OJP Press Release letterhead

Monday, June 2, 2003
Contact: Adam Spector & Sheila Jerusalem


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The State of Tennessee received over $16.4 million today from the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to prevent and combat crime, strengthen state and local criminal justice systems, and support thousands of victims of crime throughout the state. The state was awarded $9.5 million under the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Formula Grant Program and $6,957,000 under the State Crime Victim Assistance Program.

    “OJP is proud of the partnership we have developed with state and local law enforcement that use these funds to make our streets and communities safer,” said OJP Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. “We are pleased to provide these resources to help Tennessee prevent and respond to drug-related and violent crime, and to assist crime victims.”

    The Byrne Program, administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), provides grants, based on the state's population, to each state’s designated state agency to develop statewide crime fighting strategies and coordinate distribution of funds to units of local government and not for profit agencies. This year, Tennessee intends to use its funds to support projects including: multi-jurisdictional task forces; criminal justice records improvement; offender assessment and treatment; and crime prevention programs.

    “These grant awards will help jurisdictions across Tennessee build safer communities and improve their criminal justice systems,” said BJA Director Richard Nedelkoff. “We applaud the efforts of our state and local partners who work at the local level to make our nation safer.”

    States may use Byrne funds to support a range of programs to improve their criminal justice systems and to create safer communities. Grant funds may be used to support any of the 29 legislatively authorized purpose areas that range from prevention activities, law enforcement, court services, and offender management initiatives.

    OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to enhancing the nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership to promote justice and healing for crime victims. Since the Crime Victims Fund was established in 1986, crime victims across Tennessee have received services and assistance totaling $60,036,000. Money for these annual awards comes from the Crime Victims Fund – which is supported primarily by fines paid by federal criminal offenders, not taxpayers. These fines are collected by United States Attorneys’ Offices, the U.S. Courts and the Bureau of Prisons. Fines collected in one year are deposited into the Fund and are available for grant awards the following year. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 allowed private gifts, donations and bequests to the Crime Victims Fund.

    “Through these grants, crime victims across Tennessee will receive the compassionate support they need,” said OVC Director John W. Gillis. “Whether victims needs are physical, emotional or economic, the hundreds of outstanding victims’ programs in Tennessee stand ready to assist them.”

    OVC supports both the collection efforts for the Crime Victims Fund, which provides these program dollars, and the allocation of these resources to help crime victims. Tennessee uses its crime victim assistance funds to support statewide and local initiatives, including domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, child abuse victims programs and other initiatives that provide counseling, advocacy or emergency transportation to victims. Tennessee can also use these funds for innovative efforts such as sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs or victim service units in law enforcement agencies, prosecutors offices and social service agencies.

    The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises 5 component bureaus and 2 offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, and the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education. Information about OJP programs, publications, and conferences is available on the OJP Web site, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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