The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced that it has awarded more than $376 million in grant funding to enhance state, local and tribal law enforcement operations and reinforce public safety efforts in jurisdictions across the United States.
“Crime and violence hold families, friends and neighborhoods hostage. They also rip those communities apart,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan for the Office of Justice Programs. “These programs simultaneously play a role in mending communities through preventing crime, apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators, facilitating appropriate sentencing and adjudication, and restoring communities and their residents.”
This year, more than $252 million is being awarded to 929 states, tribes, and local governments through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG), administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). JAG funding supports a range of program areas including law enforcement; prosecution and courts; crime prevention and education; corrections; drug treatment and enforcement; technology improvement; victim and witness initiatives; mental health programs and others.
Through BJA’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, $40 million will help law enforcement agencies and prosecutors address the challenges associated with sexual assault kits that have not been submitted to crime laboratories for testing. An additional $6.6 million for training and technical assistance will build state and local capacity to address unsolved crimes revealed by evidence obtained when the kits are tested.
BJA is providing more than $6.9 million to 20 state, local and tribal prosecutors through the Innovative Prosecution Solutions for Combatting Violent Crime Program. Prosecutors receive training and technical assistance to use data in the development of their violent crime strategies and create programs that are analysis-driven and based upon promising practices.
Reducing intellectual property theft and related crime are the focus of six awards, totaling nearly $2.3 million, made through BJA’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Program: Protecting Public Health, Safety, and the Economy from Counterfeit Goods and Product Piracy. The funding is being provided to state, local, tribal and territorial criminal justice systems to address intellectual property enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training and technical assistance.
This year BJA is providing $500,000 through the Enhancing Task Force Leadership, Operations and Management Program to the Institute of Intergovernmental Research, which will provide training and technical assistance to state and local multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task forces created to address local crime. The program promotes integrity and accountability by emphasizing best practices to reduce liability and enhance officer safety and effectiveness.
Through BJA’s Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions Program, 12 awards totaling more than $3.2 million are supporting state and local policymakers, practitioners, and entities that represent individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review wrongful conviction claims cases and enact measures to prevent future errors and ensure justice.
Two awards totaling $5 million are being provided to National Criminal Justice Association and National Association of Criminal Justice Defense Lawyers through BJA’s Justice for All: Effective Administration of Criminal Justice Training and Technical Assistance Program. The recipients will deliver training and technical services to state and local governments requesting assistance.
To assist confinement facilities and the agencies that oversee them, BJA is providing 13 grants totaling more than $2.4 million to state, local and tribal governments for responding to incidents of sexual abuse in these facilities. The awards are made through the Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards, Protecting Inmates, and Safeguarding Communities Program.
BJA’s Comprehensive Corrections Training and Technical Assistance Program is providing more than $23.7 million, to seven organizations that will provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to BJA grantees and criminal justice practitioners to improve correctional services and increase public safety through improving outcomes for people incarcerated and detained in correctional facilities. The recipients are Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.; American Correctional Association; American Institutes of for Research in the Behavioral Sciences; Impact Justice; the Moss Group, Inc.; the Research Triangle Institute; and the Urban Institute.
OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is providing more than $1.9 million in funding to four organizations under the Supporting Effective Interventions for Adolescent Sex Offenders and Youth with Sexual Behavioral Problems Program. The program also helps fund treatment and supportive services for victims and their caregivers. Three recipients are receiving $475,000; they are Youth Outreach Services, Ill; Cayuga Counseling Services, Inc., New York; and the Joseph J. Peters Institute, Pennsylvania. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is receiving $517,592 to provide training and technical assistance to the award recipients.
Through OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime, 36 public law enforcement agencies, of which four are tribal, are receiving over $12 million to develop victim specialist programs that connect survivors and families to coordinated trauma-informed services. OVC is also awarding $2.25 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police for related training and technical assistance.
OJP’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) is providing more than $15.7 million to 59 states, U.S. territories and tribal communities to be used to help jurisdictions meet the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
SMART is also awarding more than $1.6 million for the maintenance of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, a resource that provides the public access to sex offender data nationwide. The funding also provides sex offender registry systems and tools at no cost to U.S. states, territories and federally recognized tribes who are implementing standards established by the Adam Walsh Act to close gaps and loopholes in reporting.
The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training and technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.