Coburn Lays Smack-Down on DOJ


Sen. James Coburn (R-Okla.) released Justice Denied this week, a report that paints a rather damning picture of budgetary whims at the U.S. Department of Justice. Say what you want about Coburn - he is a quirky guy - but we doubt any other member of Congress would put this much effort into such a well-documented case about government largesse.

JJ Today will try to revisit this, with more details, after the election, but we wanted you to know about it right away. We've given it an initial read-through, and it appears that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is not mentioned much: a few references to questionable earmarks, the sins of which are laid much more at the feet of Coburn's congressional colleagues than OJJDP's staff and leadership. The House Committee on Oversight and Governement Reform did ding OJJDP for $4.4 million in improper grant-making in a short report on fraud and waste it released this month.

There is a great story on page 56 about a California town that sought an OJJDP earmark, realized the cost the town would incur to keep the project going, and then debated rejecting its own earmark after it was awarded.

There are some youth-relevant projects that are addressed , particularly the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT) and Weed & Seed.

And basically every corner of DOJ is taken to task for spending on its conferences, which Coburn says totals $312 million over the past seven years.