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Biden Justice Department ‘Public Safety’ Push Disburses $57M for ‘Racial Equity’ and Criminal ‘Justice System Reforms’


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The Biden administration’s Justice Department is shelling out $57 million to support “racial equity” and “criminal justice reform.”

Wednesday’s announcement said the multimillion-dollar reward “will support criminal justice reform and promote racial equity in the criminal justice system” through grants intended to advance the Justice Department’s “goal of promoting fairness in the courts.” and the nation’s correctional systems and align criminal justice practices with the latest science.

“Equal justice is not a self-executing proposition, it takes work to make it a reality, and it will take a collective commitment from all of us at the federal, state and local levels to make that ideal a reality,” said Deputy Attorney General Vanita. Gupta said in a statement. “These investments deliver on the Department of Justice’s promise to promote public safety and fulfill the promise of a just society that recognizes the dignity and humanity of all.”

The funding will “support efforts at the state, territorial, local, and tribal levels to institute more effective and equitable criminal justice policies and practices,” as well as “strategies to ensure the protection of the constitutional rights and safety of the accused and incarcerated people.” efforts to address wrongful convictions.” The grants are administered by the department’s Office of Justice Programs.

Awards include $8 million under the Field Initiated: Encouraging Innovation program, “designed to support new and innovative strategies that enable criminal justice systems to prevent and respond to emerging and chronic challenges, including strategies that will increase opportunities for diversion, reform pretrial processes, build trust between police and the community, and promote restorative justice and racial equity.” Another $5 million will be administered under the National Initiatives — Justice for All: Technical Assistance and Training Program for the Effective Administration of Criminal Justice.

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United States Attorney Merrick Garland looks on as Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta speaks during a news conference at the US Department of Justice on August 2, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland announced that the US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block Idaho’s new restrictive abortion law.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The largest award, $9.8 million, will be administered under the Justice Counts Implementation Program, “which helps states adopt a core set of criminal justice metrics so lawmakers have access to actionable data to make policy and budget decisions.” “.

Another $7.6 million will be administered under the Program for the Defense of the Rule of Law and the Prevention of Wrongful Convictions, which supports the efforts of wrongful conviction review entities representing individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review individual cases.

Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta looks on as US Attorney Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference on August 2, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta looks on as US Attorney Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference on August 2, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Justice Department said $6.5 million will go to the post-conviction DNA testing program, which helps defray the costs associated with reviewing post-conviction cases, locating evidence and DNA testing in criminal cases. violent crimes, as defined by state law, where the results of such tests could show actual innocence.

US Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta delivers remarks during an event to commemorate the first anniversary of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act at the Justice Department's Robert F. Kennedy Building on May 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.

US Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta delivers remarks during an event to commemorate the first anniversary of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act at the Justice Department’s Robert F. Kennedy Building on May 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Clark Atlanta University was awarded $1.2 million under the National Institute of Justice’s Violence Against Women Research and Assessment portfolio to conduct a survey of campus climate at three historically black colleges and universities.

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NIJ also awarded $2.7 million in grants under the WEB Du Bois Research Program on Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System to “conduct rigorous research that will help generate knowledge about the connections between race, crime , violence and the administration of justice in the United States”. Those grants were previously announced and are not included in Wednesday’s total.



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