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Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. Delivers Remarks in Houston at Office of Justice Programs’ Grant Writing Seminar


Houston, TX
United States

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Al, for that introduction. Thank you all for being here. And I want to give a particular thank you to Leon Truley, the Law Enforcement Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, for helping organize this event.

It is a pleasure to be here with you all today. My name is Kenneth Polite, and I am the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. I have the honor of supervising over 1,400 public servants, tasked with working on a wide range of criminal justice priorities.

Last fall, I came here to Houston and, along with my partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), we announced a violent crime initiative to surge prosecutorial resources to target the worst of the worst who are terrorizing this community.

But as we said then, prosecution alone will not make our neighborhoods safer. To borrow from former Attorney General Eric Holder, we should not view ourselves as just prosecutors who file criminal cases. Instead, we can be true community problem solvers.

It is imperative that the department not just try to put people behind bars but that also we work with the community directly to try to address the root causes of crime. Enforcement is a critical tool, but it cannot be the only tool. That we look beyond enforcement to prevention, reentry, and rehabilitation.

That is why I’m so pleased that two representatives from OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance – Michelle Garcia and Tammy Brown – are here today to talk with you all about the grant writing process and about particular programs that are coming up in the next few weeks.

Take, for instance, the Improving Adult and Youth Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program, which involves over $7 million to local governments as well as community-based nonprofit organizations. This funding will enhance services to improve reentry, reduce recidivism, and address the treatment and recovery needs of people who have been in the criminal justice system who have mental health, substance use, or co-occurring disorders, which so often can be a contributing factor to crime.

Because it is only in this wholistic approach that we can truly have success. We must walk with you. Talk with you. See you. Hear you. And help you. We are proud to be part of this community. I look forward to working with you, individually and collectively, in making Houston a safer place for us all.

I will now turn it over to Michelle and Tammy.

Violent Crime
Updated March 13, 2023