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FY 2009 Recovery Act Justice Assistance Grant Program

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $15,296,118)

This grant program is authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) (the 'Recovery Act') and by 42 U.S.C. 3751(a). The stated purposes of the Recovery Act are: to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery; to assist those most impacted by the recession; to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health; to invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; and to stabilize state and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases. The Recovery Act places great emphasis on accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer dollars.

Among other things, it creates a new Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and a new website ' Recovery.gov ' to provide information to the public, including access to detailed information on grants and contracts made with Recovery Act funds.

The Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funded under the Recovery Act is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. Recovery JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system, from multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. Recovery JAG funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures.

The city of Houston and Harris County are listed as disparate jurisdictions under the fiscal year 2009 JAG Recovery local allocation. The city will serve as the fiscal agent for this grant. JAG funds will be used to fund contracted positions, law enforcement equipment, training, and information technology upgrades.

The city of Houston will purchase multi-band radios for the police department's patrol vehicles and will claim a portion of its allocation for administrative costs. The Houston Police Department currently operates on 20-year old radio technology that has reached the end of its useful life. JAG funds will allow the department to purchase over 2,000 new radios and pay for the accompanying installation fees.

Harris County will utilize the JAG Recovery funds to support 12 projects. The Sheriff's Office will convert its paper records system for managing inmate medical records into an electronic system, and replace safety and protective equipment for sheriff's deputies. The County Community Services Department will execute a contract to provide case management and medical services to homeless persons who are incarcerated in the county jail. The County Medical Examiner's Office will continue operations of the Pled Cases Laboratory by reducing the backlog of pled cases. The County District Attorney's Office will purchase the following: Cell Dek Forensic Data Capturing Tool Kits for interfacing with cellular and GPS devices; replacement body armors for its investigators who frequently conduct and assist in the arrest of violent offenders; upgraded fire arms training system to replace the current obsolete system; LCD monitors and digital projectors for rooms where law enforcement training classes are conducted for law enforcement, prosecutors, and grand jury members; utility uniforms and badges for investigators (to provide agency recognition during arrest/search warrants; cameras and flashlights for investigators to collect photographic evidence at crime scenes; provide investigators with continued digital forensic training; and provide investigators with specialized training (e.g., domestic terrorism, financial crimes, homicide investigation).


Date Created: July 7, 2009