According to a recently published press release, the Department of Justice has announced that it will granting more than $3 million to the Mississippi Division of Public Safety Planning to fight crime in the state. The funds will be provided by the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (or JAG) Program. It will be used by the state of Mississippi to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system.
The JAG program allows states, counties, local governments, and tribes to receive money based on needs and priorities. With the money, states can fight crime and improve their justice systems. JAG funds can be used for equipment, training, information distribution, personnel and more. The funds can also be used for separate programs, including prosecution and court programs, technology improvement programs, corrections programs, and drug treatment programs all over the state.
“These funds will provide state and local governments with the resources they need to partner with the Justice Department in combating crime and protecting communities,” Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield said.
This year alone, the JAG program will distribute more than $300 million to U.S. states and territories to make streets, communities, and neighborhoods safer and hopefully more crime-free. On top of the $300 million, more money will be given from the JAG program to other local governments based on their needs and priorities when it comes to crime rates and preventing violence.
JAG program awards are determined by a formula that includes a minimum amount of money to each state. Additions to the funds are based on the state’s population, crime statistics, and current law enforcement and state budget anti-crime funding. JAG requires that states distribute the money to local governments as well, including cities, counties, townships, towns, or even tribes if the state still has Native American groups. Faith-based and other community programs and organizations can receive additional funding.
The JAG funds were first available to states back in 2005. According to the press release, “JAG combines the previous Byrne Formula and Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Programs to provide agencies with a single grant program that simplifies the administrative process and encourages states and communities to spend funds where they are most needed. JAG requires fewer fiscal and programmatic reports, saving state administering agencies and local programs valuable staff time and resources.”
More information can be found by visiting the Department of Justice’s web site here: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield, 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 Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending,Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office.