The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded more than $2.4 million in anti-crime funding to the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. The funds, provided through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, will be used by the state to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system.

JAG program awards, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance, enable states, tribes and local governments to support criminal justice activities based on local needs and priorities. Funds are used for training, personnel, equipment, and information systems for law enforcement programs, and for prosecution and court programs, drug treatment programs, corrections programs and technology improvement programs. The JAG program will allocate more than $300 million in 2007 to U.S. states and territories.

Awards are determined by a formula that includes a minimum allocation to each state as well as additional funds based on the state's population and crime statistics. JAG requires that states subgrant a portion of the funds to local units of government, such as a city, county, township or town. Faith-based and other community organizations are eligible to receive pass-through funding from the state, as are tribal governments.

First available in fiscal year 2005, JAG provides agencies with a single grant program that simplifies the administrative process and encourages states and communities to spend funds where they are most needed. JAG requires fewer fiscal and programmatic reports, saving state administering agencies and local programs valuable staff time and resources.

The OJP is headed by Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield.