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The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI) - A Holistic Approach to Reducing Crime

What do art murals, childcare at community meetings, and improved landscaping have to do with a criminal justice grant? Everything if the funding happens to come from the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program. The basic premise is that crime does not exist in a vacuum, so a holistic perspective is needed for improvement to take place. This approach often makes sense to us when it comes to our own personal health. Most of us accept that healing is not about simply taking a pill for a specific symptom, but broader factors like social support, stress reduction and nutrition can help enhance our immune system so medical treatment can work better. Likewise, crime reduction is much more effective if it is addressed in a community context rather than as a series of isolated incidents. Our social fabric can be strengthened in ways that makes it more resistant to crime.

 

The 2016 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)

Edward "Eddie" Byrne was a second-generation New York City police officer who was killed in the line of duty by drug dealers in 1988. He was only 22 years old. The cornerstone grant that the Department of Justice (DoJ) makes available to state and local governments bears his name as one way to honor his memory. Often referred to as the JAG grant, the purpose of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program is to help prevent and reduce violent crime.

K9 Cops to Dog Parks: Finding Funding for Fido

We already shared one article about grants for pets that municipalities are eligible to apply for. In honor of the dog days of summer, we fetched three more important canine-related grants that will make local governments perk up their ears for details:

Grants to Address Trafficking Within the Child Welfare Population

A blue heart is the symbol to raise awareness of human trafficking. Disturbing in any circumstance, it is even more so when children are involved. While exact domestic statistics are hard to come by, child trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. Activities vary from participation in the drug and sex industries to forced involvement in begging, magazine sales, agriculture, domestic servitude or other coerced labor. Young people  who have experienced family trauma and abuse are especially vulnerable. Predators exploit their emotional fragility and find them through social media, at malls, bus depots, they even use other children to recruit them on school grounds.

The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program

There is an agency within the Department of Justice whose website includes photos of police men and women story telling to school kids, holding the hands of seniors, and lending an ear to those in need. Rapport between officers and civilians is at the heart of the concept of community policing.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) does just what its name suggests, promotes the principles of community policing by providing resources for law enforcement agencies throughout the country to help build mutual trust and respect in the neighborhoods they serve. It shifts the focus from exclusively responding to crimes after they occur, to proactive collaboration with community members to discourage criminal activity from happening in the first place.

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

Along with the $9 million the U.S Department of Justice is making available through the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) comes a major paradigm shift in the intersection between criminal justice and mental health. Every year 2 million people with mental illness find themselves in jail. That number far surpasses those in mental hospitals. This situation is unfortunate for everyone involved. Individuals are not getting the treatment they need and counties are faced with an ever increasing price tag for their incarceration. Inmates with mental illness cost more to treat, have longer stays, and contribute to a higher recidivism rate than the rest of the population.

OJJDP Anti-Gang Grant Programs

It takes a village/community to coordinate prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry programs to reduce and control gang-related crime and violence. Grant applications for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Comprehensive Anti-Gang Strategies and Programs are due May 23, 2016. The purpose of this grant is to implement anti-gang programs in the following areas:

 

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