FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOJP
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1999202/307-0703

FISCAL YEAR 1999 DRUG COURT FUNDING AVAILABLE

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is making $40 million available to help jurisdictions establish or enhance drug courts for nonviolent, drug-abusing offenders. OJP recently released the application kit for the FY 1999 Drug Court Program.

"We are pleased to have an additional $10 million in FY 1999 funds to help communities to intervene with drug-abusing offenders," said OJP Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. "Research continues to show that drug court graduates are less likely to commit crimes than individuals who are not involved in treatment and the other services managed through drug courts."

For FY 1999, three types of drug court grants will be awarded:

Planning: Any jurisdiction (e.g., city, town, county, etc.) may apply for funding under this category. Applicants are eligible for planning grants of up to $30,000. Jurisdictions can use the funds to assess their drug caseloads, offender population and treatment options available, to attend training programs and visit operational drug courts.

Continuation/Supplemental Grants: These grants are available to jurisdictions that received Fiscal Year 1997 implementation grants. Applicants must display a need to develop and conduct a program evaluation and/or enhance data collection by establishing an automated management information system. The grants can also be used to enhance the resources available to the drug court and/or services to offenders. Priority will be given to projects that request funding for evaluation activities. Grants of up to $200,000 are available through this category.

Enhancement Grant: These grants are available to jurisdictions that have established drug courts. The funds may be used to support training, evaluation and/or management information system activities. Single jurisdictions may apply for up to $100,000 in this category. Multiple jurisdictions may apply for up to $300,000.

OJP will also make implementation grants to over 65 jurisdictions that applied for FY 1998 drug court funds. These jurisdictions submitted quality applications worthy of funding, but there was not enough money available. OJP has elected to use FY 1999 drug court money to fund these initiatives. This year, OJP is encouraging jurisdictions applying for funding to expand their drug court target population to include offenders whose primary substance abuse problem is with alcohol. OJP would also like new drug courts to admit offenders who were under the influence of alcohol when they committed the crime for which they were arrested.

"There is an undeniable link between alcohol use and crime," added AAG Robinson. "Crimes related to alcohol abuse are no less harmful to the community than those that involve other drugs. Drug courts are an excellent tool for communities to help offenders focus on this aspect of substance abuse and stop related reckless behavior."

There are now over 375 drug courts operating in the United States and approximately 150 more in the planning stages. Since the program's inception, OJP has made over 400 drug court grants totaling $75 million, which have helped states and local jurisdictions to plan, implement, or enhance drug courts.

To obtain a copy of the FY 1998 Drug Court Solicitation, contact the Department of Justice Response Center at 1-800/421-6770. Applications for grants under all categories of the drug court solicitation are due by March 1, 1999. For additional information about the drug court program, OJP and its programs, or an electronic copy of the FY 1998 Drug Court Solicitation, visit OJP's web site at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov

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For additional information contact: Doug Johnson at 202/616-3559

OJP 99-036