FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OJP
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2000 202/307-0703
COMMUNITIES RECEIVE OVER $1 MILLION IN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FUNDS TO MANAGE SEX OFFENDERS
WASHINGTON, DC – For the second year, the Justice Department is awarding funding to state and local jurisdictions to develop, implement or expand comprehensive strategies to manage sex offenders under community supervision. Twelve communities in nine states are receiving a total of $1.3 million.
“This program helps states to improve the monitoring of sex offenders who are released from prison into their communities,” said Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which administers the grants. “We are encouraging those who work with released sex offenders to collaborate and to supervise offenders such that they can live in the community without posing a danger to others.”
To receive funds under the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management Grant program, communities must develop multidisciplinary teams, which include probation and parole officers, other criminal justice personnel, treatment providers and victim advocates.
Eight of the awards are planning grants to assist jurisdictions in developing comprehensive, collaborative approaches to managing sex offenders. The Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole in Montgomery is receiving $49,997; St. Lawrence County in Canton, New York is receiving $49,908 and the State of Oklahoma is receiving $49,875. The Office of the Illinois Attorney General; the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Poplar, Montana; the City of Santa Fe; the Rennselaer County Executive in Troy, New York and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in Hogansburg, New York are each receiving $50,000.
The other four grants will help communities implement these strategies or enhance current programs. The State of Minnesota’s Department of Corrections is receiving $189,130; the Fort Belknap Community Council in Harlem, Montana is receiving $240,631; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Austin, Texas is receiving $250,000 and the Department of Criminal Justice Services in Richmond, Virginia is receiving $246,901.
Grantees will use these funds to establish teams of representatives from law enforcement, prosecution, courts, corrections, probation, social services and victim organizations to identify strengths and weaknesses in sex offender management systems and assess the staff and equipment necessary to identify, track and treat sex offenders. Planning funds will also be used to gauge the need for training probation officers and other criminal justice personnel, treatment providers and victim advocates about sex offender management.
“The goal of the program is to encourage communities to examine their current sex offender management practices and develop a more comprehensive, systemic approach to the issue,” added Leary. “We are also collecting and documenting information on community practices, so we can help other communities determine what works.”
Congress appropriated $5 million for sex offender management initiatives in Fiscal Year 2000, $2 million of which was set aside for the grants. Training and technical assistance will be provided to grantees and other interested jurisdictions through a grant to the Center for Sex Offender Management in Silver Spring, Maryland.
More information about the sex offender management program is available on OJP’s Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or the Center for Sex Offender Management’s Website at www.csom.org, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free on 1-800/851-3420.
After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534