Priorities and Investments within the Department of Justice FY 2018 Budget

Published: May 31, 2017


The DoJ budget prioritizes national security, combatting violent crime, police support and immigration enforcement, leading to various changes in its information technology sector as well.

Recent executive orders and changes concerning DoJ indicate increased focus on public safety, violent crime, immigration regulation and law enforcement. A bulk of the changes within the department’s FY 2018 budget now puts dollar figures to those priorities.

Facing a 3.8% decrease from FY 2017, the DoJ FY 2018 budget requests $27.7B in net discretionary authority, however, $11.5B of that total comes from “scorekeeping credits” – mandatory spending resulting from funding within the Crime Victims, Asset Forfeiture and Working Capital Funds. Most bureaus face decreases in their budgets except for USMS, DEA and ATF. Even the FBI faces an estimated 1% decrease in its bank account. Most of the reductions are a result of redirected dollars towards administration priorities as well as streamlining and eliminating programs such as the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) and lack of construction support for the FBI and BOP.

Nonetheless, a vast amount of increases in dollars and positions is seen throughout the agency:

National Security:

  • (FBI) +$19.7 million and 93 positions for foreign intelligence and insider threat.
  • (FBI) +$8.2 million and 78 positions to support surveillance operations of high priority targets.

Violent Crime:

  • +$19 million to support the implementation of the recommendations of the "Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety:"
    • (ATF) +$3.5 million
    • (DEA) +$6 million
    • (FBI) +$3.5 million
    • (USMS) +$6 million
  • +230 Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) nationwide to prosecute violent criminals.
  • +$5.8 million for the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) for operational expenses of high priority cases.
  • (OJP) +$70 million for a new block grant program titled “Project Safe Neighborhoods” to create safer neighborhoods through sustained reductions in gang violence and gun crime.
  • (DEA) +$9.4 million and 55 positions to support the disruption and dismantlement of the drug-related individuals and organizations.
  • (FBI) +$6.8 million and 65 positions to support ongoing high priority transnational organized crime.
  • (ATF) +$4 million to expedite National Firearms Act (NFA) applications.

Immigration Enforcement:

  • + 70 AUSAs to prosecute immigration law violations.
  • (EOIR) +$75 million and 75 new Immigration Judges and associated positions to assist in fair and efficient hearings for accused immigration law violators.  
  • (USMS) +$8.8 million and 40 Deputy US Marshals for court security and efficient detainee processing.  
  • (CIV) + $1.9 million and 20 positions (15 attorneys) for litigation against program and individual cases challenging federal immigration policies or actions.  
  • (ENRD) +$1.8 million and 20 positions (12 attorneys) to acquire property to secure the border between the United States and Mexico.

Law Enforcement Support:

  • $5.1 billion for Federal grants to State, local, and tribal law enforcement and victims of crime, to ensure greater safety for law enforcement personnel
  • (USMS) +$12.0 million for the replacement of body armor, radios, fleet vehicles, and electronic surveillance equipment for the Deputy U.S. Marshal teams.

Information Technology Implications:

  • The FY 2018 IT budget request for Justice is $2.9B, a $153M, or 5.6% increase from FY 2017 enacted levels.
  • Development, Modernization, and Enhancement (DME) IT funding is $606M in FY 2018, an increase of $125M from FY 2017 and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) IT funding in FY 2018 is $2.2B, an increase of $28M from FY 2017.
  • (FBI) +$41.5 million and 36 positions to enhance the agency’s cyber division. Funding will go towards improving technical tools and expanding high-speed networks to fight cyber intrusion threats.
  • (FBI) +$21.6 million and 80 positions towards “Going Dark”/investigative technology to face challenges related to encryption, mobility, and other communications device trials.
  • (FBI) +$7.4 million for the operations and maintenance of the Biometrics Technology Center
  • Largest IT investment increases in FY 2018:
    • (FBI) +38 million for the National Crime Information Center which is the database of documented criminal justice (CJ) information that can be instantly retrieved by CJ agencies for the prevention/investigation of local, state, tribal, federal, and international crimes and for the protection of citizens.
    • (FBI) +35 million and 85 positions for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to address the high volume of firearms background checks.
    • (BOP) +35 million for BOPNet which is the network infrastructure that interconnects LANs at each federal institution via a WAN.
    • (JMD) +31 million for the Unified Financial Management System (UFMS) to replace the legacy systems for DEA, ATF, USMS, FBI, BOP, OBDs, and OJP.


ATF - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives

BOP - Federal Prison System

CIV – Civil Division

DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration

ENRD – Environment and Natural Resources Division

EOIR - Executive Office of Immigration Review

FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation

JMD – Justice Management Division

OJP - Office of Justice Programs

USMS - U.S. Marshals Services