January 25, 2022

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Justice Department Awards $144 Million to Improve Services for Crime Victims

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<div>The Department of Justice today awarded grants totaling over $144 million to enhance services for victims of crime across the United States.</div>

The Department of Justice today awarded grants totaling over $144 million to enhance services for victims of crime across the United States.

“The Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to protecting public safety and bringing justice to those who have been victimized,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The investments we are making today will support service providers as they work to secure the legal rights of victims and put survivors of criminal acts on the road to recovery.”

All grant money being awarded today comes from offices within the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Approximately $64.3 million was awarded under Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) grant programs; over $54.1 million was awarded under Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) programs; over $19.9 million was awarded under Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) grant programs; and nearly $5.7 million was awarded under two National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant programs.

“As lockdowns and lawlessness fuel crime in America’s homes and communities, more people are vulnerable to victimization and those who have been victimized face new hurdles,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “The Office of Justice Programs is committed to giving our victim service partners the tools they need to better serve their clients and protect victims’ rights.”

Grants awarded under FY 2020 OVC programs further the department’s mission to enhance the field’s response to victims of crime. Specific programs are:

  • The Emergency and Transitional Shelter and Housing Assistance for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims and their Companion Animals Grant program gives over $2.2 million to six organizations for shelter and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking and their companion animals.
     
  • The Improving Community Preparedness to Assist Victims of Mass Violence or Domestic Terrorism: Training and Technical Assistance Project awards nearly $3 million to provide individualized training and technical assistance to state, local and tribal law enforcement; units of government; emergency managers; victim service providers; and other stakeholders to help augment their community emergency management response plans to ensure that the needs of victims, families and first responders are addressed after incidents of criminal mass violence or domestic terrorism.
     
  • The Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime program gives over $6.2 million to five organizations to support projects that demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand or enhance the use of technology to interact directly with crime victims and to provide information, referrals, crisis assistance and long-term help.
     
  • The Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting program gives nearly $1.8 million to six recipients to address communities’ responses to victims of female genital mutilation and over $1 million to one organization to provide targeted technical assistance to inform front-line providers on how to identify and serve victims and persons at-risk of being victimized.
     
  • The Targeted Training and Technical Assistance for VOCA Victim Assistance and Compensation Administrators program awards nearly $5 million specifically to provide peer-to-peer training on federal grants management and administration for Victims of Crime Act victim assistance grantees and subgrantees.
     
  • The Crime Victims’ Rights Legal Clinics program gives nearly $4 million to four recipients to enforce crime victims’ rights at the federal level under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and at the state, local or tribal level under substantially similar state, local, or tribal laws. Another $1 million is awarded to a training and technical assistance provider to support the clinics as they launch or expand their crime victims’ rights clinics and train allied professionals.
     
  • The Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist program gives over $8.6 million to 22 recipients to develop or enhance crime victim specialist programs within law enforcement agencies to better support victims through the criminal justice process, and another $2 million to one organization to support training and technical assistance for the grantees.
     
  • The Crime Victim Compensation Program Assessment program gives nearly $2.4 million to seven recipients to help selected states assess victims’ access to compensation programs with the goal of increasing the number of victims aware of this resource.
     
  • The State Victim Liaison Project gives over $4.7 million to 10 organizations to place one or more experienced crime victim liaisons within selected VOCA State Administrating Agencies to act as a bridge between the state and other state-based nongovernmental organizations in order to identify gaps in victim services and improve access to resources for crime victims in rural/tribal areas, older victims of crime and victims of violent crime.
     
  • The Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims program awards nearly $2 million to provide training and technical assistance to enhance law enforcement’s ability to identify elder fraud victims, connect those victims with available services, and bring the fraudsters to justice.
     
  • The Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation program awards nearly $6 million to 12 organizations to support communities in providing services to older victims of abuse and exploitation using trauma-informed approaches that protect the safety and confidentiality of victims.
     
  • The Enhancing Community Responses to America’s Drug Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims program gives over $12 million to 17 organizations to support direct services to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the nation’s addiction crisis; and nearly $1.5 million to one organization to support training and technical assistance for the direct services grantees. In addition, OVC will award $250,000 in continuation funding to the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma to provide services to Tribal children and youth who are victimized as the result of the opioid crisis.
     
  • The National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Community Awareness Program gives $300,000 to an eligible organization to continue supporting public awareness, community outreach, and education activities for crime victims’ rights and services during NCVRW in April 2021.

Grants awarded under FY 2020 OJJDP programs further the department’s mission of supporting the effective investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases.

  • Under the Victims of Child Abuse Act Support for Children’s Advocacy Centers program, OJJDP awarded more than $18.3 million in continuation funding to the National Children’s Alliance in Washington D.C. This program will provide support to Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) through three funding categories: subgrants to local CACs, state chapters and multidisciplinary teams ($15.3 million); subgrants to provide services for victims of child pornography ($2 million); and efforts to help military installations address cases of child abuse, including subgrants to local CACs ($1 million).
     
  • OJJDP also awarded $5 million in continuation funding to four organizations via the VOCA Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. This program supports regional centers, one situated within each of the four U.S. Census regions, that help to build and establish multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), local programs, and state chapter organizations that respond to child abuse and neglect; and deliver training and technical assistance that strengthen existing MDTs, local CACs and state chapter organizations.
     
  • Through the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCA) Training and Technical Assistance for Child Abuse Professionals program, OJJDP awarded $2.5 million to the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Alabama. This program promotes improved child interview techniques, thorough investigative methods, interagency coordination and effective presentation of evidence in court. The program will provide training and technical assistance to establish coordinated multidisciplinary programs that address child maltreatment.
     
  • OJJDP awarded more than $10.8 million in continuation funding to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association in Washington under the Court Appointed Special Advocates Membership, Accreditation, and Subgrants Program and Training and Technical Assistance. This program aims to serve and improve outcomes for children in the dependency system; provide effective advocacy for abused and neglected children, including foster care youth; and build on the training and technical assistance program that OJJDP has developed in collaboration with the National CASA Association.
     
  • OJJDP awarded more than $3.1 million to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Nevada under the Child Abuse Training for Judicial and Court Personnel program to improve juvenile justice and dependency systems’ response to child abuse and neglect, as well as child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. This program provides judicial, legal and social service professionals with training and technical assistance to improve their understanding of child abuse; their ability to prevent placement in foster care when possible; and their ability to reunify families after foster care placement.
     
  • OJJDP awarded more than $7.2 million to the National Children’s Alliance to support the American Indian and Alaska Native Subgrant Program. This program will support the expansion of new satellite CACs through the provision of subgrants to existing CACs in Alaska, and to tribes (or existing CACs serving tribes) interested in establishing a satellite CAC in the lower 48 states.
  • Another $4.8 million was awarded to eight organizations through the Alaska Children’s Advocacy Center Expansion Initiative for Child Abuse Victims to support programmatic enhancements for existing Alaska-based CACs to increase the range and quality of services as well as specific infrastructure needs.
     
  • Under the Training and Technical Assistance To Expand Children’s Advocacy Centers Serving American Indian/Alaska Native Communities program, OJJDP awarded $1 million to the University of Montana to improve the capacity of child abuse professionals and promote the effective delivery of the evidence-informed CACs model and the multidisciplinary response to child abuse across American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
     
  • OJJDP awarded $750,000 to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma via the Tribal Children’s Advocacy Center Expansion Initiative for Child Abuse Victims program to improve the capacity of child abuse professionals and promote the effective delivery of the evidence-informed CAC model and the multidisciplinary response to child abuse in tribal communities.
  • OJJDP awarded $500,000 to the Alaska Children’s Alliance (State Chapter) to enhance and expand the coordinated multidisciplinary investigation and prosecution of child abuse in Alaska through targeted training and technical assistance.

Grants awarded under FY 2020 SMART programs further the department’s mission of keeping communities safe by promoting innovation and best practices in preventing and protecting the public from sexual violence. Specific programs: 

  • The National Sex Offender Public Website program awards over $900,000 for continued Maintenance and Operation of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website program.
     
  • The Keep Young Athletes Safe program awards over $2.2 million to support the ongoing implementation of prevention measures to safeguard amateur athletes from sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the athletic programs of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, each national governing body and each Paralympic sports organization.
     
  • The Adam Walsh Act program awards over $16.7 million to 61 recipients to help jurisdictions develop and enhance programs designed to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States. Almost $800,000 is being awarded to provide training and technical assistance to jurisdictions implementing SORNA standards.

Grants awarded under FY 2020 NIJ programs aim to evaluate and fund research projects related to perpetrators and victims of elder abuse. Specific programs:

  • The Research and Evaluation of Victims of Crime program gives over $4.2 million to six recipients to evaluate programs that provide services for victims of crime and research the financial costs of victimization.
     
  • The Research on the Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Elderly Individuals program awarded just under $1.5 million to two recipients to fund research projects to, respectively, better differentiate physical abuse of elderly individuals from accidental injury and to improve the reporting of elder abuse.

For a complete list of individual grant programs, amounts to be awarded and the jurisdictions that will receive funding, visit: https://www.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh241/files/media/document/ovcvictimsfactsheet.pdf.

In addition to the grants listed above, OJP awarded nearly $101 million in funding to combat human trafficking and provide vital services to trafficking victims throughout the United States. For a complete list of individual grant programs, award amounts and jurisdictions that will receive this funding, visit: https://www.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh241/files/media/document/ovchumantraffickingfactsheet.pdf.

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Other advanced techniques, such as magnetic or electrochemical separation, are showing promise in the laboratory with existing technology. For example, in one study, researchers used ultrasound to dissolve nickel and gold within a SIM card. They then used a magnetic field to separate the dissolved nickel, which is magnetic, from the gold, which is not. Similarly, other techniques use electric fields to separate dissolved metals based on their weight and electric charge. How mature is it? Recycling technology is well established for some traditional single-stream processes, such as aluminum recycling. However, electronic devices are more complex and require disassembly and separation. At least one consumer electronics manufacturer is piloting robotic disassembly for its products. Emerging separation technologies such as ultrasound have come to market in the past decade and are being used. Manual disassembly and shredding are decades old. Biometallurgy is being tested in pilot plants, and new microorganisms are being developed in laboratories to treat electronic waste. Opportunities Increase supply and reduce imports. Recycling could increase the domestic supply of precious and rare earth metals and reduce the current U.S. reliance on overseas sources. Grow the green economy. Developing advanced recycling technologies could promote domestic business and employment. Reduce hazardous practices. A significant amount of recycling currently occurs in the developing world, where methods include open-pit burning. New technology could reduce the use of such methods, which are hazardous to the environment and human health. Lessen environmental impacts. Developing advanced recycling technologies could reduce the environmental impacts of raw ore mining and landfill disposal of hazardous materials such as lead and brominated materials. Challenges Market challenges. Markets for recovered materials may be limited, and the value of recovered materials may not be enough to cover the costs of equipment for collection, sorting, disassembly, and separation. Secure destruction of personal information. Many electronic devices contain PII. Shredding them may effectively destroy PII but may also make high-value material harder to recover. Counterfeit electronic parts. Exported used electronics may serve as a source of counterfeit electronic parts, which, as GAO previously reported, could disrupt parts of the Department of Defense supply chain and threaten the reliability of weapons systems. (See GAO-16-236, linked below.) Rapid technological development. As consumer electronics made with new materials get smaller, new technologies for separation may be needed to recycle valuable materials. Policy Context and Questions With the volume of electronic waste expected to grow, questions include: How can programs to support technological innovation, economic development, and advanced manufacturing be leveraged to promote a more robust domestic electronics recycling industry? What efforts can the federal government, states, and others make to incentivize recycling rather than disposal? What are the potential benefits and challenges of such policies? What strategies can the public and private sectors implement to address the risk that exports of used electronics will contribute to unsafe recycling practices, disclosure of PII, and counterfeit electronics? How can reductions in exports bolster job growth? For more information, contact Karen Howard at (202) 512-6888 or HowardK@gao.gov.
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