Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced $83.3 million in grants to provide support – in some cases the only support – for essential programs and services across the criminal justice system, related agencies, and organizations in every corner of the Commonwealth.
The grants will be given to localities, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies to fund programs for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The funding will come from state appropriations and special funds, as well as from federal funds allocated to Virginia for justice system improvements.
“These grants will provide critical resources to strengthen our criminal justice system’s ability to keep our communities and schools safe,” said Governor McAuliffe, “Specifically, the funds will help communities respond effectively to crimes against women, help our juvenile justice system prevent delinquency, and provide treatment and advocacy for abused or neglected children. We’ve worked hard to make sure this funding reaches neighborhoods and communities all across the Commonwealth. I commend the Criminal Justice Services Board and the Department of Criminal Justice Services for their dedication to keeping our Commonwealth safe.”
The $83.3 million in grants will fund:
· 58 domestic violence and sexual assault shelters covering all corners of the Commonwealth are receiving awards ranging from $47,000 to $900,000;
· 56 law enforcement agencies are receiving funding to improve public safety. Thirty-seven local probation programs will receive funding to bolster pretrial and offender services;
· 27 special advocate programs for abused and neglected children will receive $3.3 million;
· $1.9 million is allocated for localities to support school resource and school security programs in elementary, middle and high schools; and,
· More than 100 Commonwealth’s Attorneys Offices will receive funding to support domestic violence and victim/witness programs.
“These grants are a direct result of the constructive feedback and dialogue we heard from stakeholder meetings and listening sessions we held across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “My team and I look forward to working with all of the grant recipients as we pursue data-driven and evidence-based efforts in all areas of our criminal justice system.”
Francine Ecker, Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), which administers these grants, added, “We are very fortunate that the General Assembly has provided substantial state funding for many of these grants. We are able to combine the state funds with available federal dollars to maximize the impact of these investments in our grant programs.”
-Submitted by Brian Coy