House zeroes out core funding for justice research; no one notices

At today’s meeting of the National Research Council’s Committee on Law and Justice, I learned that the House of Representatives has voted to “zero out” core funding for the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That wouldn’t abolish those agencies; instead, the Office of Justice Programs would be invited to take money out of program funds (mostly grants to states and localities) to fund the research mission. (See p. 43 of the committee report.)

This is of a piece with the earlier House vote to slash the National Science Foundation’s social-science budget.

Of course I felt like a fool for not knowing about the NIJ/BJS budget disaster. But a fairly thorough Google search turns up no media mention of that vote. I suppose by now “Republicans vote for more ignorance” is a dog-bites-man story, not worth reporting.  But when this sort of maneuver goes on in the dark, it’s harder to mobilize any sort of protest.



Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: