Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,755,887)
The Justice and Community Services (JCS) Section of the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services (DAS), which is the State Administrative Agency (SAA) for criminal justice-related activities in the state, is applying for $1,755,887 under the FY 2022 – 2023 Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (SCIP).
Using this funding, JCS will be developing and staffing a new advisory board known as the West Virginia Crisis Intervention Advisory Board to inform and guide the state’s related gun violence reduction programs/initiatives. The Board will include representatives from law enforcement, the community, courts, prosecution, behavioral health providers, victim services, and legal counsel.
The Advisory Board, along with JCS, will assess the need for and capabilities of implementing programs and/or initiatives that are allowable under the SCIP program. These programs/initiatives include, but are not limited to 1) extreme risk protection order (ERPO) programs, which aim to temporarily prevent a person from accessing firearms if they are found to be a danger to themselves or others; 2) training for those implementing ERPO programs; 3) communication, education, and public awareness; 4) specialized court-based programs such as drug, mental health, and veterans’ treatment courts; 5) behavioral health deflection for those at risk to themselves or others; and 6) funding for law enforcement agencies to safely secure, store, track, and return relinquished guns.
The Advisory Board and JCS will also be responsible for identifying specific goals and objectives once needs are identified. The overall goal of the WV SCIP program is to reduce gun-related violence throughout the state. This project will involve a collaborative partnership between JCS; the Office of Research and Strategic Planning; state, local, and county law enforcement agencies; the Supreme Court of Appeals; prosecutors; behavioral health providers; and community members.