Public Information Office
Contact: Kimberly J. Evans
555 Wright Way, Carson City, Nevada 89711
(702)687-1300 fax:(702)687-6798

NEWS FROM: Office of Justice Assistance 98-106

U.S. Department of Justice,
Bureau of Justice Assistance Director
Visits Local Criminal Justice Officials

Presidential Appointee, Ms. Nancy Gist,
meets to discuss local criminal justice issues

Nancy Gist, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance Director, held an informal meeting with local criminal justice officials on Tuesday, February 24. The meeting was held to conduct open-ended discussions on ways the US Bureau of Justice Assistance (USBJA) can better support Northern Nevada's criminal justice system. Officials from the Reno and Sparks Police Departments; Washoe, Lyon and Douglas County Sheriff's Departments, Carson City Sheriff's Department, Nevada Division of Investigation and Washoe County Public Defenders Office were in attendance. Ms. Gist answered specific concerns and questions relating to grant administration and offered to follow up with individual suggestions on ways to improve the application and information dissemination process. Ms. Gist conveyed Attorney General Janet Reno's wishes that the USBJA continue to support local criminal justice agency initiatives.

Over $3.9 million in federal grant money has been awarded to local law criminal justice agencies by the USBJA. The majority of the funding is used as seed money to begin new state and local programs such as narcotic task forces, transitional houses for ex-felons, undercover operations, gang resistance education programs and D.A.R.E. programs.

Another valuable resource the USBJA provides is free technical assistance to enhance and develop resources for start up programs, such as training for complex investigative techniques. USBJA partners local criminal justice agencies with like agencies in other states who are successfully running these programs.

Examples of the grants the USBJA offers includes: the Byrne Formula and Discretionary Grant Programs, Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program and the Public Safety Officer's Death Benefits Program.

The State Office of Justice Assistance is the liaison between local criminal justice agencies and the USBJA. Local criminal justice agencies obtain resource information and apply for available grant funding through this office. For further information on USBJA or the State Office of Justice Assistance, contact Mary Lynne Evans at 687-5282.