Monday, February 13, 2012


Published: 02/13/2012


The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative (SWBPI) funding awarded by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to the State of Arizona. From FYs 2006 through 2011, Arizona received SWBPI funding totaling $1,601,265 on a pro-rata basis.

Many drug and other criminal cases occurring along the southwest border are initiated by a federal law enforcement agency or federal multi-jurisdictional task forces, such as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). Many U.S. Attorneys have developed prosecution guidelines that govern the most common violations of federal law. These prosecution guidelines are used by law enforcement agencies to determine whether to file a case in federal, state, or county court. As a result, many federally initiated cases occurring near the southwest border are referred to the state or county for prosecution.

The SWBPI was established in fiscal year (FY) 2002, when Congress began appropriating funds to reimburse state, county, parish, tribal, and municipal governments for costs associated with the prosecution of criminal cases declined by local U.S. Attorneys’ offices.

The SWBPI reimburses the eligible applicants for costs incurred during prosecution for three major categories based on the types of services provided: (1) prosecution only, (2) pre-trial detention only, and (3) both prosecution and pre-trial detention. Reimbursements received from SWBPI funding may be used by applicant jurisdictions for any purpose not otherwise prohibited by federal law.

For FY 2012, Congress appropriated $10 million for the SWBPI. The objective of our audit was to determine if the SWBPI reimbursements received by the State of Arizona were allowable, supported, and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the SWBPI.

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