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U.S. Dept. of Justice awards $2.8M to promote public safety in P.R.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced it has awarded more than $376 million in grant funding to enhance state, local, and tribal law enforcement operations and reinforce public safety efforts in jurisdictions across the United States.

Of that amount, $2.7 million will support public safety activities in the District of Puerto Rico. The awards were made by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs.

“Crime and violence hold families, friends, and neighborhoods hostage, and they rip communities apart,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan.

“These programs help restore the health and safety of crime-ravaged communities by supporting prevention activities, aiding in the apprehension and prosecution of perpetrators, facilitating appropriate sentencing and adjudication, and providing communities and their residents the means for recovery and healing,” she said.

The awards announced today support an array of crime-fighting initiatives, including the $250 billion Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants Program, which funds public safety efforts in 929 state, local and tribal jurisdictions.

Funding also supports sex offender registration and notification, law enforcement-based victim services, the testing of sexual assault kits, and programs designed to address youth with sexual behavioral problems. Other awards will focus on wrongful convictions, intellectual property enforcement, innovative prosecution strategies and the safety and effectiveness of corrections systems.

“Supporting law enforcement at every level goes to the heart of the mission of the U.S. Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. “These grants provide much needed resources and funding to law enforcement agencies as they work to protect our communities from violence, drug trafficking and any others who threaten our safety and security. I would like to encourage more state and local entities to request federal grants to the Department of Justice to continue supporting all the efforts to fight against crime.”

The following awards were made to organizations Puerto Rico:
Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program awarded $2.1 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Justice. The program supports a broad range of state and local criminal justice initiatives and reduces existing gaps in service that impact violent crime, crime victims, enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention, and rehabilitation. Awards are made through separate solicitations for local and tribal jurisdictions and for states.

BJA Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions Program- Wrongful Conviction Review Entity-Led Strategy awarded $274,819 to the University of Puerto Rico Law School. This program supports state and local policymakers, practitioners, and entities that represent individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review wrongful conviction claims cases and enact measures to prevent future errors and ensure justice.

SMART Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program awarded $399,840 to the Puerto Rico Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. The program provides funding to states, jurisdictions, U.S. territories and tribal communities to be used to help meet the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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