U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that more than $424 million in Recovery Act funds will go to 20 states, territories and the District of Columbia to maintain or increase public safety, while creating or retaining jobs within the law enforcement community. These Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funds are part of more than $4 billion in Justice Department Recovery Act funds available to assist state, local and tribal law enforcement and for other criminal justice activities that help to prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system in the United States while supporting the creation of jobs and much needed resources for states and local communities.
All applicants named job creation and retention as their top priority, and states plans include funding for a variety of justice related projects such as support for drug and gang task force activities, expansion of domestic violence shelter staffs, funding for community crime prevention and treatment programs, purchase of updated equipment, and retention and creation of criminal justice-related jobs in areas such as drug courts, correctional facilities, community crime prevention, and crime victim and witness programs.
"By addressing states’ economic challenges while simultaneously meeting the their public safety priorities, these funds represent the best of what the Recovery Act can do for our communities," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "This vital funding will help fight crime and build safer communities, and we look forward to continued work with state and local governments to address these criminal justice goals."
The procedure for allocating JAG grants is based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of funding. Sixty percent of the allocation is awarded directly to a state and 40 percent is set aside for units of local government. States are required to sub-grant a portion of the funds to local units of government, such as a city, county, township or town. Faith-based and other community organizations are also eligible to receive pass-through funding from the state, as are Tribal governments.
Local Recovery Act JAG awards will be announced at a later date. The deadline for local units of government to submit their Recovery Act applications to the Department of Justice is May 18, 2009.
The JAG Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions and is managed by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance. JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system, from multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. Projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures. For more details on the JAG Program or to track the use of Recovery Act funds, visit www.ojp.gov/recovery. For more details on how to apply for the state managed,
pass-through funding, visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/saa/index.htm.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at www.ojp.gov.
State plan summaries are as follows:
Alabama, $18.7 million:
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division (LETS) plans to support testing capabilities to detect use of illegal drugs, identify drug abusers, and provide a treatment system; provide systems for intelligence-gathering, data collection and analysis to assist in coordinating enforcement efforts; and support state projects to stabilize the government budgets to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counter-productive state and local tax increases.
Arizona, $25 million:
The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) plans to support the statewide effort to fight drug trafficking and violent crime. Priority will be given to job creation and retention, particularly jobs key to multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional drug, gang, and violent crime task forces; the associated prosecution projects and statewide civil forfeiture efforts; criminal justice information sharing projects; adjudication, forensic analysis, detention, and criminal justice system support services; and proven substance abuse prevention and education programs.
Connecticut, $12 million:
The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) plans to expand the Department of Corrections case management system; upgrade automated fingerprinting systems; support drug task force activities; increase the number of DNA samples obtained from inmates and expedite sample processing; increase the visibility of state police vehicles to reduce collisions; expand domestic violence shelter staffs; establish a sexual assault forensic examiner program; provide more effective facility and community based corrections programs; and translate community outreach, education and media materials.
Colorado, $18 million:
The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice Services plans to support efforts to prevent and control crime; improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems; improve law enforcement’s operational effectiveness; improve the corrections system, including treatment in prisons and jails; improve the operational effectiveness of the court process; address the treatment needs of adult and juvenile substance abuse and mentally ill offenders; and respond to the needs of crime victims.
Delaware, $6 million:
The Delaware Criminal Justice Council plans to support efforts to prevent and control crime by enhancing gang and gun trafficking initiatives; police/parole and probation partnerships; witness protection and multi-agency initiatives to incarcerate fugitives; sex offender monitoring; drug/mental health courts; targeting violent adult and juvenile offenders; upgrading officer safety equipment; retaining correctional officers; and expanding the successful Operation Safe Streets initiative.
District of Columbia, $11.7 million:
The District Of Columbia Justice Grants Administration plans to support efforts to prevent and control crime; improve technology for core operations; law enforcement initiatives; prevention and education efforts; technology and research; and corrections and community corrections with special emphasis on at-risk youth/status offender diversion initiatives and prisoner re-entry.
Florida, $81 million:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement plans to support law enforcement efforts such as eradicating marijuana, dismantling clandestine laboratories; disrupting illicit commerce; targeting white collar, computer, and organized crimes; along with prevention initiatives such as anti drug and gang education programs; school resource officers; community crime prevention, policing, and corrections programs.
Kansas, $12 million:
The Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (KCJCC) plans to preserve or create criminal justice-related jobs for parole officers, community corrections officers, juvenile correctional officers, special criminal investigations agents, criminal prosecutor, and technical specialists; while also supporting initiatives in community corrections, juvenile supervision and case management; internet safety; criminal investigations and prosecutions; forensic evidence analysis; training and prevention efforts; and equipment upgrades.
Louisiana, $21 million:
The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice (LCLE) plans to establish or continue programs to impact drug and violent crime problems across the state; address recidivism by strengthening prevention of crime and drug abuse intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation; provide specialized law enforcement training; and enhance forensics laboratories.
Maryland, $26.5 million:
The Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) plans to support the creation and retention of public safety-related jobs while also removing warranted fugitives from the streets; upgrading communications and forensic equipment; purchasing computer and software technology; improving prison and jail security; investing in data-driven policing strategies to include intelligence-based parole and probation supervision and partnerships, cross-border collaborations with neighboring States, and gang enforcement and gun trafficking initiatives.
Massachusetts, $25 million:
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPS) will use the funding to maintain or increase public safety in the Commonwealth, while creating or retaining jobs. EOPS plans to support summer youth employment programming, community-based prevention programs, district attorneys’ prosecution, victim witness advocacy, community programs, sheriffs’ department re-entry programs, local law enforcement policing and programs, and state public safety agencies’ core services.
Michigan, $41 million:
The Michigan Office of Drug Control Policy will use the funding to maintain or increase public safety in the state, while creating or retaining jobs within the law enforcement community. The Office of Drug Control Policy estimates that the jobs created or saved will be for case managers, court liaisons, and peer support advocates in mental health courts as well as continued employment of State Appellate Defender Office staff who provide state-funded appellate services for felony convictions for indigent clients. The state also plans to support strategies for multi-jurisdictional task forces, prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse community awareness programs; community policing and community prosecution strategies; technology enhancement projects; local correctional resources and problem solving courts including drug treatment, domestic violence, family dependency, and mental health.
Mississippi, $11 million:
The Mississippi Division of Public Safety Planning will use the funding to maintain or increase public safety in the state, while creating or retaining jobs within the law enforcement community. The state also plans to use the funds to support multi-jurisdictional drug task force programs and initiatives, community crime prevention and treatment programs; drug court operations; juvenile justice programs; cold case initiatives; law enforcement training programs; crime labs; and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
Nevada, $13.8 million:
The Nevada Department of Public Safety (NDPS) anticipates the retention and hiring of gang and task force personnel; and plans to support anti drug and violent crime initiatives to include anti drug and gang prevention, education, and treatment programs; information sharing and coordination; alternative sentencing programs; multifaceted community response programs; rural K-9 program; law enforcement training; and a statewide records management system.
New Hampshire, $6 million:
The New Hampshire Department of Justice plans to support cold case and narcotics investigative resources; enhancements of prosecution resources for consumer protection, county and local district court; victim witness advocates and child advocacy centers; recidivism reduction and specialty court programs; and initiatives to increase the efficiency, and reduction of crime and victimization.
New Jersey, $29.7 million:
The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety plans to support the state's Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Program focusing on law enforcement, prevention, and reentry; including multilevel task forces targeting violent gangs, guns, and narcotics; workforce readiness skills programs; job placement; education and youth development; expanding intervention and prevention programs; reducing recidivism; enhancing discharge planning for juvenile and offenders with mental health needs; and establishing a pilot program for intervention counselors to address technical parole violators.
New Mexico, $11 million:
The New Mexico Department of Public Safety plans to focus on preserving and creating jobs and promoting economic recovery while supporting improvements to the state's criminal justice system to reduce violent crime and the sale of illicit drugs; identifying and reporting drug and gang trends; updating the state's Drug and Gang Policy; and promoting strategies to identify, prevent, and respond to terrorism networks.
Northern Mariana Islands, $1.6 million:
The Northern Mariana Islands’ Criminal Justice Planning Agency (CJPA) plans to create new full-time positions that will support or directly impact efforts to stabilize local budgets to avoid a decline in essential services or an increase in local taxes; multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention programs; law enforcement programs; domestic violence programs; courts; corrections; treatment; and justice information sharing initiatives.
South Carolina, $23 million:
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety plans to support efforts to hire personnel; purchase equipment; conduct training and technical assistance; projects to control crime and drugs; and enhancements to the criminal justice information systems to increase the apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, detention, and rehabilitation of persons who violate laws.
Tennessee, $30.8 million:
The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Program (OCJP) plans to require grant recipient agencies to use the Recovery Act JAG funds for the retention and creation of jobs supporting the criminal justice system in areas such as drug courts; correctional programming; crime victim and witness programs; multi-jurisdictional drug and violent crime task forces; criminal justice professional enhancement training; pretrial service delivery; technology improvement; and community crime prevention.