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$1.2 Million FY 2009 Grant Addresses Public Safety on the Islands

           WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the award of more than $1.2 million in FY 2009 funds for the Virgin Islands to maintain or increase public safety. These Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funds are the first Office of Justice Programs (OJP) FY 2009 award to the Islands' government and will help prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system.

           “This additional funding will play an important role in helping local communities address their criminal justice challenges,” Attorney General Holder said. “These funds will help our partners fight crime and build safer communities, and we look forward to continued work with the Virgin Islands to address these criminal justice goals.”

           The Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission plans to improve the investigations and prosecution efforts especially related to drugs and violent crimes associated with gangs and organized crime, and promote alternatives to detention, jail, and imprisonment of non-violent offenders; increase funding assistance to communities and neighborhoods to prevent delinquency and reduce and deter juvenile crime; improve the Correctional Systems through innovative programs; and expand treatment capacity and services for adults and juvenile offenders with drug addiction problems and enhance private treatment services to reduce recidivism.

           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.

         The JAG Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to states and territories and is managed by OJP's 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 visit

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         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