JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTS MORE THAN $8.8 MILLION
WASHINGTON, D.C. B American Samoa received $8.8 million from the Justice Department in fiscal 2003, a $3.3 million increase from fiscal 2002, to support key Department goals such as fighting terrorism, assisting victims of crime, targeting juvenile crime and drug abuse, assisting communities, and improving the criminal justice system.
"Providing information on our investments in public safety ensures that policy-makers continue to make the best choices when allocating resources," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. "I am proud of our partnership with American Samoa's local policy makers to improve the public safety of our states and our local communities."
For the third consecutive year, the Justice Department is providing an annual report detailing all funding the Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office have awarded to each state and territory. OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. The COPS Office provides grant and technical assistance resources to state and local law enforcement agencies. The report is available online at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fy2003grants and www.cops.usdoj.gov.
American Samoa's funding was part of more than $6.9 billion that the Justice Department awarded nationwide. The Department awarded states and territories $1.5 billion more in fiscal 2003 than in fiscal 2002, with the majority of states receiving increased funding.
The majority of funds are awarded to states based on population. Heavily populated states receive more funding than less populated states. The funding report also includes discretionary grants that are awarded competitively to communities or non-profit agencies including faith-based organizations.
American Samoa's largest funding category was counterterrorism. More than $6.2 million of the total amount was awarded for initiatives such as training emergency first responders and purchasing equipment, as well as research and development of counterterrorism technology. The bulk of these funds were distributed by the Office of Domestic Preparedness, which was a component agency of OJP for much of fiscal 2003, and is now part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The next largest category was law enforcement at almost $1.9 million. Funds were awarded for initiatives such as hiring and training police officers, training emergency first responders and purchasing equipment. Funds awarded by the COPS Office are included in this category. The COPS Office provides grant funding to advance community policing in jurisdictions across the country.
A total of $264,000 was awarded to assist victims of crime. The majority of these funds go directly to the state to provide compensation and assistance for crime victims and to combat domestic violence and sexual assault. American Samoa received more than $240,930 for drug interdiction and enforcement efforts. Some of these funds also support prevention and drug treatment programs, including drug courts. Juvenile justice funds ($221,000) included money for delinquency prevention programs such as mentoring and reducing gang violence.
The Justice Department report lists specific grantees within the state alphabetically by city within six functional areas and provides summary information for each city. There is also a separate listing of all grants to the state alphabetically by city. American Samoa's fiscal 2003 funding report and the reports for other states are available only on the OJP and COPS Office Web sites at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fy2003grants and www.cops.usdoj.gov, respectively. For more information about American Samoa's funding, contact the American Samoan state administering agencies listed on OJP's Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/state.htm.