According to a recently published press release, the Department of Justice has announced on August 10th that it would invest more than $2.4 million in anti-crime programs and community projects in and throughout Utah and in the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. The funds are being provided by the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program (or JAG). The funds will also be used to support state programs that help prevent and control crime and improve the state’s criminal justice system.
The JAG system allows states, tribes, and local governments support criminal justice programs based on local needs and priorities. The funds can go to a variety of programs, including but not limited to training, equipment, personnel, information systems, and more. The funds could also go to prosecution and court programs, corrections programs, drug and alcohol treatment programs, police and additional law enforcement projects, and technology improvement programs.
Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield said, “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.”
Utah is not the only state benefiting from the JAG program. In fact, JAG will donate more than $300 million this year to U.S. states and territories. More funding will go to local governments to help with their crime fighting.
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 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.