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Community Outreach

Community Outreach Newsletter

April 2020

Community engagement helps raise awareness, educate vulnerable populations and support viable crime prevention programs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s community outreach programs educate people in the district on countering violent extremism, civil rights, gun violence prevention, neighborhood safety, human trafficking, child exploitation and internet safety.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Thornton at



While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in some people, who are practicing safe social distancing and helping those in need, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers has warned people to watch out for criminals who will exploit our goodwill and commit a variety of frauds and scams related to the coronavirus.

The IRS and U.S. Attorney urged Ohioans to watch out for emails and phone calls from fraudsters trying to get them to turn over personal information in order to get their economic stimulus checks from the U.S. Treasury Department.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI also issued a warning to Americans to guard against computer crimes, especially as more people are working from home.

In a partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General, and the state pharmacy and medical boards, DeVillers and other authorities committed to hold accountable anyone who may be prescribing medications outside a legitimate medical purpose. They issued a joint statement after the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy declared an emergency rule prohibiting pharmacists from dispensing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 unless a person has tested positive for the virus or is otherwise approved by the pharmacy board’s executive director.

In addition, DeVillers enlisted the help of hospital executives to detect and punish those who engage in hoarding or price-gouging of medical supplies. You can read his letter to them here. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared 15 categories of health and medical supplies as “scarce”, a designation that triggers criminal and civil penalties against anyone who hoards or overcharges for them.

DeVillers also created a federal COVID-19 Task Force in the Southern District of Ohio to investigate and prosecute any crimes related to COVID-19 fraud.

The National Center for Disaster Fraud has set up a hotline, 1-866-720-5721 and an email account,, where you can report suspected scams and frauds. To know more about Department of Justice resources and information, visit


The U.S. Attorney’s Office want to do its part in protecting our healthcare workers. The district is coordinating donations of medical masks from each of its three offices, in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. So far, the Columbus office donated 260 medical masks to the OSU Wexner Medical Center and the Dayton office has donated 80 masks to the Upper Valley Medical Center.





More than $163 million in Department of Justice grants is available to help communities address America’s addiction crisis:


Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program

Total Available $1.75 million                                    

Deadline 5/14/2020    


Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program

Total Available $27 million                                       

Deadline 5/21/2020


Enhancing Community Responses to America's Addiction Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims

Total Available: $19 million                                      

Deadline: 5/4/2020


Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Total Available $28.1                                                

Deadline 5/5/2020


Applications are due May 18 for any service providers receiving funding under the Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking Program for the 2020 Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance grants.


Nearly $60 million is available in Department of Justice grants to support successful reentry of offenders into their communities. Opportunities currently open for applications include:


Correctional Adult Reentry Education, Employment, and Recidivism Reduction Strategies Program

Total Available $7.2 million                                      

Deadline 4/27/2020


Improving Community Supervision Outcomes Through Swift, Certain, and Fair Responses

Total Available $3 million                                         

Deadline 4/28/2020


Improving Reentry for People with Substance Use Disorders Program

Total Available $13.2 million                                    

Deadline 4/27/2020    


Innovations in Reentry Initiative: Building System Capacity & Testing Strategies to Reduce Recidivism

Total Available $4 million                                         

Deadline 5/4/2020


Research and Evaluation on Promising Reentry Initiatives  

Total Available $6 million                                        

Deadline 5/5/2020      


Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program

Total Available $13.5 million                                    

Deadline 5/4/2020


Second Chance Act Evaluation Participation Support

Total Available $4 million                                        

Deadline 4/28/2020


Second Chance Act Youth Offender Reentry Program

Total Available $7 million                                         

Deadline 4/28/2020






Want to know more about Justice Department grants? Visit the Office of Justice Programs Website. You can search for grants that have been awarded, find out what grant applications are open, and sign up to receive notifications when funding opportunities are available. Watch these webinar replays on BJA’s YouTube channel to learn more about applying for and managing grants.



Updated April 14, 2020

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