Department of Justice

Janet Reno, Attorney General

Mission Statement

Our mission at the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law, provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, administer and enforce the nation's immigration laws fairly and effectively, and ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Summary Budget Information

FY 1993 (Actual) FY 1996 (Budgeted)
Budget Staff Budget Staff
$11.209 billion 83,574 $16.392 billion 95,787

Reinvention Highlights

Since March 12, 1993, when I was sworn in as Attorney General, the dedicated employees of the Department of Justice have worked hard to help me meet my pledge to deliver a Justice Department in which the American people can have full faith and confidence -- a Department that enforces the law effectively and fairly and uses the taxpayer's money wisely and responsibly. Since that time, I believe we have made real progress in meeting that pledge.

Inspired by the Clinton Administration's call for a government that "works better and costs less," we in the Department of Justice have moved diligently and quickly on several fronts. We have worked to develop strong partnerships with our customers, whether they be fellow law enforcement officers or the general public. We have made sure that federal law enforcement agencies truly coordinate investigative efforts, avoiding self-defeating and costly duplication of effort. We have streamlined our organizations to deliver the highest return with the least investment. And we have sought innovative ways to streamline operations while improving the delivery of services to the public.

Creating Partnerships With States and Localities. As we approach 1997, I am proud of the strides we have made in developing stronger partnerships with states and local communities to fight violent crime. The federal government and local jurisdictions are closer than ever before to becoming full partners in upholding the rule of the law in our communities.

This is a critical time for such partnerships. With passage of the Violent Crime Control Act, the federal government is providing many of the resources necessary to put 100,000 new law enforcement officers on the local beat. To expedite the hiring of these officers, DOJ's Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office dramatically streamlined and simplified the process that local governments use to acquire funds to hire new officers. As a result of the initiatives, $200 million in grants was awarded to 392 state, municipal, county, and tribal law enforcement agencies within two weeks of the bill's enactment.

Many of the customer standards that we have developed over the past three years reflect the Department's focus on relations with our law enforcement brothers and sisters: the Federal Bureau of Investigation has pledged quicker response times to name and fingerprint checks and to National Crime Information Center queries; the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has facilitated contact with its investigations units for other law enforcement bodies; and the Office of Asset Forfeiture has stepped up response time to requests for assets sharing, to mention just a few.

Over the past three years, we have also nurtured partnerships with nonlaw enforcement entities. To this end, we have reduced the burden of reports required from the public by vigorously reinventing and eliminating regulations, and have devised performance measures and customer standards that emphasize grassroots partnerships. The alliances have proven successful. For example, we have worked closely with community leaders and businesses in Southern California as we developed Project SENTRI, a highly regarded pilot project that uses the latest technology to speed the trips of commuters who cross the United States-Mexico border regularly. Elsewhere, the INS Dallas District Office received the prestigious Ford Foundation Award for Excellence for Operation JOBS, an initiative that engages employers, civic leaders, and job placement offices in an effort to replace ineligible alien workers with citizens and persons who are here legally.

Creating Collaboration Among Law Enforcement Agencies. In November 1993, responding to the National Performance Review's recommendation to improve the coordination and structure of federal law enforcement agencies, I established the Office of Investigative Agency Policies to coordinate activities of DOJ law enforcement components. This new office has had a dramatic effect on the way the Department does its business, addressing practical problems of everyday coordination among law enforcement bodies.

Collaboration among our enforcement components has led to the development of the Joint Automated Booking Station (JABS), a prototype in Miami that automates the booking process through the electronic collection, storage, and transmittal of photographic, fingerprint, and biographical information. In its test phase, JABS has significantly improved the manual booking process performed at every agency through which a prisoner passes, reducing processing time by an average of 80 percent and reducing the number of fingerprints returned as unreadable to nearly zero.

Collaboration has also led to the development of the Joint Alien and Prisoner Transportation System (JPATS), which consolidates all detainee air transportation functions performed by INS and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). JPATS has permitted more efficient and secure transportation of these aliens: Halfway through fiscal year 1996, INS has moved over 12,000 deportable aliens using JPATS -- a 120-percent increase over the same period the previous year.

Streamlining the Department. Recognizing the fiscal responsibility entrusted to the Department by the President, Congress, and the American people, DOJ has been seeking more efficient organizational structures and more innovative ways to streamline operations while improving delivery of services to the public -- innovative ways to achieve efficiencies and economies even as our agency realizes budgetary growth.

For example, in the Justice Department's most sweeping reorganization, USMS reduced eight management layers to four, and consolidated 25 organizational units into 11. The result is that USMS will be able to shift significant resources from headquarters to the field and consolidate wide-ranging but related headquarters functions into major divisions for better performance. Other DOJ components have modified their organizational structures on a less ambitious scale. INS, for example, delegated substantial authority for operations to its three newly established regional directors, bringing the work farther from headquarters and closer to the people we serve.

Most improvements within DOJ in the last three years have not been the result of sweeping changes, however. Rather, they have been the result of careful, often laborious, review of DOJ functions and identification of opportunities for improvement. Overseeing much of this activity is the Justice Performance Review (JPR), an organization I established in May 1993 to support the Administration's national effort.

Among its activities, the JPR has developed an ambitious lab program designed to field test more effective and cost-efficient methods of providing services and products. The Department of Justice presently has 16 reinvention labs under way.

All are important. And all represent our commitment to close what Vice President Gore has called government's "trust deficit" with the American people.


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