|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||OJP||THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1998||202/307-0703|
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Justice Department today announced a total of more than $420 million in funding for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories to help incarcerate violent offenders for a longer period of time. The Justice Department has now provided over $1.3 billion to the states through the Violent Offender Incarceration/Truth-in-Sentencing (VOI/TIS) program.
The funds awarded today can be used to build or expand prisons or jails to house violent offenders. These prison grants may also be used to construct or enhance correctional facilities for non-violent offenders in order to free up bed-space for violent offenders.
In 1997, the Congress mandated that states implement comprehensive programs of drug testing, sanctions and treatment by September 1, 1998. All 50 states have submitted those strategies to the Justice Department. Failure to do so would have disqualified a state from receiving all of its FY 1999 prison building funds.
"These grants will help states keep violent prisoners in prison for longer periods of time," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "That will make our streets and communities safer."
By year end 1997, states had indicated that they would use their VOI/TIS funds to add more than 25,000 additional beds for adult offenders. In addition, four states--Idaho, Kansas, Maine and South Dakota--indicated they would use their entire FY 1997 VOI/TIS allotment for juvenile facilities.
Recent studies show that 50 to 60 percent of drug-addicted prisoners who do not receive treatment re-offend and are arrested again after their release. Other research shows that rehabilitation programs cut that rate by 25 percent.
"Adding new prison beds to incapacitate violent offenders is an important contribution to reducing crime in this country. But we need to do more. Beds alone do not address the cycle of offenders' drug use and crime," said Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. "By identifying substance-abusing inmates and mandating treatment for them, we can significantly reduce the number of offenders who return to prison."
Last year, states received over $467 million under the VOI/TIS program. The formula grants being made today will allow the states to supplement efforts initiated in FY 1996 and FY 1997.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are receiving grants totaling over $131 million under Tier Two of the Violent Offender Incarceration Program, compared to last year's 49. To receive a grant under Tier Two, a state must demonstrate that since 1993 it has increased the percentage of persons arrested for certain violent crimes who are sentenced to prison, increased actual prison time served or increased the average percentage of sentences served by violent offenders.
Twenty-seven states and Puerto Rico qualified for funds under Tier Three this year. Those states will receive grants totaling over $34 million. To receive a grant under Tier Three, a state had to qualify for Tier Two and meet further standards, such as increasing by 10 percent or more the number of persons convicted of violent crimes sentenced to prison over the most recent three-year period.
Twenty-seven states are receiving Truth-in-Sentencing Program grants totaling over $254 million. These states have passed laws or adopted sentencing and release guidelines that require violent offenders to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence imposed.
Earlier this fiscal year, on March 26, 1998, OJP awarded all 50 states, the territories and the District of Columbia a total of over $84 million in Violent Offender Incarceration Tier One funding. To qualify under Tier One, states must demonstrate that violent offenders serve a substantial portion of their sentences; impose sufficient punishment for violent adult and juvenile offenders; and sentence violent offenders to prison terms that adequately protect the public.
OJP also administers the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners Program, which allows states to fund treatment programs for drug-addicted inmates. Earlier this year, OJP made RSAT grants to each state totaling $59.3 million, bringing the program's three-year total to over $111 million.
Individual summaries are available describing each state's uses of the VOI/TIS funds to date and a local point of contact. To obtain copies of these summaries, contact Doug Johnson at 202/307-0703. Copies of these summaries are available online at OJP's homepage, which is listed below. To obtain additional information about OJP and its program, visit the agency's homepage at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
Attached is a list of the 1998 VOI/TIS grant recipients.
After hours contact: Doug Johnson 1-888/582-6753
|States/Territories||Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3**||TIS**||FY 98 Totals||VOI/TIS Totals|
|District of Columbia||1,622,484||1,027,521||1,203,177||2,741,471||6,594,653||13,063,786|
|N. Mariana Islands||108,166||n/a||n/a||n/a||108,166||291,580|