Having already been cut in recent years, the sequester has resulted in plans for Byrne grants to be radically reduced over the next decade. Stateline.org has a story about drug task force systems in other states shutting down as a result. Give it a read. Their account of Texas' decision to eliminate task forces at the end of the story is a bit off on the finer details, but in general it's correct that the Tulia scandal launched a rethinking of the drug task force system by the Legislature and the Governor that resulted in their demise.
The flip side of Stateline's task force story is that, in Texas, the loss of grant funds due to the sequester will affect those specialty court, treatment, training, and border security programs where the Governor's Criminal Justice Division shifted the money. While Grits would hate to see treatment and specialty court dollars go away, I consider most of the border-security pork misspent and in general I don't think it especially proper, under principles of federalism, for the national government to fund local courts or law enforcement. So it won't bother me a lot if Byrne grants become a permanent casualty of the sequester.
The drug task force network was a mess in Texas and I bet other states will find, just like we did, that once they're gone, their absence will solve more problems than it creates.
See a sampling of the many past Grits posts on Byrne grants and drug task forces
- Hyping Harm: Media should welcome, not decry Byrne grant cuts
- Texas' Tulia Lesson: Dems should join GOP in abandoning failed drug task force strategy
- Byrne task forces account for huge percentage of drug arrests in other states
- Revisionism begins in effort to restore drug task force pork
- 'Operation Byrne Blitz' makes explicit arrests-for-dollars link
- Byrne task force funds mainly financing low-grade enforcement
- Left and right join to bash Byrne grants in D.C.
- Hug a drug task force officer, he's having a bad day
- Era of Tulia-style task forces coming to an end in Texas
- More problems than Tulia caused drug task forces to close
- Why drug task forces must go 101