OJP Press Release letterhead

October 2, 2003
Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
or Joan LaRocca


     WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced that Indiana will receive funds totaling $1,149,820 to implement their Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) strategy, which is part of a national program to target gun violence and violent crime in neighborhoods and communities across the country.

     As part of the Administration’s commitment of $901 million over three years, 94 Project Safe Neighborhoods task forces are working to implement the coordinated strategy to reduce gun violence. Administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and led by the U.S. Attorney in each of the federal judicial districts, each local program is tailored to fit the unique gun crime problem in that district in five essential areas:

  • Promoting partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to review and prepare gun cases for prosecution;
  • Supporting strategic planning within all U.S. Attorney Offices for attacking gun crime and violence;
  • Providing more expansive and comprehensive training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors;
  • Developing community outreach and public awareness campaigns;
  • Evaluating effectiveness of plans and emerging trends in bi-annual reports to the United States Attorney General.

     “Project Safe Neighborhoods supports law enforcement efforts at every level to protect our citizens and hold criminals accountable, ” said Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. “With these resources, jurisdictions throughout Indiana will work to target gun crimes with more aggressive prosecutions, and promote community outreach. Efforts such as these will help to protect communities and neighborhoods all across the country.”

     The Southern District of Indiana will use the funding to support a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence that includes prevention, community outreach and education, enforcement and monitoring, training and research evaluation. Reentry services and support to adult and juvenile offenders will be expanded. A PSN newsletter, adult and juvenile educational materials, and media message promotions will be developed. Law enforcement technology upgrades and expanded multi-agency sweeps and directed patrols are planned. For more information about the Southern District of Indiana’s initiatives contact Melinda Haag with the Marion County Justice Agency at 317-327-3131.

     In the Northern District of Indiana funding will be used to support violent crime/illegal firearms analysis, use of information systems on a regional and district basis to identify trends and offenders and to exchange case information. Training for law enforcement officers will be provided to ensure quality investigations and strengthen community partnerships. Youth engagement/crime diversion programs for at-risk youth will be implemented. Activities will include mentoring, conflict resolution training, and character/self-esteem building. For more information about the Northern District of Indiana’s initiatives contact Joseph Koenig with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute at 317-232-1233.

     Detailed information about the PSN federal partnership, training and outreach opportunities is available on the PSN Web site at www.psn.gov.

     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 Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education. Information about OJP programs, publications and conferences is available on the OJP Website, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.