The Justice Policy Institute has released a fact sheet criticizing the Obama Administration’s proposed Dept. of Justice budget, which supports continuation of failed policies as opposed to programs and policies that have proven to be more effective.

The proposed FY2012 budget calls for spending $28.2 billion, an increase of 11 percent, on the federal prison system while slashing funding for programs dedicated to community-based services, education, job creation, diversion and efforts designed to decrease crime rates and reduce recidivism.

According to Tracy Velazquez, Executive Director of JPI, “We have been throwing over a billion dollars…into a system that has been failing us for decades. This year provided an opportunity to redirect funds toward smarter investments in proven programs, but instead this budget reflects a choice to repeat the failed policies of past administrations.

“A true vision of successful public safety strategies needs to start with ensuring front-end services and supports, not a commitment to locking more people away and dismantling families and communities. We should spend our money on treatment programs, on job creation and on teachers, not prison beds and police helicopters.”

According to the JPI, funding for essential juvenile crime-reduction programs, for example, has been on a steady decline for years, and this budget proposes to reduce it by another $50 million in the coming year. The result, they argue, would likely result in an increase in the number of our young people being incarcerated in the nation’s prisons, but little or no improvement in our efforts to make the America a safer, stronger nation. “The Federal Government,” according to Velazquez, “is showing a disappointing lack in leadership in the areas of prevention, treatment and diversion.”

For their full report, see “Doing the Same Things and Expecting Different Results” at www.justicepolicy.org/research/2090, or contact Jason Fenster at jfenster@justicepolicy.org.