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15.

Office of Justice Programs Crime Act Offices

The Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO) administers several grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, which is part of the 1994 Crime Act. Through the STOP Violence Against Women Program, VAWGO awards grants to states and Indian tribes to improve the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes targeting women and to assist women victims. States must allocate 25 percent of STOP funds to law enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, and 25 percent to nonprofit victim services. The remaining 25 percent may be allocated at the state's discretion within the parameters of the Act. STOP grants may be used to: develop and enhance victim services; train law enforcement officers; expand the number of personnel in law enforcement and prosecution agencies to target violent crimes against women; develop policies, protocols, and services to prevent violence against women; and apply technology to improve communications and data collection systems to identify and track arrests, protection orders, and prosecutions.

VAWGO also administers two programs authorized for FY 1996--a program to encourage arrest in domestic violence cases, and another to help rural jurisdictions improve the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and child abuse. In addition, VAWGO provides training and technical assistance to help grantees develop effective, comprehensive responses to domestic abuse and sexual assault. For example, VAWGO provides grants to establish criteria and develop training programs to assist probation and parole officers and other personnel who work with released sex offenders in the areas of case management, supervision, and relapse prevention.

The Violence Against Women Office was created as part of the 1994 Crime Act. In March of 1995, President Clinton named Bonnie Campbell, former Attorney General of Iowa, to be the director of the office. The Violence Against Women Office is responsible for the overall coordination and focus of Department of Justice efforts to combat violence against women as well as the Department's primary point of contact for other federal agencies, state and local governments, outside organizations, and Congress.

The Corrections Program Office administers the Violent Offender Incarceration and Truth-in-Sentencing Program authorized by the Crime Act. This program provides funds to states to build or expand correctional facilities for violent offenders; build or expand temporary or permanent correctional facilities for nonviolent offenders and criminal aliens to free prison space for violent offenders; and build or expand jails. Half of the formula grant funds are available for the Violent Offender Incarceration (VOI) grants and half for Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS) grants.

Violent Offender Incarceration: VOI provides a three-tiered formula with 85 percent used for the first two tiers and 15 percent reserved for the third. To receive a base amount--the first tier--a state must provide an assurance in its application that it has implemented or will implement policies and programs to ensure that violent offenders serve a substantial portion of the sentences imposed, that provide sufficiently severe punishment, and that the prison time served is appropriate to the crime and to protect the public. A state that receives a grant under the first tier is eligible to receive additional funds allocated on the basis of part 1 violent crimes as specified in the statute.

Truth-in-Sentencing Incentive Program: A state is eligible for TIS funds allocated on the basis of part 1 violent crimes, if it demonstrates that it has implemented truth-in-sentencing laws that require persons convicted of a violent crime to serve not less than 85 percent of the sentence imposed, or other criteria specified in the statute.

The Corrections Program Office also administers the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Program, which awards grants to states to establish prison-based substance abuse treatment programs. To be eligible for funding, states must agree to require drug tests for individuals enrolled in the treatment program and provide aftercare services when program graduates leave the correctional facility. Awards are based on a formula under which each state receives 0.4 percent of available funds plus a percentage based on its prison population as compared to the prison population of all participating states..

The Drug Courts Program Office administers the Drug Courts Grant Program authorized by the 1994 Crime Act. This program awards grants to plan, implement, or expand state and local drug courts that provide specialized treatment and rehabilitation for certain non-violent offenders. Funded drug court programs provide continuing judicial supervision of non-violent offenders and integrated sanctions and services, including: mandatory periodic drug testing; substance abuse treatment; diversion, probation, or other supervised release and prosecution, confinement, or incarceration for noncompliance with program requirements or failure to show satisfactory progress; and aftercare. States, state courts, local courts, units of local government and Indian tribal governments may apply for funding.

[cited in USAM 1-2.305]