Northam announces awarding of $95M-plus in grants

Published 5:57 am Friday, May 22, 2020

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Funds will be dedicated to state, local criminal justice programs


Gov. Ralph Northam announced the award of more than $95 million in federal grant funding to 229 localities, nonprofit organization, and state agencies throughout Virginia to support state and local criminal justice programs. The Criminal Justice Services Board of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services approved these grants during its May 21 virtual meeting. This information comes from a statement made by the Office of the Governor.

Among the local recipients are: the school resource officer/school security officer grant program of the Franklin Police Department, Southampton County Sheriff’s Office and local administration; and the victim witness programs of commonwealth attorney in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties.

According to the press release, this funding will help support behavioral health programs for those who are currently incarcerated and are preparing to return to their communities. Comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder treatment is vitally important for the justice-involved population, which is disproportionately likely to be impacted by these issues. In addition, these programs will support victim services, child advocacy programs, as well as pre-trial and post incarceration services.

Protecting the health and safety of Virginians has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Northam. “These grants will help sustain the operation of critical public safety services and law enforcement agencies, and ensure that criminal justice programs can continue to deliver essential support that meets the needs of our communities.”

The 374 grants fund over 2,460 positions in the Commonwealth and provide operational funding for many criminal justice programs, including the Critical Incident Stress Management, Comprehensive Community Corrections Act and Pretrial Services Act, the Pre and Post Incarceration Services Program, the Jail Mental Health Pilot Program, the Addiction Recovery Grant Program, the Resident Substance Abuse Treatment, the School Resource Officer Incentive Grant Program, the Victims Services Grant Program, the School-Based Victim Services Grant Program, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Title II Formula Grants Program, the Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program, and Child Advocacy Center and Child Treatment grants.

These diverse stakeholders each play a vital role in the criminal justice system,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “These grants provide important resources to ensure programs can effectively carry out their mission and help individuals throughout the whole process, from prevention to reentry.”

I am incredibly grateful that the Board was able to approve this funding so that it can be dispersed on its usual schedule despite the very unusual circumstances we are all operating under,” said DCJS Director Shannon Dion. “Both the Board and the staff at DCJS pivoted seamlessly and worked diligently to make this possible.”

DCJS administered nearly 900 grants in Fiscal Year 2020 totaling more than $71 million in federal funds, $36 million in general funds, and $11.5 million in special funds. The grants support programs and initiatives across the criminal justice system and related agencies in Virginia. In addition to providing funding, DCJS also administers law enforcement training standards, conducts research and evaluations, provides technical assistance, offers training for criminal justice practitioners, and provides regulatory oversight to private security and related businesses.