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2017 Budget Gives Over $7 Billion To Federal Prison System

President Trump has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, commonly known as the 2017 federal budget. The bill funds the federal government until the end of September 2017. In most businesses, the “fiscal year” runs from January 1 to December 31. However, the fiscal year for the federal government is from October 1 to September 30. The full text of the 2017 Federal budget, as it pertains to the federal prison system, is below. A quick read shows that not much changed from prior years. We are still waiting on separate legislation to be introduced concerning federal prison reform. I will keep you all posted on any such developments.

Federal Prison System Salaries and expenses (including transfer of funds)

For necessary expenses of the Federal Prison System for the administration, operation, and maintenance of Federal penal and correctional institutions, and for the provision of technical assistance and advice on corrections related issues to foreign governments, $7,008,800,000: Provided, That the Attorney General may transfer to the Department of Health and Human Services such amounts as may be necessary for direct expenditures by that Department for medical relief for inmates of Federal penal and correctional institutions: Provided further, That the Director of the Federal Prison System, where necessary, may enter into contracts with a fiscal agent or fiscal intermediary claims processor to determine the amounts payable to persons who, on behalf of the Federal Prison System, furnish health services to individuals committed to the custody of the Federal Prison System: Provided further, That not to exceed $5,400 shall be available for official reception and representation expenses: Provided further, That not to exceed $50,000,000 shall remain available for necessary operations until September 30, 2018: Provided further, That, of the amounts provided for contract confinement, not to exceed $20,000,000 shall remain available until expended to make payments in advance for grants, contracts and reimbursable agreements, and other expenses: Provided further, That the Director of the Federal Prison System may accept donated property and services relating to the operation of the prison card program from a not-for-profit entity which has operated such program in the past, notwithstanding the fact that such not-for-profit entity furnishes services under contracts to the Federal Prison System relating to the operation of pre-release services, halfway houses, or other custodial facilities.

Buildings and facilities

For planning, acquisition of sites and construction of new facilities; purchase and acquisition of facilities and remodeling, and equipping of such facilities for penal and correctional use, including all necessary expenses incident thereto, by contract or force account; and constructing, remodeling, and equipping necessary buildings and facilities at existing penal and correctional institutions, including all necessary expenses incident thereto, by contract or force account, $130,000,000, to remain available until expended, of which $50,000,000 shall be available only for costs related to construction of new facilities: Provided, That labor of United States prisoners may be used for work performed under this appropriation.

Federal Prison Industries Incorporated

The Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated, is hereby authorized to make such expenditures within the limits of funds and borrowing authority available, and in accord with the law, and to make such contracts and commitments without regard to fiscal year limitations as provided by section 9104 of title 31, United States Code, as may be necessary in carrying out the program set forth in the budget for the current fiscal year for such corporation.

Limitation on administrative expenses, federal prison industries, incorporated

Not to exceed $2,700,000 of the funds of the Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated, shall be available for its administrative expenses, and for services as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, to be computed on an accrual basis to be determined in accordance with the corporation's current prescribed accounting system, and such amounts shall be exclusive of depreciation, payment of claims, and expenditures which such accounting system requires to be capitalized or charged to cost of commodities acquired or produced, including selling and shipping expenses, and expenses in connection with acquisition, construction, operation, maintenance, improvement, protection, or disposition of facilities and other property belonging to the corporation or in which it has an interest.

About Brandon Sample

Brandon Sample is an attorney, author, and criminal justice reform activist. Brandon’s law practice is focused on federal criminal defense, federal appeals, federal post-conviction relief, federal civil rights litigation, federal administrative law, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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