The Justice Department announced yesterday that it is awarding more than $4.4 billion to support state, local and tribal public safety and community justice activities. The grants, from the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will help build community capacity to curb violence, serve victims and youth and achieve fair outcomes through evidence-based criminal and juvenile justice strategies.
“Everyone in this country deserves to be safe in their communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “That is why, in addition to continuing our efforts to identify and prosecute the most violent criminals, the Justice Department is putting every available resource to work to support the efforts of our law enforcement and community partners nationwide. This significant investment will go directly to state and local programs that support the victims of crime, support officer safety and wellness, build the public trust in law enforcement essential to public safety, and help make all of our communities safer.”
The more than 3,700 OJP grants being awarded this fiscal year will support state, local and community-based efforts and evidence-based interventions that reduce violence, crime and recidivism while delivering treatment and services to those at-risk of justice system involvement. Funding will expand partnerships between criminal justice professionals and behavioral health experts, help people safely and successfully transition from confinement back to their communities, reach crime victims in underserved areas, steer young people away from justice system contact, improve the management of sex offenders and support a wide range of research and statistical activities that will help justice system professionals meet community safety challenges.
“Across the country, the Justice Department is working side-by-side with our partners in state and local law enforcement to combat violent crime by using our federal resources to amplify their work on the front lines,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco yesterday. “The billions of dollars in grants announced today will augment those efforts and the tools law enforcement is using to curb violence, counter deadly drug abuse, and promote safety and public trust. Together with our state and local partners, the Department will continue to do everything we can to protect the communities we all serve.”
“The Department of Justice is investing in community-based approaches to violence prevention, law enforcement health and wellness, Tribal courts, improved services for victims, research and data collection efforts, reentry programs, and much more,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta added. “The grants announced today further our commitment to working with our state, Tribal, and local partners to increase public safety, build police-community trust, and ensure safe, healthy, and just communities for all.”
“Every sector of our society—not only the justice system, but nonprofit and faith-based groups, local leaders and advocates, and people with lived experience who serve as credible messengers—plays a critical role in ensuring public safety and public health,” said OJP Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon. “The Office of Justice Programs is proud to make these substantial investments in building community infrastructure and supporting communities as co-producers of safety and justice.”
Grants will support five major community safety and justice priorities:
- Awards totaling more than $1 billion will promote safety and strengthen trust, helping communities tackle the proliferation of gun violence in America and restore bonds of trust between community residents and the justice system. Grants will support innovative and evidence-based strategies designed to prevent and reduce violent crime, support the health and safety of law enforcement and public safety professionals, promote rehabilitation and reentry success, and address the rise in hate crimes across the country.
- More than $437 million in grant awards will accelerate justice system reforms designed to achieve equal justice and fair treatment for all. Grants will expand access to services among historically underserved and marginalized communities, reduce counterproductive involvement in the justice system, increase opportunities for diversion and build pathways to treatment for people with substance use and mental health disorders.
- Over $192 million will improve the fairness and effectiveness of the juvenile justice system by supporting developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive interventions for youth. Funding will ensure that young people are served at home in their communities whenever possible, are equipped to transition to a healthy adulthood free of crime and are protected from violence and abuse.
- More than $1.7 billion will expand access to victim services by investing in programs that provide trauma-informed and culturally responsive services to victims. Funding will support thousands of local victim assistance programs across the country and victim compensation programs in every state and U.S. territory, while helping these programs build their capacity to reach those disproportionately affected by crime and victimization.
- Over $418 million in awards will advance science and innovation to strengthen the base of knowledge that policymakers and practitioners can use to design and deploy effective community safety strategies. Awards will support research and data collection on a wide range of public safety issues, help maintain timely and accurate criminal history records and improve the capacity of crime labs and forensic analysts to solve crimes, absolve the innocent and deliver justice to victims.
In addition, OJP will award more than $611 million to continue its support of other previously funded programs and congressionally directed spending.