September 13, 2011

Manchin, Rockefeller, Rahall Announce More Than $3.3 Million for Crime Prevention Projects Across West Virginia

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Congressman Nick Rahall (all D-W.Va.), today announced that seven projects across West Virginia will receive more than $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to improve the quality of forensic science and criminal evidence, advance surveillance technology, support juvenile delinquency reduction and prevention, reduce gang and gun crime, and fight violent crimes against women. 

“Crime takes a devastating toll on our communities and our families, so it’s especially important that we work to prevent crime when and where we can,” Senator Manchin said. “I’m particularly pleased that one of these grants will help a public-private partnership that not only helps keep us safer, but strengthens our local business community. These grants also take the right steps to help keep our kids from committing crimes, fight to protect our neighborhoods, advance new technology and fight crime against women.”

“It’s essential that we make sure organizations and local governments throughout West Virginia have the resources they need to combat crime,” said Rockefeller.  “These grants will help make that possible by making West Virginians safer and enabling our communities to grow and thrive.”

“Crime fighting today takes a concerted effort that includes everything from educating our youth, to recruiting law enforcement personnel and improving our strategies, to tracking down the most seasoned criminals by using the latest technologies available,” said Rep. Rahall.  “This funding sharpens the tools our professionals rely upon to build safer communities, the foundation of a more secure America.”

The individual grants include: 

  • The Mantech Advanced Systems International, Inc. in Fairmont will receive $1.5 million for the Office and Science and Technology Continuations Program. The project will increase scientific and research support for sensors, surveillance and biometric technologies, which will assist criminal justice agencies and reinforce public safety across West Virginia.

  • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will receive more than $1.2 million for the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program. The project addresses violent crimes against women and encourages the development and implementation of effective law enforcement, prosecution and court strategies to fight these crimes.

  • The Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc. will receive $300,000 for its Re-Entry Mentoring Program, which places returning offenders in a mentoring program to teach them how to successfully reintegrate back into their communities as well as to how to become responsible parents. The participants will learn about the value of relationships and receive psychological support. This institute will serve at least 200 returning offenders who are non-custodial parents from Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell Counties. 

  • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will also receive $114,227 for the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Grant Program, which provides loans to local, state and federal public defenders and prosecutors who commit to at least three years of working in the community. The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services is responsible for outreach, education and solicitation of applications from eligible recipients.

  • The City of Huntington will receive $113,987 for the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. This program will improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services. The funding will also help eliminate backlogs in the analysis of forensic evidence, including controlled substances, firearms examination, forensic pathology, latent prints and trace evidence.

  • The YWCA of Wheeling will receive $61,375 for the Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Program’s Project Safe Neighborhood to create safer neighborhoods in the Northern Panhandle. The Wheeling YWCA will partner with the appropriate agencies to promote anti-gang activity and produce strategies to reduce gun violence and crime.

  • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will also receive $50,000 for the Community Prevention Grants Program. The funding will be used to improve measures to prevent at-risk youths from entering the juvenile justice systems.  The program will also introduce strategies to intervene with first-time offenders to keep them out of the juvenile justice system in the future.