DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AWARDS MORE THAN $200 MILLION TO FIGHT STATE AND LOCAL CRIME
WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice today announced $200 million in anti-crime funding to every state and territory. The funds, provided through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, will be used by state and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system.
The JAG program allows states, tribes and local governments to support criminal justice activities based on respective local needs and priorities. Funds through the JAG program may be used for training, personnel, equipment and information systems for law enforcement programs. Funding may also be used for prosecution and court programs, drug treatments programs, corrections programs and technology improvement programs.
"Reducing crime is one of our top priorities at the Justice Department, but we cannot do it alone," said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "We rely on those closest to the problem to find solutions that fit their needs. This money will go directly to the front lines, where state and local law enforcement can use it to fight crime and protect our communities."
First available in fiscal 2005, JAG combines the previous Byrne Formula and Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) Programs to provide agencies with a single grant program that simplifies the administrative process. JAG requires fewer fiscal and programmatic reports, saving state administering agencies and local programs valuable staff time and resources.
The total amount of funding available through the JAG program this year is $292 million. Awards to state governments, totaling $200 million, ranged from $21.8 million to California and $513,000 to South Dakota. In addition, later this year, more than 1,400 local communities nationwide will be awarded $92 million; the balance of the funding. Of the 1,400 local communities, 14 tribal communities are eligible for direct funding through JAG.
Awards through the JAG program are determined by a formula that includes a minimum allocation to each state. Additional funds, based on a state's population and crime statistics, are included in the state's award. JAG requires that states subgrant a variable amount of funds to local units of government, such as a city, county, township, town or tribe. Faith-based and other community organizations are eligible to receive pass-through funding from the state.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) 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 is comprised of five component bureaus and an office: 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 Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.