These federal grants deal with various aspects of criminal justice and fall into four general categories: preventing crime; investigating and prosecuting crime; incarceration; and, aiding crime victims. The Grants Management Unit currently manages over seven million dollars in different federal grant programs annually, awarding sub grants from these grant programs to approximately 100 other state government, county government, local government and nonprofit agencies around New Hampshire. In 2009, the department took on additional duties of managing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds of close to eight million dollars to fund programs and create jobs through the ARRA program years of 2009 through 2012.
The Grants Management Unit of the Department of Justice exists to make a difference in the lives of the citizens of New Hampshire by ensuring the proper use of federal funds for criminal justice purposes. The Grants Management Unit does this through:
- the professional administration of grant resources;
- the adherence to all underlying federal and state requirements;
- the coordination of federal criminal justice resources available to the state; and,
- efficient service and assistance.
For many years the New Hampshire Department of Justice has had the distinction of receiving the Governor's selection as the state-administering agency for several federal grant initiatives. These grant initiatives have been pivotal in the creation of many innovative criminal justice projects around the state, which have enhanced the service delivery of the state's criminal justice system.
Generally, the grant funding that is received and administered by the Department of Justice to the State of New Hampshire from the federal government arrives in one of two forms: 1) formula grants – funding is allocated to each state based on a statistical equation, such as population data or violent crime statistics; or 2) discretionary grants – funding is successfully secured in a competitive application process for a specific program area.
Examples of formula grant funding include the following:
- Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant: New Hampshire uses the majority of it's Byrne JAG funding to support the statewide Attorney General's Drug Task Force, the very purpose for which these funds were named. The Attorney General's Drug Task Force is comprised of state, county and local law enforcement officers all working together to improve public safety by reducing the availability of illegal narcotics. In the course of targeting illegal narcotics, a host of other crimes arising from the pursuit, acquisition, distribution and use of illegal narcotics, are also reduced.
- Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victims Assistance: The Department of Justice sub-grants funding to other victim services programs such as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), rural mental health agencies, child advocacy centers, and an agency serving victims of DUI/DWI and other crimes (Victim's Inc.). VOCA funds also support the Department of Corrections' Victim Services Program.
- Victims of Crime Act Victims Compensation: This program reimburses innocent crime victims for certain financial losses resulting from their victimization, such as out of pocket medical expenses. The funds for this program, as the VOCA Assistance grant, are derived from federal criminal fines and penalties, not taxpayer dollars.
- STOP Violence Against Women: New Hampshire uses STOP funding to support prosecutorial positions, victim-witness advocate positions, investigator positions, and agencies that provide direct services to victims and emergency legal representation, such as the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault Support Services and the New Hampshire Bar Association.
- Children's Justice Act: Grants are to be used to develop, establish and operate programs designed to improve the handling of child abuse and neglect cases, particularly cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation, in a manner, which limits additional trauma to the child victim; handling of suspected cases of child abuse or neglect related fatalities; and investigation and prosecution of cases of child abuse and neglect particularly those cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation. The CJA grant requires each State to maintain a multidisciplinary Task Force whose purpose is to implement recommendations in these areas.