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Lee County Justice Improvement/High Impact on Jail Reduction and Judicial Caseload Caused by Economic Downturn

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $768,977)

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.

Lee County will use the Recovery Act JAG Funds to hire to personnel to support the 'High Impact on Jail Overcrowding and Delay Program.' The project goals include:

1. Supporting and building upon the success of the justice system's new felony case management system by maintaining and improving their disposition rates.
2. Recovering urgently needed public defender (PD) staff to increase early representation via PD early jail screening and resolution of target cases.
3. Reducing delays in case resolutions and directly reducing long term pretrial felony jail population.

The proposal adds two assistant public defenders, one assistant state attorney, one state attorney support member, one judicial felony case manager, and one clerk of court support member. These positions will greatly enhance the judiciary's ability to provide early resolution and impact jail overcrowding caused by growth in property, drug, and violent crimes in Lee County.


Date Created: August 12, 2009