FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEBJA
THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1999202/307-0703

FIVE COMMUNITIES RECEIVE GRANTS FOR COMMUNITY PROSECUTION

Philosophy Allows Prosecutors to Consider Community's Perspectives During Process

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the Justice Department will award grants totaling $425,000 to five jurisdictions to expand the use of community prosecutors. Holder also announced that the Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) will award an additional $5 million to communities to start or enhance Community Prosecution programs. Jurisdictions will be able to apply for these grants starting later this month.

"Today's grants and $5 million initiative are a down payment on the President's $200 million request for community prosecutors in the coming fiscal year," said Deputy Attorney General Holder. "Our goal is to be able to fund the hiring of at least an additional 1,000 community prosecutors and expand community prosecution programs."

The goal of community prosecution programs is to more closely involve local prosecutors in the particular crime problems faced in the community. Each community receiving a grant will have the discretion to use it in the way that best suits their needs, such as placing prosecutors in police stations, or targeting particular crime "hot spots."

Community prosecution is part of the broader philosophy of community justice, which promotes the idea of citizens and the criminal justice system coming together to improve public safety. The Office of Justice Programs is actively involved in promoting the philosophy of community justice and funding innovative community justice initiatives.

"Community prosecution provides prosecutors the resources they need to combine sufficient punishment and appropriate interventions to keep offenders who commit lesser crimes from continually cycling through the justice system," said OJP Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson.

The communities receiving the first round of grants from OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance include the Marion County Prosecutor's Office in Indianapolis, Indiana; the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney in Spokane, Washington; the Denver District Attorney's Office in Denver, Colorado; the Bronx District Attorney's Office in Bronx County, New York; and the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii. Each jurisdiction will receive approximately $85,000. Information about each grant, including a local contact name and phone number is attached.

For additional information about OJP and BJA and their programs, visit the Internet Website at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov

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OJP 99-054

After Hours Contact: Doug Johnson at 888/491-4487