The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that its Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), part of the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), had awarded nearly $187 million to support public safety and community justice activities.
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) were provided to state, local and tribal organizations in 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.
“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,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “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 JAG program is a leading source of federal justice funding for state and local jurisdictions, providing support to law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, courts and corrections and community corrections agencies. The funding supports crime prevention and education initiatives, as well as drug treatment and enforcement activities, criminal justice planning and evaluation, technology improvements, victim and witness initiatives and mental health programs.
“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.”
The awards ranged from large grants for big cities like $2.255 million for the city of Los Angeles to smaller grants like $10,651 for Williamsburg County in South Carolina. Funding is allocated based on each state’s share of violent crime and population, as well as each local organization’s share of violent crime within that state.