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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Justice Department Faces Budget Cuts, Hiring Freeze

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President Obama promised in his State of the Union address Tuesday to freeze non-defense, non-security spending for the next five years.That means some agencies that have enjoyed budget increases in recent years could be facing a very different situation.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the Justice Department could see a series of cuts. According to Office of Management and Budget documents, these include:

  • "Increasing the amount of time deducted from prison terms for good behavior, which would immediately qualify some 4,000 federal convicts for release, and another 4,000 over the next 10 years.
  • Eliminating the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Gang Intelligence Center, for a savings of $8 million in the next budget year.
  • Sharing less of the proceeds from property confiscated from criminals with state and local authorities, and eliminating other funding to local police departments for some operations. The change would reduce spending by $120 million, according to the White House."

Last week, according to ABC News, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo announcing a hiring freeze for the entire Justice Department. The move, he said, was aimed at reducing the possibility of "more severe measures such as staff furloughs."

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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