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ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER ANNOUNCES RECOVERY ACT GRANT TO SAVE OR CREATE JUSTICE RELATED TEXAS JOBS

$90 Million Recovery Act Grant Addresses Public Safety in the State

WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that more than $90 million in Recovery Act funds will go to the State of Texas to maintain or increase public safety in the state, while creating or retaining jobs within the law enforcement community. These Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funds are part of more than $4 billion in Justice Department Recovery Act funds available to assist state, local and tribal law enforcement and for other criminal justice activities that help to prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system in the United States while supporting the creation of jobs and much needed resources for states and local communities.

As submitted in their application, the Texas Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Division plans to support efforts to reduce violent crime and its effect by increasing programs that divert juveniles away from criminal activities and support productive life styles such as school-based programs, gang diversion programs, community assessments for high-risk youth, crime reporting and mapping, and increased law enforcement patrols and training; increasing programs to enhance prosecution efforts such as law enforcement training, operational support for targeted initiatives, specialty equipment for law enforcement and crime laboratories, and reductions in forensic and prosecution backlogs; and increasing programs that support solution for restoring victims of crime, reintegrate offenders into the community, and reduce the potential for recidivism such as multi-disciplinary victim training, operational capacity for victims programs, juvenile and adult diversion and reentry initiatives, and training. Texas is required to provide a portion of the $90 million to the local jurisdictions.

"By addressing Texas' economic challenges while simultaneously meeting the state's public safety priorities, these funds represent the best of what the Recovery Act can do for our communities," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "This vital funding will help fight crime and build safer communities, and we look forward to continued work with Texas to address these criminal justice goals."

The procedure for allocating JAG grants is based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of funding. Sixty percent of the allocation is awarded directly to a state and 40 percent is set aside for units of local government. States are required to sub-grant a portion of the funds to local units of government, such as a city, county, township or town. Faith-based and other community organizations are also eligible to receive pass-through funding from the state, as are Tribal governments.

In addition to the $90 million to the state, three local units of government will receive Recovery Act JAG awards: $135,354 to the City of Conroe, $50,432 to the City of Nacogdoches, and $77,438 to the City of Terrell. Additional local awards will be announced at a later date. The deadline for local units of government to submit their Recovery Act applications to the U.S. Department of Justice is May 18, 2009.

The JAG Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions and is managed by the Department's Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance. JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system, from multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. Projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures. For more details on the JAG Program or to track the use of Recovery Act funds, visit http://www.ojp.gov/recovery. For more details on how to apply for the state managed, pass-through funding, visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/saa/index.htm.

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: 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. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

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