Wednesday, May 20, 2009
$72 million in Recovery Act funds have been allocated to Pennsylvania to help prevent crime and shore up the criminal justice system. The funds from the US Department of Justice will be given to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. (JAG) Last year the JAG program handed out $170 million nation wide, this year the program has grown to $4 billion thanks to the additional recovery act funds. 60% of the funds will stay with the commission and the rest will be awarded to local agencies. The funds can be used for a wide range of programs including weed and seed, juvenile reporting centers, community supervision programs and specialized courts. Commission spokesperson Tara Mead says the expectation is that the funds will be used to help save programs that would have otherwise fallen to the budget ax in the tight budgets being crafted at then state and local level. Mead says the goal is to get the funds distributed as soon as possible to keep those systems working.