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McAuliffe announces $6.5 million in grants to support crime victims in Virginia

terry mcauliffeGovernor Terry McAuliffe this week announced $6.5 million in federal grant funding to localities, nonprofit organizations and state agencies to provide support for essential programs and services in all aspects of Virginia’s criminal justice system.

This funding will help criminal justice agencies and other organizations protect their communities and schools, respond effectively to crimes against women, support critical services for victims of domestic crimes, and improve the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system.

“Keeping our communities safe is a key part of growing our new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These grants will reach neighborhoods and communities all across Virginia and will strengthen our criminal justice system’s ability to ensure the safety of all our citizens. I commend the Criminal Justice Services Board and the Department of Criminal Justice Services for their efforts to extend the reach of these dollars throughout the Commonwealth, and their continued commitment to the people of Virginia.”

The grants were approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board and will fund programs in 2018. The money for the grants will come from federal funds allocated to Virginia from the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. Recipients of some of the grants will be required to provide matching funds.

Today’s announcement also includes grants to support training and planning to enable agencies to respond, on a regional basis if needed, to public protests and demonstrations, and efforts to prevent radicalization and extremism. The Board’s action included approval of grants totaling nearly $700,000 for these purposes.

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran, also noted, “The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Services Board have done good work making sure the grant programs they administer are responsive to a wide variety of needs and issues confronting the criminal justice system. An important grant opportunity identified by the Board and DCJS this year is the planning and preparation for handling large scale public demonstrations. I’m very glad to see that agencies are taking advantage of this funding to upgrade prevention efforts and enhance their capabilities to respond effectively to these types of events in ways that will prevent the kind of violence we saw in Charlottesville.”

Secretary Moran chaired the Governor’s Task Force on Public Safety Preparedness and Response to Civil Unrest which was established in the wake of the violence that erupted during the “Unite The Right” demonstration in Charlottesville.  Funding for training and planning was cited as an important need by the Task Force in its recently issued report.

DCJS Director Francine Ecker added, “We are very fortunate to have access to federal grant funds we can make available to meet these and other needs to support new initiatives that might not otherwise be possible.”

The Services Board approved grants in these DCJS-administered programs:

Grant Use of Grant Funds Dollar Amount
38 grants in the federally funded Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) Provides continued support to rape crisis centers and other nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations that provide core services, direct intervention, and related assistance to victims of sexual assault $465,311
42 grants through the federally funded Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) Program Supports a variety of law enforcement and criminal justice system improvements, including response to civil unrest and violence prevention $1,743,513
96 grants of federal funds through the Violence Against Women Act (VSTOP) Program Supports improved investigation, apprehension and prosecution of persons committing violent crimes against women, and services for victims $4,208,166
4 grants using federal funds from the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Continue programs intended to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system $98,745

Applicants for all of the grants approved by the Board were required to submit grant applications describing their projects and provide budgets showing how the funds will be spent.  The applications were reviewed by DCJS staff and by a committee of the Board and were recommended to the Board by that committee.

DCJS administers nearly 1,000 grants annually totaling more than $250 million. They support programs and initiatives across the criminal justice system 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 Board on December 7 is available on the DCJS website, at

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