and her team have worked many long hours to put together this briefing, along with colleagues from OCOM, and have done an outstanding job. Rachel will also help facilitate our Q-and-A session later. 


Before I dive into the OJP budget, I want to quickly share the framework that we’re working in. 

A big theme you’ll see running through the budget is a focus on communities—recognizing the vital role that community organizations and community leaders play in public safety, in partnership with police, prosecutors, courts and corrections agencies. 

What you see on this slide is our mission statement, which articulates this community-centered approach and highlights our commitment to advance community safety, build community trust and strengthen the community’s role as co-producer of safety and justice. 

What we are emphasizing is our commitment to bringing in the full range of community stakeholders as partners in public safety—nonprofits, youth organizations, behavioral health specialists, among others, including people with lived experience. 


Within that framework, the budget reflects the programmatic priorities we’ve laid out in our policy blueprint, which you can find on our website. And here they are:

  1. Advancing public safety, preventing gun violence, and increasing community trust;
  2. Accelerating justice system reforms that promote community safety and well-being, equity, and justice for all;
  3. Transforming the juvenile justice system into one that is effective and equitable, and that treats children as children and empowers youth to lead healthy, productive lives;
  4. Ensuring rights, access to services and resources, and equity for all victims of crime; and
  5. Advancing science and innovation to guide policy and practice.


Just to give you a sense of what we’re building on, you can see here a few top-level numbers from last year:

  • In FY 23, we issued 177 solicitations, covering a broad public safety spectrum—and we made more than 3,900 awards totaling more than $4.4 billion, cutting across all our priority categories.
  • Over the last three years, we’ve redoubled our efforts to reach historically marginalized and underserved communities, and that’s reflected in the number of applications we received last year. Nearly 1,600 applications came from organizations that had not recently applied for an OJP grant, and many that had never applied before. We are encouraged by this increase in engagement and hope to see the trend continue.
  • We also put out a steady stream of research and statistical reports, as well as policy and guidance documents—totaling some 150 publications.
  • And we’ve been out on the road. The OJP leadership team made about 150 trips to jurisdictions across the country, visiting with grantees, holding listening sessions and taking our resources to the field. 

As for this year’s funding, we just received our full appropriations on Saturday (March 9). While we were operating under continuing resolution through early March, we moved ahead with a number of solicitations assuming the FY23 funding levels, so many of them are open now. 

For a preview of what’s left to come this year, we’ve posted the DOJ Program Plan, which lays out all this year’s anticipated funding opportunities from OJP, COPS and OVW. You can also see where OJP funds are already in play in your jurisdictions via our new interactive funding map, which you can access on the OJP homepage.


Here is an overview of the FY25 budget. You see that the President’s budget requests over $5.5 billion in support of OJP’s budget priorities.

Here at the high level—of the total OJP budget, $2.5 billion supports discretionary program funding. 

  • That’s more than $2 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance;
  • $407 million for juvenile justice;
  • $77 million for research, evaluation, and statistics (before the set-aside); and
  • nearly $35 million for Public Safety Officers’ Benefits programs for disability and educational assistance.

Approximately $3 billion supports OJP’s request for mandatory programs, which if enacted could be funded automatically on an annual basis, unless Congress intervenes:

  • $1.5 billion is requested for the Crime Victims Fund;
  • $884 million is for the Gun Crime Prevention Strategic Fund;
  • $300 million is for Accelerating Justice System Reform; and
  • $150.0 million is for new community violence intervention mandatory funding.

  • The remaining mandatory funding is for the death benefit portion of the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, as well as the Domestic Trafficking Victims Fund. 


Now I’d like to talk about some of our priority programs.


First, this budget builds on the work this Administration has accomplished to enhance public safety, address the impact of gun violence and build community trust. Here our strategy is to secure and strengthen OJP’s legacy programs, while adding a few new programs that further our mission. 

Over the last two years, we’ve made historic investments in community violence intervention. Community Violence Intervention is a centerpiece of the President’s Safer America Plan, and it’s a cornerstone of our work at OJP to center communities.

We’ve awarded about $200 million to support 76 site-based programs in 29 states. We’re also reaching additional communities through intermediary organizations that provide micro-grants to small, local community-based organizations.

We have a robust technical assistance program, a new CVI resource center run by our partners at LISC and we’re making substantial investments in CVI research.

We’ll be issuing our FY 24 CVI solicitations soon, and I’m excited that we’ll be holding our second national CVI conference in Chicago in early April.

 The FY 25 budget builds on this momentum, with a request that includes: 

  • $100 million in discretionary spending and $150 million in mandatory funds.
  • Along with the $50 million provided in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we seek a total of $300 million for this critical program in FY 25.

I talked at length last year about this next item, the Gun Crime Prevention Strategic Fund, so for the sake of time, I won’t go into the same level of detail today. The budget requests $884 million annually for five years. The goal is to provide personnel, training and technology investments to support law enforcement and violence reduction efforts. This would allow us to scale up some of our signature violence reduction efforts, like the Crime Gun Intelligence Center program and the National Public Safety Partnership.

The idea here is to support long-term, comprehensive strategies designed to reduce gun crime and improve community safety. This budget request, along with the other mandatory funding items, is intended as a dedicated funding source that stakeholders can rely on each year to support systemic change.

The budget also requests nearly $525 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants Program, which is our primary source of flexible criminal justice funding for state, local and tribal jurisdictions. Once the carve-outs are taken into account, we’re almost $7 million above the FY 23 level and more than $73 million over FY 24.

And here is a new program: $10 million is requested to implement the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security Act program. The goal is to help state, local and tribal governments protect federal judges and their families by preventing disclosure of personal information. 


I wanted to take just a moment to highlight some of the substantial investments we’re making under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. These are dollars that don’t show up in our budget request but are central to our mission and operations in FY 25. So, a reminder here that BSCA includes $1.4 billion for OJP over five years. This includes $280 million in FY 25 that will build on awards we made beginning in the fall of 2022.

The first line item you see is the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program, at $150 million in FY 25. The purpose is to support a broad range of crisis intervention efforts, including Extreme Risk Protection Order programs, treatment courts and behavioral health deflection—the goal being to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves and others.

 We made our first awards last year to states, territories and D.C.—more than $238 million—and we’re already seeing progress. Multi-disciplinary State Crisis Intervention Advisory Boards have been stood up in nearly 40 states, and almost two-dozen states have submitted statewide plans.

BSCA also appropriates funding for school safety—$40 million in FY 25, which supplements STOP School Violence funding at BJA for a total of $122 million.  

$40 million in BSCA funds are also appropriated for the National Criminal History Improvement Supplemental Funding Program. BJS uses these funds to help states and courts improve the accuracy, utility and accessibility of criminal history and certain juvenile records so that law enforcement agencies and licensed firearms dealer conducting background checks for firearm transactions have access to complete and accurate information.  

 And finally, I mentioned earlier the substantial investments we’re making in our CVI Initiative, and the $50 million from BSCA makes a huge difference.


This budget makes substantial investments in system reforms that promote equity and justice for those who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

These investments include $300 million in mandatory funding for Accelerating Justice System Reform. The goal here is to prevent violent crime, ease the burden on police and incentivize justice system reforms that enhance public safety while reducing unnecessary incarceration and racial disparities.

 You can see the budget includes $35 million to continue our support of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. JRI is one of the best examples of how federal dollars can be leveraged to improve public safety at the state and local levels.

 Forty-four states have used JRI analysis and adopted a wide range of policies that include sentencing and corrections reforms, behavioral health interventions, victim services and addressing racial disparities that are so pervasive in the justice system. JRI states have seen more than $3.2 billion in cumulative averted costs and savings. I’m so excited about our continued investments here.

The budget also includes $5 million to support Death in Custody Reporting Act implementation. This is a new request that would support staff and systems for states to aid in collecting and reporting DCRA data.

I know this is an area that many of you care about, and it’s certainly a priority for me. We plan to share an update with the field very soon about progress that's been made and next steps to come, to bring us closer to our goal of not only meeting reporting obligations, but achieving the ultimate goal of reducing deaths in custody.

Moving to the next bullet, we’re working across OJP to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Grants from several programs are helping to improve reporting, investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, and they’re supporting services to victims and affected communities.

Finally on this slide, the budget calls for $10 million for a new program aimed at modernizing HIV-related criminal statutes. Most HIV criminalization laws do not reflect current scientific and medical evidence. The goal here is to help states re-assess outdated laws that criminalize behaviors once believed to be associated with HIV transmission. Both the CDC and DOJ’s Civil Rights Division have published best practice guidelines and recommendations to support solutions to better meet public health and safety goals.


This slide highlights some of our important legacy programs that receive strong support in the behavioral health and reentry space.

The $443 million under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act includes a robust portfolio of programs that give life to our mission. Programs like the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Use Program and Justice and Mental Health Collaboration support a broad range of diversion, deflection, treatment, recovery and reentry services for people with behavioral health disorders, all designed to reduce the burden on law enforcement and corrections officers and get people the treatment and services they need.

And of course, the budget continues our long-standing support for reentry under the Second Chance Act. We’ve seen such incredible progress, across the federal government and all around the country, fed by the work so many of you are doing in the field.

You see the investments included in the FY 25 budget—a total of $125 million, including $10 million to continue the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program as well as other core Second Chance programs. We’ll look forward to highlighting many of these efforts in April during Second Chance month!


This next slide is a continuation of the budget’s focus on reform and equity, specifically in the juvenile justice space. Liz Ryan and her team have been working hard to support programs that address the needs of youth and keep them connected to their families and communities while ensuring public safety.

We’re continuing funding for familiar essential programs, including the Title II Formula Grants program. This is a key source of funding for states seeking to implement comprehensive juvenile justice plans. Liz and her team have been working closely with states through new training and technical assistance resources to improve juvenile justice systems so that they’re better equipped to support and protect youth.

One of the highlights of this budget is $3 million for a new Collaborative Reform for Juvenile Justice Initiative. This would support states and localities that are facing serious issues in their juvenile justice systems where intervention is needed to address emergency situations or to stabilize their systems. 

We’re also continuing funding for Youth Mentoring, which provides national leadership to strengthen and expand the delivery of high-quality mentoring opportunities to youth at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system.

You see that $106 million is dedicated to Missing and Exploited Children, and a total of $44 million is requested for the Victims of Child Abuse Act. 

The budget also invests $65 million in Delinquency Prevention Programs, including $10 million for the Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, $18 million for tribal youth, and $6.5 million for the Justice and Healing of Girls program.


Expanding access to services for crime victims remains a top priority for OJP. And I want to spend a couple of minutes here to lay out what the budget proposes.

First, as you can see, the President’s budget requests $1.5 billion for programs supported by the Crime Victims Fund. After taking out the statutory set-asides, around $1.2 billion is allocated to grants that address victim compensation and victim assistance. Approximately $75 million is set aside for tribal victim assistance.


The budget also includes a legislative proposal to take effect in 2026 that replenishes and reforms the Crime Victims Fund in order to maintain critical resources to support crime victims. 

This proposal would provide $7.3 billion over five years to replenish the balance of the Fund. This would provide $2 billion annually to support CVF programs. Together, this would ensure a stable and predictable source of funding for the next several years.  

This proposal also includes a mechanism that would trigger reductions to align spending with revenue if deposits fall below a certain threshold.

But the big picture here is a proposal to offer greater stability in the event of persistent CVF deposit shortfalls. Kris Rose will be on hand at the breakout discussion if you would like to dive into this more deeply.


Finally, this budget reflects our commitment to improving our understanding of crime and justice issues through research, statistics and scientific innovation.

As all of you know, the scientific investments made through the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics provide critical information that helps to guide the field at the federal, state, local and tribal levels. The products and reports out of NIJ and BJS provide objective and reliable findings that lay the groundwork for innovation and improvement across the public safety spectrum.

It is imperative that we support data and research that can help us understand what works, for whom, why and how, to help guide the field in discerning what policies, programs, trainings and technologies to invest in to promote safety, equity and justice for all.

We take great pride in the unique functions that NIJ and BJS perform for the Department and the justice field, and we’re working diligently to ensure that OJP programs are guided by the latest and most rigorous research available.

To be candid, you can see the base budgets for BJS and NIJ are flat with FY 23. But importantly, the President’s budget includes a 2.5 percent set-aside of OJP’s discretionary budget authority, which would provide over $60 million for our science agencies. Added to the BJS and NIJ base budgets, that would amount to more than $137 million in science investments in FY 25.

[Slide 15 – QUESTIONS?]

These are the priorities laid out by the President for OJP in 2025. We plan to post this presentation, and more in-depth resources, on our website so that you can go through them at your own pace. 

We’re eager to hear your feedback. We’ll do our best to get to your questions while we’re here, but if we run out of time, please be sure to take them with you to the breakout sessions.

We’re going to start with questions in the room and then move to online questions. If we don’t answer all of the online questions, we will respond by email in the next few days.

I’ll say in closing that this budgetsupported by the knowledge, expertise and commitment of our partners in the field—is a clear reflection of our mission to support community safety and equal justice. I want to thank you all for joining us today and for your partnership in this important work. 

Now I’ll hand it off to Rachel, who will facilitate questions and comments.


Date Published: March 12, 2024