Grants go to coordinate crime data

Office of Justice Programs

The Justice Department has awarded to 26 states grants totaling more than $16 million to help federal, state and local authorities share crime information more effectively.

The funds will help states link key information systems, such as those that contain crime and offender information, the Justice Department announced July 23. Improved coordination among criminal justice information systems will result in better information, which will lead to better sentencing decisions, department officials said.

"For too long, the different arms of the criminal justice system at the federal, state and local levels have not known what the others were doing," said Mary Lou Leary, the Office of Justice Programs' acting assistant attorney general. "By helping law enforcement, courts, probation and parole agencies, and other components of the criminal justice system to more effectively share information, we will exponentially enhance public safety."

The grants come under the 1998 Crime Identification Technology Act, which is being administered by the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance in cooperation with the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

In fiscal 2000, the Justice Department and the governors' association provided information integration planning grants of $25,000 to 42 states and hosted workshops attended by representatives of state implementation teams from 45 states.

The latest 26 grants will enable selected states to build on that work and lay the groundwork for future national information integration efforts, Justice officials said.

The projects funded by the grants are as much as $1 million and for as long as 24 months. The projects must contribute directly to improving information sharing among all or some of the law enforcement and criminal justice agencies at the state and local levels, Justice officials said.

Just last month, the Justice Department awarded $13 million in grants to replace the 70-year-old National Incident-Based Reporting System, which will improve states' abilities to measure crime and report crime information at a national level.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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