Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $12,342)
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) allows states and units of local government, including tribes, to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own state and local needs and conditions. Grant funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice, including for any one or more of the following purpose areas: 1) law enforcement programs; 2) prosecution and court programs; 3) prevention and education programs; 4) corrections and community corrections programs; 5) drug treatment and enforcement programs; 6) planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and 7) crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation).
The county of Hays will use the Fiscal Year 2010 JAG award to improve the collection and presentation of physical evidence in the courtroom for criminal prosecutions. The three areas targeted to assist prosecution include technology, training, and communications. The technology upgrades and mobile radio units will help provide the necessary equipment to increase the rate of convictions in Hays County. The Trialfusion technology system is a simple and cost effective way to enter, select, store, edit, and inventory photographs and other visual aids that are essential during a jury trial. The software involves photographs and exhibits that are crucial evidence when prosecuting family violence, drug, and child protective cases. The investigators will be able to use the fingerprint comparison viewer during the trial to show previous convictions of the defendant. Training will be used to target the changing trends in forensic evidence collection, evaluation, and utilization. Two 900 MHz Mobile Radios units will be purchased for the District Attorney's Office. Current radios are being upgraded to maintain communication with other Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers. Law enforcement personnel rely on the communication system to transmit information pertaining to witnesses and/or suspects that are essential to the trial cases.