Governor Northam announces $77.13 million in grants to support local, state criminal justice programs

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Governor Ralph Northam today announced the award of $77.13 million in grant funds to 267 localities, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies throughout Virginia to support law enforcement agencies, victims services, child abuse and neglect programs, pretrial and local probation, and delinquency prevention programs.

The grants were approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) at its May 9 meeting in Richmond.

Eighty-five victim-serving organizations were awarded $35.75 million in federal funding allocated to Virginia through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victims Services Grant Program to support the delivery of direct services to victims of crime. The recipient organizations will be able to both maintain and expand their current services to crime victims.

“Keeping our Commonwealth safe requires engaging a wide range of stakeholders to respond to local needs and address the most pressing challenges in our communities,”said Governor Northam. “With this funding, we will continue to support programs that provide essential services that would not otherwise be available, as well as extend the reach of critical mental health treatment, reentry support, and legal aid.”

Local pretrial services and probation agencies received $24.87 million in Comprehensive Community Corrections Act and Pretrial Services Act funding. These General Fund grants support pretrial investigations, pretrial supervision, and local probation programs. Additionally, $2.25 million in General Fund grants were awarded to local reentry programs that help prepare inmates for release and provide after release resources.

“In addition to providing relief to victims of crime, it is fitting that this funding will support probation services for people who are returning to the community. May is Second Chance Month here in the Commonwealth, and we are dedicated to improving outcomes and reducing recidivism rates for the reentering population,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “In order to ensure former inmates successfully become productive members of society, we want them to succeed, and that means providing services, such as mental health treatment.”

Six local and regional jails received $2.38 million in General Fund grants to continue jail-based mental health pilot programs. This funding supports a continuum of behavioral health services, including treatment and case management for current inmates and former offenders who have been released to the community with identified mental health needs. Four additional jails received $338,341 in federal Resident Substance Abuse Treatment grants to provide Medication-Assisted Treatment services in jails and prisons for substance use disorders.

“Each year I’m encouraged by the increased investment by the Governor, the General Assembly and the federal government in improving the criminal justice system,” said DCJS Director Shannon Dion. “These funds have a significant impact on the lives of those impacted by the criminal justice system.”

DCJS administers nearly 1,000 grants annually totaling more than $221.6 million. 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.

More information about the grants approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board is available on the DCJS website.

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