The Justice Department expects to issue 12,000 anticrime grants to states, localities, and other entities under the new federal economic stimulus law, says Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. Addressing leaders of criminal justice organizations in Washington, D.C., yesterday, Robinson said that her agency is gearing up to process some grant applications within a few days of their submission, given the urgency to spend the new money. Information on eligibility requirements and deadlines will be posted on the Office of Justice Programs Web site, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/recovery. Much of the $2.76 billion available through the agency goes directly to states via existing funding formulas, but there will be $225 million available for competitive grants. Among areas in which applications are being encouraged are neighborhood-based probation and parole, forensic sicence, mortgage fraud, crime victim assistance, and civilian aides to law enforcement.
Attorney General Eric Holder made the Office of Justice Programs the first stop on his visits to Justice Department units, Robinson said. She said the agency deals with “issues he has passion about” from his days as a judge, prosecutor, and Deputy U.S. Attorney General. On one controversial issue, Robinson said the Justice Department may seek a 2-year delay in requiring states to comply with the Adam Walsh Act. The law provides that states may lose 10 percent of their federal anticrime aid if they do not institute by this summer specific reforms in regulating sex offenders. As of recently, no state had complied with the law.