Washington -- United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank joined the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in announcing the award of $9.4 million to support crime victims in Native American communities in eight states: Alaska, California, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma and Washington. The group of 16 awards is the fourth in a series of grants being made by the Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to American Indian and Alaska Native communities. OVC has now awarded more than $26 million of nearly $100 million to support tribal victim service programs.
The Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribe (Maine) received $328,905 to expand existing services for victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, dating violence, sex trafficking and stalking, as well as for elders experiencing abuse. Funding will support staff training, transportation for victims in remote areas and a contracted attorney to provide legal counsel in civil matters to elder abuse victims.
The awards—46 in total so far—will fund critical crime victim services, such as counseling, transitional housing, emergency services and transportation. The grants are supported by the Crime Victims Fund, a repository of federal criminal fines, fees and special assessments. The fund includes zero tax dollars.
“American Indian and Alaska Native communities face extensive public safety challenges, but through creative approaches that combine traditional methods with innovative solutions, they are demonstrating their determination to meet the needs of victims in their communities,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth. “These grants, part of historic levels of funding awarded by the Department of Justice to American Indian and Alaska Native communities, will provide significant resources to bring critical services to those who suffer the effects of crime and violence.”
According to OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, American Indians and Alaska Natives experience violent crime at rates far greater than the general population.
“We are hopeful that this grant will help the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribe address some of the challenges that they face in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking, and elder abuse, all of which are national and local priorities for the Department and our office,” said U.S. Attorney Frank.
Nearly 170 tribes are expected to receive funding this spring to help their communities support crime victims over the next three years.
“American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims continue to face challenges in accessing vital services and resources needed to help survivors address their trauma and navigate a complex system,” said OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson. “The Justice Department has made it a priority to partner with tribes to help victims and their families rebuild their lives in the aftermath of violence.”
OJP, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Dummermuth, provides federal leadership, grants and resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal justice system. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
Donald E. Clark
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257