(The Center Square) – The U.S. Department of Justice awarded 41 Kansas-based organizations with grants totaling $41.2 million to promote public safety, it announced.
The Office of Justice Programs provided these grants to help “build community capacity to curb violence, serve victims and youth, and achieve fair outcomes through evidence-based criminal and juvenile justice strategies,” according to the release.
The Executive Office of the State of Kansas was the biggest grant recipient. It received a $12.04 million grant for its Victims of Crime Act assistance fund.
“This applicant will provide funds from the Crime Victims Fund to enhance crime victim services in the State,” the Justice Department explained in its grant database. “Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) assistance funds are typically competitively awarded by the State to local community-based organizations that provide direct services to crime victims.”
The state’s Health and Environment Department got the next-biggest grant. It was awarded $3.01 million for its All Hands on DECK project.
“All Hands on DECK is a project designed to prevent and mitigate adverse childhood experiences, specifically targeting drug endangered children (DEC), who are those found in environments where illegal drugs are manufactured, sold, distributed, used or where there is other significant evidence of illegal drugs,” the Bureau of Justice Assistance website explains.
The program funds public safety, harm reduction, and treatment and recovery services in the state.
The state’s executive office also got the third-biggest grant. It got $2.8 million from the National Criminal History Improvement Program.
“The Kansas Judicial Branch will use funds to partially support the development of a statewide centralized supervision module,” the Bureau of Justice Statistics website said. “This software works in connection with the case management software currently in the implementation phase for Kansas courts state-wide. Customizing this software and migrating to a cloud-based hosting solution would allow enhanced quality and timeliness of dispositions and case outcomes and improve the convenience and efficiency of transmission of data to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for further transmission to other state and federal law enforcement agencies.”
Plus, the Executive Office got a $2.7 million grant to administer the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program and $2.41 million from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.
“The Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (Byrne SCIP) provides formula funds to implement state crisis intervention court proceedings and related programs or initiatives, including, but not limited to, extreme risk protection order programs that work to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others, mental health courts, drug courts, and veterans treatment courts,” a description of the program from the Bureau of Justice Assistance said.
Here is what the Bureau of Justice Assistance said of the latter program:
“The JAG Program provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, crime victim and witness initiatives, mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs, including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams, and implementation of state crisis intervention court proceedings and related programs or initiatives including, but not limited to, mental health courts, drug courts, veterans courts, and extreme risk protection order programs,” the description on the Bureau’s website said.
The U.S. Department of Justice thinks the wide variety of programs it provided funding to exemplifies its public safety.
“Everyone in this country deserves to be safe in their communities,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in the release announcing the grants. “That is why, in addition to continuing our efforts to identify and prosecute the most violent criminals, the Justice Department is putting every available resource to work to support the efforts of our law enforcement and community partners nationwide. This significant investment will go directly to state and local programs that support the victims of crime, support officer safety, and wellness, build the public trust in law enforcement essential to public safety, and help make all of our communities safer.”