Gov. Ralph Northam on May 21 announced the award of more than $95 million in grants for state and local criminal justice programs, including more than $1 million for the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, $828,195 for county government agencies, and $129,759 for SCAN of Northern Virginia, which provides court-appointed special advocates.
They were among 229 localities, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies throughout Virginia to receive federal funding after the Criminal Justice Services Board of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services approved those grants Thursday. The grants came from federal funding administered by the state.
Grants to the county government will go to the Sheriff’s Office, Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and Department of Community Corrections.
“Protecting the health and safety of Virginians has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic,”Northam stated. “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.”
Across the state, the money will support behavioral health programs for people who are incarcerated and preparing for release, victim services, child advocacy programs, as well as pre-trial and post incarceration services.
According to the governor’s office, the 374 grants announced Thursday fund over 2,460 positions in the commonwealth.
“These diverse stakeholders each play a vital role in the criminal justice system,”stated 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,”stated Department of Criminal Justice Services Director Shannon Dion. “Both the Board and the staff at DCJS pivoted seamlessly and worked diligently to make this possible.”
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. 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.