POTEAU–District Attorney Jeff Smith, on behalf of the District 16 District Attorney’s Office, joined almost 1,000 other national, state and local organizations in signing a letter that expresses support for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program. The letter was signed by organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia representing a broad cross-section of the nation’s criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Addressed to President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders, the letter emphasizes the important role Byrne JAG funding plays in keeping our citizens safe, preventing crime and victimization, and providing services to individuals in the justice system so when they return to their communities they are better equipped with the tools and skills they need to build a productive life.
Byrne JAG is a cornerstone federal crime-fighting programsupporting the federal government’s crucial role in spurring innovation, as well as testing and replicating evidence-based practices nationwide. Byrne JAG touches nearly every city and town in America. States and local communities use Byrne JAG funding to address needs and fill gaps across their entire criminal and juvenile justice systems – in prevention, enforcement, courts, prosecution, indigent defense, corrections, crisis intervention and behavioral health services for justice involved persons, victim assistance, and other community-based services. This flexibility also means that Byrne JAG can be leveraged with other dollars to knit together comprehensive programs that would not otherwise be possible.
Spearheaded by the National Criminal Justice Association, the letter reminds leaders that continued reductions to Byrne JAG funding come at a significant cost, as many proven programs and new innovations to protect victims, prevent crime, and reduce recidivism are being curbed or eliminated entirely.
Smith said, “The JAG Grant remains vital to operating and sustaining the District 16 Drug and Violet Crimes Task Force. Without these critical Federal funds, the DVCTF would cease to exist in District 16 and that would severely impact our ability to serve and protect the citizens of LeFlore and Latimer Counties. I would strongly encourage every citizen to contact their Senators and Congressmen and support the continued funding of the JAG program.”
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