WASHINGTON ó Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today announced that the Justice Department is distributing nearly $15 million in grant funds to support school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum through the Gang Resistance Education And Training Program (G.R.E.A.T.).
The G.R.E.A.T. Program is administered by the Office of Justice Programsí (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance within the Justice Department. The program is aimed at middle school and elementary school students to reduce their involvement in delinquent behavior, violence, and gang membership and is taught by law enforcement officers in the studentsí schools. This year, the Department will provide funding to 140 law enforcement agencies throughout the country to support this program in local schools.
Attorney General Gonzales announced the $14,738,536 of G.R.E.A.T program funding while touring and meeting with local law enforcement and community leaders in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Attorney General has identified gang activity as an increasingly deadly threat to the safety and security of our nationís citizens and has made gang prevention and anti-gang enforcement a top priority. In February 2006, the Attorney General unveiled a comprehensive anti-gang initiative which seeks to combat gang violence across America by prioritizing prevention programs and ensuring robust enforcement of the laws. Included in this plan is a six-city pilot program that will devote extensive resources to defeating some of the most violent and pervasive gangs in the country. Along with Cleveland, additional cities chosen to participate in the anti-gang pilot program are Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Tampa, Dallas, and the "222" Corridor in Pennsylvania.
OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and two offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education and the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk.
More information can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.