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An Overview and Funding History of Select Department of Justice (DOJ) Grant Programs

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RL33489

Topic: Justice (Police and law enforcement)


The Department of Justice (DOJ) was created in June 1870, with the Attorney General as its head. Since its establishment, DOJ has expanded to include 40 agencies. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS), and the Office of Violence Against Women, provide grant funds to state, local, and tribal governments for crime prevention and intervention programs as well as funding for criminal justice system improvement programs. This report discusses several DOJ grant programs administered through OJP and COPS, including the Weed and Seed program, Drug Courts, Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, the DNA Initiative, the Paul Coverdell Grant Program, Assistance to Indian Tribes, the Tribal Resource Grant Program, and the Tribal Youth Program.

In recent years, Congress has questioned the effectiveness of many DOJ grant programs. As Congress continues to cut appropriations for many discretionary grant programs, there may be greater scrutiny of these programs. This report discusses this issue as well as issues concerning the effective management and accounting of DOJ grant programs. This report will be updated as warranted.