Between July 2011 and March 2014, the United States court system lost some 3,400 staff and curtailed a number of critical public safety programs such as probation and pretrial services. Reflecting on the early 2013 and 2014 funding levels provided by Congress, Judge Julia Gibbons explained that this harsh impact was a result of “sequestration, and prior to that, a flat budget from Congress.”
Fortunately, relief from these financial strains appear to be on the horizon. On September 16, 2014, the Judicial Conference received a favorable budget update, reflecting a final enacted FY 2014 funding level that will enable restoration of critical public safety programs.
While the proposed funding marks for 2015 also appear favorable for the Judiciary, Judge Gibbons believes “we must remain diligent in our combined outreach and cost containment efforts going forward.”