Department of Justice (DOJ)

By Summer Marxen

Purpose

Among its well-known agencies are the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals Service, and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The Antitrust Division of department enforces antitrust laws. The Civil Rights Divisions help enforce civil rights legislation.

Mission

To pursue justice as we represent the United States of America in civil and criminal litigation in the most effective manner possible.

To provide leadership in our interactions with all federal, state and local agencies and to serve as a liasion between them.

To foster public trust and confidence in law enforcement and the federal judicial system.

History

Congress created the office of attorney general in 1789 to oversee the nation's legal affairs. The Department of Justice, which carries out these same duties was created in 1870.

Head of Department

Eric H. Holder, Jr. was sworn in as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States on February 3, 2009 by Vice President Joe Biden. President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Mr. Holder on December 1, 2008.

Structure

Budget

Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; punishing those guilty of unlawful behavior; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. To this end, the President's 2012 DOJ Budget provides $28.2 billion, a 2 percent increase above 2010.

Current Issues

Last Thursday, nearly nine years after Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued the first set of binding national standards to address sexual abuse in U.S. confinement settings.