By a Biometrica staffer
The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded almost $187 million to support state, local, and tribal public safety and community justice activities through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP).
The awards, from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, are going to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Justice Department said in a release.
The JAG program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, the DOJ says. It provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding to support law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, courts and corrections officers, and community corrections agencies.
JAG funding also supports crime prevention and education initiatives, drug treatment and enforcement activities, criminal justice planning and evaluation, technology improvements, crime victim and witness initiatives, and mental health programs, including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams.
“Our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners are at the forefront of public safety in their communities, and their effectiveness depends on a justice system that is fair, equitable and engages the communities they serve,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “These awards will help support traditional crime reduction and violence prevention efforts across the country, as well as innovative community violence intervention strategies that increase trust and make communities a full partner in protecting public health and safety.”
“The crime and justice problems facing America today are unique to each community, and so are many of the solutions,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The awards we are announcing today, and many more to come, can be used by our state and local partners to support crime reduction efforts, diversion programs, reentry services and a wide range of public safety activities that are vital in their efforts to keep communities safe and uphold the promise of equal justice to all citizens.”
The DOJ also announced that the BJA will make 900 awards totaling $85 million, in addition to the state JAG awards that were already been announced.
“Public safety and equal justice are twin, and mutually reinforcing, goals that we have been fighting to achieve,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for the OJP. “The resources we are making available today reflect our unwavering commitment to protecting America’s communities while ensuring that our systems of justice operate fairly, effectively and in a manner that earns the trust of the people they serve.”