CCUSA letter urges Congress to support robust funding for DOJ

June 23, 2022

The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen,
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jerry Moran,
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairwoman Shaheen and Ranking Member Moran:

I write on behalf of Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Charities network to request robust funding for the Department of Justice (DOJ) grant programs that serve youth, families and communities impacted by crime and the criminal justice system. As high inflation continues to affect the costs associated with providing services to these groups, I encourage you to consider increasing funding for FY 2023 above the previous year’s levels.

Catholic Charities’ ministry to people whose lives are touched by the criminal justice system stems from the fundamental Gospel principle that every person is made in the image of God, with inherent human worth and dignity. The Gospel mandate calls us to serve those in need and to accompany them in their moments of affliction and isolation, demonstrating God’s love for every person.

Our agencies serve victims of crime, including trafficking victims, by providing counseling and specialized emotional support services as well as case management assistance to help them heal and rebuild their lives. At the same time, people reentering society from incarceration face significant barriers while reintegrating, including homelessness, unemployment, mental and physical health challenges, and social isolation. The Catholic Charities network offers reentry support services to assist these individuals become contributing members of society and to reduce recidivism.

In addition, through collaboration with state and local governments Catholic Charities agencies run programs that include effective strategies to prevent youth delinquency and provide mentorship, job training, mental health and behavioral services. In 2021, nearly 100 of the 167 Catholic Charities agencies provided youth development services to approximately 212,000 young people.

Federal investments in DOJ grant programs are essential to sustaining these critical services to these communities. At a time when the pandemic has taken a toll on families across the country, youth have especially experienced heightened mental and behavioral health challenges. Increased funding above the FY 2022 levels would bolster state, local and nonprofit entities’ efforts to provide the care, mentorship and training needed to protect young people and to foster safer and more prosperous communities.

Therefore, I ask you to fully fund the following DOJ grant programs:

• Crime Victim Assistance
• Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program
• Juvenile Mentoring Program
• Violence Against Women Formula Grants
• COVID-19 Crime Victim Assistance
• Sexual Assault Services Formula Program
• Second Chance Act Reentry Initiative

Catholic Charities remains committed to our ministry of service through these programs, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with you as we respond to the needs of our communities.


Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD
President and CEO
Catholic Charities USA

Latest Letters and Statements

Stay connected. Sign up for updates from Catholic Charities.