FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEBJA
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 1999202/307-0703

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROVIDES FUNDS TO JURISDICTIONS

THAT INCARCERATE CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIENS

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Justice Department today announced that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 3 territories, and 280 localities will receive federal funds totaling over $572 million to help pay costs of incarcerating undocumented aliens who have committed serious crimes in the United States and have been convicted of felony or misdemeanor offenses.

"Since this program was created as part of the President's 1994 Crime Act, we have now provided over $2 billion to states and localities to help offset the costs of incarcerating criminal illegal aliens," said Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. "States and local jurisdictions face many costs. These funds will help them a great deal in their ongoing efforts to make their communities safer."

The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) is administered by the OJPs' Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). While the dollar amount of the payments made through the SCAAP program is tied to the number of criminal aliens incarcerated, the funds do not have to be used in prison systems. SCAAP funds go back into the state or locality's general fund and can be used for any purpose.

The Congress directed the Justice Department to make SCAAP awards by August 31, 1999 or make partial awards based on Fiscal Year 1998 allotments.

"We are proud to announce that we have met the Congress' challenge and accelerated our payment schedule," said BJA Director Nancy Gist. "We worked hard to ensure that we got the funds into the hands of our state and local partners as quickly as possible this year to help them advance their crime fighting efforts."

The largest state awards went to California ($177 million) and New York ($54 million). New York City and Los Angeles County received the two largest awards to localities, receiving $32 million and $18 million respectively.

SCAAP funding is based on information provided by each applicant on the number and costs of housing criminal aliens for the fiscal year. Each state or locality eligible for funding through the SCAAP program determines the average cost incurred per inmate and uses that figure to calculate the total amount expended on criminal aliens the previous year. Costs for all of the applicants are run against the total funding available and each receives a relative share of the available amount. In FY 1998, BJA provided over $575 million to award recipients. This year BJA is providing more than $572 million in direct awards. The Administration has requested $500 million for SCAAP in FY 2000.

Attached is a list of the 1999 SCAAP grant recipients and the amount each is receiving. Information about other OJP bureaus and program offices is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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