2009-07-08 / Front Page

29 M For Justice Programs

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, flanked by, among others, Congressmember Anthony Weiner (second from l.) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (r.), hails the $29 million in stimulus funds that will support criminal justice programs. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, flanked by, among others, Congressmember Anthony Weiner (second from l.) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (r.), hails the $29 million in stimulus funds that will support criminal justice programs. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, members of Congress and district attorneys from each of the five boroughs on June 30 announced that New York City would receive $29.1 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support criminal justice activities. The funding, from the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, will launch a new Financial Crime Task Force and create Project CleanUp, which will take greater advantage of community service sentences to address local quality of life concerns such as graffiti and litter. The funding will also support more than a dozen other established programs. Funding for the JAG program is distributed through a formula based on population and violent crime statistics. The mayor was joined by Congressmembers Charles Rangel, Jerrold Nadler and Anthony Weiner, District Attorneys Richard A. Brown of Queens County and Daniel Donovan of Richmond County, and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.

"These grants will preserve and create jobs, not only by retaining and creating jobs in our criminal justice agencies, but also by enhancing the public safety that's essential to economic growth," Bloomberg said. "Throughout our city, there are communities that not so many years ago were considered lost to criminal activity. We reclaimed those neighborhoods. They're now flourishing, with new homes and new businesses. These justice assistance grants will allow us to continue that momentum, carry out our fiveborough economic recovery plan, and hasten our recovery from the national recession."

"I am very pleased to join Mayor Bloomberg in announcing this $29.1 million in Justice Department stimulus funds for New York City," Nadler said. "During these days of economic difficulty and seemingly permanent budget shortfalls, these funds will be a great boost for New York's excellent law enforcement officials. Our police officers and district attorneys have done tremendously well in recent years preventing, combating and prosecuting crime in our city, and these funds will make their jobs that much easier. Likewise, $3.5 million of these funds will go to the Midtown and Red Hook Community Courts, which are located in my district and serve thousands of New Yorkers, promising to reduce rates of recidivism, improve local communities, and save the city money in the long term."

"These funds get the federal government back in the business of keeping our streets safe," Weiner said. "They will help all levels of law enforcement crackdown on violent offenders and provide a needed boost to the criminal justice system."

The Financial Crime Task Force will coordinate the efforts of the city agencies that currently investigate financial crimes to more effectively crack down on existing scams and make sure that new scams are discovered. In several

areas, city agencies seek to regulate businesses, but they are limited by the fact that no one agency is equipped to detect and respond to the entire scope of a fraud, and in some cases by gaps in the regulatory structure. The Financial Crime Task Force will coordinate the numerous city agencies that have a role in civil enforcement against businesses, ensure that financial crimes are investigated from all angles and channel relevant information to prosecutors.

Project CleanUp is a new effort to take greater advantage of community service sentences. Project CleanUp will put offenders arrested for minor offenses such as vandalism, shoplifting, and turnstile jumping to work repairing neighborhoods throughout New York City, assigning them more flexibly to emerging problem areas. The program will build on the city's record of success in community service and ensure that a crime is tied to its consequences; show New Yorkers that the justice system is responding to neighborhood problems; and ensure high compliance rates. Project CleanUp projects will be efforts to address neighborhood problems including painting over graffiti, sorting recyclables, sweeping streets, cleaning up local parks and taking care of blighted waterfront areas. It is estimated that Project CleanUp will supervise 70,000 community service hours for each of the next two years. Project CleanUp participants will be offered links to social services—drug treatment, job training and counseling.

Funding from the Justice Assistance Grant program will also support the following programs:

NYPD - $2.5 million for Police Communication Technicians, who operate the city's 911 call centers.

CJC - $861,000 for fighting human trafficking, technology enhancements, grants management, contractual oversight, and other continuing multi-agency initiatives.

District Attorneys' Offices - $4.8 million. The city's five District Attorneys and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor will receive a combined $4.8 million to cover operating expenses that would have otherwise been cut due to budgetary shortfalls.

DoITT - $856,000 for further enhancing the eArraignment system, which provides the city with comprehensive arrest-to-arraignment monitoring and processing.

NY/NJ HIDTA - $80,000. The New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) will receive $80,000 to establish the position of HIDTA Performance Measurement Coordinator.

DOC - $6.9 million. The Department of Correction will receive $6.9 million to significantly expand the Institute of Inner Development program for adolescent inmates in city jails.

Problem-solving courts - $3.5 million. The city will use $3.5 million over four years to continue the operation of the Midtown and Red Hook community courts, which save the City money by sentencing low-level offenders to repair conditions of disorder and by helping them get jobs.

FDNY - $4.0 million for hiring and retaining 18 fire marshals who protect the city by investigating arson and accidental fires and explosions.

Illegal gun initiatives - $300,000. CJC will use $300,000 to hire staff that will help oversee and coordinate the city's efforts targeting illegal guns.

Citywide community service - $1 million for reforming community service sentences.

Bail expediting - $900,000 for helping family members of arrestees navigate the bail system more rapidly, which saves DOC money by eliminating the expenses of intake and briefly housing arrestees who will soon make bail anyway.

Alternatives to juvenile detention - $1.0 million. The city will use $1 million to supplement funding CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services), a nonprofit group that provides services in the community to at-risk youth. Those services are intended to reduce recidivism and over-reliance on confinement.

Financial Crime Task Force - $1.0 million. The city will invest $1 million to coordinate the numerous city agencies that have a role in civil enforcement against businesses, ensure that financial crimes are investigated from all angles, and channel relevant information to prosecutors.

Child Advocacy Centers - $1.4 million. The city will use $1.4 million to continue and expand Child Advocacy Centers, which bring together government agencies and nonprofit organizations dealing with child abuse to help victims and effectively prosecute abusers.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.