WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that more than $25 million in Recovery Act funds will go to the State of Arizona 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, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) plans to support the statewide effort to fight drug trafficking and violent crime. Priority will be given to job creation and retention, particularly jobs key to multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional drug, gang, and violent crime task forces; the associated prosecution projects and statewide civil forfeiture efforts; criminal justice information sharing projects; adjudication, forensic analysis, detention, and criminal justice system support services; and proven substance abuse prevention and education programs. Arizona is required to provide a portion of the $ 25 million to the local jurisdictions.
“By addressing Arizona’s 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 Arizona 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.
Local Recovery Act JAG awards will be announced at a later date. The deadline for local units of government to submit their Recovery Act applications to the 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 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 www.ojp.gov.