Historic DOJ Public Safety Investments for Alaska Praised by Alaska Delegation
DOJ Announces Various Public Safety Grants for Tribes
Published & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN
October 23, 2019
Attorney General Barr made the announcement during a teleconference address on October 18th to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Fairbanks. The total amount of Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation awards to Alaska tribes was over $20 million in addition to millions more awarded from the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program Awards ($167.2 million nationwide).
Various grants are being awarded directly to Alaska Native tribes and tribal designees through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation – which streamlines the application process and increases access to various public safety focused grants for tribes – and the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program – which assists tribes to implement and improve services for victims of crime.
“Violent crime and domestic abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native communities remain at unacceptably high levels, and they demand a response that is both clear and comprehensive,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “We will continue to work closely with our tribal partners to guarantee they have the resources they need to curb violence and bring healing to the victims most profoundly affected by it.”
“In the case of rural public safety, good governance requires cooperation, trust, resources, and determination. It’s encouraging to know we are seeing more of that each and every day,” said Senator Murkowski. “Thank you to Attorney General Barr for reinforcing his commitment and follow-through to the public safety crisis in rural Alaska. These investments announced today demonstrate the tremendous value in hearing from Alaskans firsthand and seeing conditions on the ground to truly recognize the severity of the crisis. I thank the administration for their continued partnership and collaboration. We’ve been given a substantial boost to addressing the crisis, and I look forward to continuing this significant work.”
“We are extremely grateful to Attorney General Barr for coming to Alaska - for listening and learning and for taking very significant concrete and decisive action,” said Senator Sullivan. “We have a public safety crisis in our state. Communities throughout Alaska have been pleading for help. At long last, the federal government is recognizing its responsibility to help keep us safe by taking this historic action. These funds will go far to bolster the public safety presence in rural communities across the state – and help realize the goal of a trained law enforcement presence in every community - the same basic protections that communities in the Lower 48 enjoy.”
“Alaskans know that our state’s vast geography presents unique challenges, especially for law enforcement in our rural Native villages. Horrifying stories of homicide, sexual assault, and other violent crimes continue to make headlines, so it is critical that we are doing all that we can to bring perpetrators to justice,” said Congressman Young. “Attorney General William Barr has been a strong partner for Alaska as we work to turn the tide against crime and create safer, stronger communities. This funding from the Department of Justice will be critical in protecting families in our Native communities and ensuring children can grow up in neighborhoods that are safe and secure. I am proud to stand with Senators Murkowski and Sullivan as we continue working together to protect our state’s most vulnerable. Alaskans have my commitment that I will keep working with both our Delegation and the Administration to ensure that our rural areas have the tools and resources they need to keep Alaskans safe.”
The Department of Justice also announced on October 18th in a news release, that it had awarded over $273.4 million in grants nationwide to improve public safety, serve victims of crime, combat violence against women and support youth programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
Two-hundred and thirty six grants were awarded to 149 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and other tribal designees through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation , a streamlined application for tribal-specific grant programs. Of the $118 million awarded via CTAS, just over $62.6 million comes from the Office of Justice Programs, about $33.1 million from the Office on Violence Against Women and more than $23.2 million from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. A portion of the funding will support tribal youth mentoring and intervention services, help native communities implement requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, and provide training and technical assistance to tribal communities. Another $5.5 million was funded by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide training and technical assistance to CTAS awardees.
President Trump is the first President to sign a proclamation recognizing acts of violence committed against American Indian and Alaska Native people, particularly women and children.
The Department also announced awards and other programming totaling $167.2 million in a set-aside program to serve victims of crime. The awards are intended to help tribes develop, expand and improve services to victims by supporting programming and technical assistance. About $25.6 million of these awards were awarded under CTAS and are included in the $118 million detailed above.
CTAS funding helps tribes develop and strengthen their justice systems’ response to crime, while expanding services to meet their communities’ public safety needs. The awards cover 10 purpose areas: public safety and community policing; justice systems planning; alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; children’s justice act partnerships; services for victims of crime; violence against women; juvenile justice; violent crime reduction; and tribal youth programs.
The Department also provided $6.1 million to help tribes to comply with federal law on sex offender registration and notification, $1.7 million in separate funding to assist tribal youth and nearly $500,000 to support tribal research on missing and murdered indigenous women and children and other public safety-related topics.
The October awards announcement is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
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