$424.8 Million in Recovery Act Grants Awarded to 20 States, Territories and the District of Columbia
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that more than $424 million in Recovery Act funds will go to 20 states, territories and the District of Columbia to maintain or increase public safety, 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.
All applicants named job creation and retention as their top priority, and states plans include funding for a variety of justice related projects such as support for drug and gang task force activities, expansion of domestic violence shelter staffs, funding for community crime prevention and treatment programs, purchase of updated equipment, and retention and creation of criminal justice-related jobs in areas such as drug courts, correctional facilities, community crime prevention, and crime victim and witness programs.
"By addressing states' economic challenges while simultaneously meeting the their 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 state and local governments 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.