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Letter to The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski, Chairwoman and The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski
Chairwoman
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
142 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
125 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Hutchison:

Thank you for your leadership over the years in providing strong federal support for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program. Byrne JAG is considered the cornerstone federal crime-fighting program because it supports the federal government's crucial role in spurring innovation, as well as testing and replicating evidence-based practices nationwide. This year, given the significant financial constraints the federal government faces, as you prepare the Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, we ask that you continue this support by providing funding for this critical program that is the leading source of federal justice assistance to state and local jurisdictions.

One of the keys to the Byrne JAG program's continuing success is its flexibility: federal dollars can be used in a wide variety of capacities at the local level in the way most appropriate to address local community needs across the criminal justice spectrum, and allows localities to balance resources and react to urgent challenges or changing circumstances.

Byrne JAG funds are used for law enforcement, prosecution and courts, prevention, drug treatment and enforcement, gang prevention, planning, evaluation, training, technology, and crime and victim witness programs. Guided by statewide strategic planning, Byrne JAG funds are able to test and measure innovative methods for reducing crime, preventing juvenile delinquency, and reducing recidivism, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars.

Sixty percent of Byrne JAG funds are provided to the states to pass through for innovative programming in local communities. The remaining forty percent is provided to local communities directly. In Fiscal Year 2010, over 1,500 local jurisdictions across the country were awarded direct grants, and many more were awarded funds passed through by the state criminal justice planning agencies. These funds are helping to alleviate funding shortfalls and allowing continued emphasis on drug and gang violence, recidivism reduction, drug treatment and enforcement, corrections, prosecution and court programs, and prevention and education.

As you move forward in deliberations over this funding, we ask that you continue Congress' commitment to supporting local efforts to address crime and prevention. We appreciate your recognition of the importance of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, and thank you for continuing to provide funding to states and communities around the country.

Sincerely,

Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator

Tom Harkin
United States Senator

Patrick Leahy
United States Senator

John F. Kerry
United States Senator

Daniel K. Akaka
United States Senator

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

Carl Levin
United States Senator

Ron Wyden
United States Senator

Al Franken
United States Senator

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Dick Durbin
United States Senator

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Olympia Snowe
United States Senator

Robert P. Casey Jr.
United States Senator

Herb Kohl
United States Senator

Christopher Coons
United States Senator

Max Baucus
United States Senator

Jeff Bingaman
United States Senator

Tom Udall
United States Senator

Frank R. Lautenberg
United States Senator

Mary Landrieu
United States Senator

Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

Barabara Boxer
United States Senator

Jack Reed
United States Senator

Jim Webb
United States Senator

Susan M. Collins
United States Senator

Jon Tester
United States Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senator

John D. Rockefeller IV
United States Senator

Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

James M. Inhofe
United States Senator

Jeff Merkley
United States Senator

Kay Hagan
United States Senator

Kent Conrad
United States Senator

Mark Begich
United States Senator

Robert Menendez
United States Senator


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