Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tracking criminal justice spending in federal stimulus grants

Until his newspaper inquired, says the Statesman's Laylan Copelin, the Governor's Criminal Justice Division "ignored state law and his own executive order that require all state agencies and institutions of higher education to be 'accountable and transparent' by posting their stimulus spending reports on their Web sites."

Basically the Criminal Justice Division wasn't publishing required reports about federal stimulus spending on their website. (Respectfully, I've seen more compelling news hooks.) They're there now, though, Copelin notes, though you'd need more information than is provided in the reports to divulge what the money was actually spent on. Writes Copelin:
The governor's office has received about $92.2 million of the $110 million it requested from the federal government for law enforcement purposes. About $81 million has been obligated and $6.8 million disbursed, according to the Comptroller of Public Accounts, which maintains weekly reports of the state's stimulus activities.
According to the Comptroller, criminal justice spending made up about 0.8% of Texas' share of federal stimulus spending, or around $312 million total. Much of the rest goes directly to local governments and won't be disbursed through the Governor's office. See this comprehensive list from the Comptroller of sources of criminal justice money to Texas in the federal stimulus. Notably, several of the application deadlines just passed (e.g., applications for COPS grants are due today), but several more are coming up in the next few weeks.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Congress on Wednesday that the United States could soon face a debt crisis like the one in Greece, and declared that the central bank will not help legislators by printing money to pay for the ballooning federal debt.

Anonymous said...

These reports pale in comparison to the actual items that are being purchased by some of the le agencies.

Anonymous said...

Inmates bilk the government for millions.

Investigators and federal officials say the scam has been going on for decades in state and federal prisons around the country.

In one example, investigators say Monroe County jail inmates in Key West Flordia had been filing false tax return forms for jobs they never had as far back as 2004, and getting thousands of dollars a pop in refund checks.

Using a formula that kept their refunds to amounts under $5,000 per claim, inmates thought they would fly under the radar, investigators say. And they did for years, passing around cheat sheets that showed line by line how to fill out the complicated forms.

The inmates sent the income tax forms in and the IRS then issued refund checks, in some cases sending them directly to the county jail.

Anonymous said...

Inmates cannot cash checks and the mail they send out gets read, so how can they 'bilk the government for millions?"

Mary said...

The inmates sent the income tax forms in and the IRS then issued refund checks, in some cases sending them directly to the county jail.> Is this really true,well then,that's great.i thought once locked up it would be like as if you never exist.

criminal tracker alert