ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER ANNOUNCES LAW ENFORCEMENT GRANT TO VIRGINIA
WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the award of more than $6.3 million in FY 2009 funds for the State of Virginia to maintain or increase public safety in the state. These Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funds are the first Office of Justice Programs (OJP) FY 2009 award to the state 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 Virginia to address these criminal justice goals.”
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services plans to support the priority areas identified in their recent document, "Setting a Course for the Future of the Criminal Justice System in Virginia, Environmental Scan." Priorities include coordination and information sharing; school and campus safety; crime and delinquency prevention; diverting non-violent offenders from incarceration; drug prevention and treatment; prisoner reentry into society; and standardized training and testing for law enforcement. Projects addressing these and other priority areas will be funded through a grant process open to local units of government, state agencies, and non-profit organizations. Virginia is required to provide a portion of the $6.3 million to the local jurisdictions.
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. Tribal governments are also eligible to receive pass-through funding from the state. All FY 2009 local JAG awards are being processed on a rolling basis and all awards will be made by September 30, 2009.
The JAG Program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions 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 and for details on how to apply for the state managed, pass-through funding, visit www.ojp.gov/saa/index.htm.
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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 www.ojp.gov.BJA09148