Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $999,874)
The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), furthers the Department's mission by assisting state and local jurisdictions in improving the criminal justice system and assisting communities in preventing drug abuse and crime. In fiscal year 2007, the Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program will focus on funding local, regional, and national efforts within six major categories: 1) targeting violent crime; 2) preventing crime and drug abuse; 3) enhancing local law enforcement; 4) enhancing local courts; 5) enhancing local corrections and offender reentry; and 6) facilitating justice information sharing.
In 2005, the FBI reported an 11.6% increase in internet crime complaints filed through the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The majority of those complaints could lead to criminal investigations by law enforcement and regulatory agencies nationwide. With the rapid advances in technology, increased access to the Internet and the sense of anonymity that it affords, cyber crime has precipitously increased while the criminal justice systems' knowledge on handling these types of crimes has seriously lagged behind. The criminal activity has become increasingly complex, more difficult to investigate, and more problematic for states and local jurisdictions to prosecute. Search and seizure of electronic evidence issues permeate the criminal justice community. To respond to this rapid increase in cyber crime, the University of Mississippi School of Law's National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law (NCJRL), in partnership with the National Association of Attorneys General and the National Judicial College will continue to offer the only two national training programs for state attorney general offices to develop expertise to fight cyber crime and for state trial and appellate judges to develop their expertise on search and seizure of electronic evidence. NCJRL will provide advanced cyber crime training programs for prosecutors; and essential publications, guides, and advice on cyber crime and its investigation and prosecution. It will continue to establish a networking and learning opportunity through its annual Amendment Issues conference and lecture series. In addition it will host the Prosecution Externship Program, which provides an academic education and practical training for law students at the University of Mississippi School Of Law seeking careers as prosecutors.