• Dennis McCaslin

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration awarded $6,926,980 in federal Covid-19 grants



The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs announced that it has awarded almost $65 million to 11 states to address the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.


Awards are being made to: the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, $12,430,204; the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, $6,926,980; the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, $5,875,620; the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, $3,642,919; the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, $11,173,909; the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, $8,145,268; the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, $6,059,069; the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General, $2,082,871; the Vermont Department of Public Safety, $2,082,871; the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services, Justice and Community Services, $4,410,710; and the Wyoming Office of the Attorney General, $2,082,871.


The states of Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virginia Islands received awards previously.

         

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs.


“These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”


The grants are among the most recent to be awarded through the $850 million available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump.


This program allows eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately for these critical funds. OJP is moving quickly, aiming to have funds available for drawdown as soon as possible after receiving an application. In addition to statewide awards, many local jurisdictions within these states are eligible for direct awards. A list of all awards can be found at https://ojp-open.data.socrata.com/stories/s/jitc-swxt.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of funds for dealing with COVID-19. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment and distributing resources to hard-hit areas. Funds may also be used to help correctional facilities cover costs related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, sanitation, contagion prevention and measures designed to address the related medical needs of inmates, detainees and correctional personnel.

The solicitation, posted by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, will remain open until May 29. As a top priority, OJP will fund successful applicants on a rolling basis as it receives applications. Grantees may apply the funds retroactively to January 20, 2020, subject to federal rules.

          Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for the emergency funding. A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations is available at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations.

         

For more information, please visit https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553.



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