The Justice Assistance Act is intended to respond to violent crime by providing a highly targeted program of assistance that is not as cumbersome as that provided under the previous Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.
Applications for assistance will identify eligible projects, State or local jurisdictions in which projects will be implemented, and the source of funds required to match the Federal share. The Act establishes an Office of Justice Assistance that has four separate units: Bureau of Justice Programs, Bureau of Criminal Justice Facilities, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Among program activities authorized by the Act are antifencing projects, the Career Criminal Program, the Victim-Witness Assistance Program, Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime, the Prosecutor's Management Information System, antiarson programs, and community crime prevention. Senate comments on passage of the Act reflected the need to help States and localities fight crime, but contained certain recommendations on some of the Act's provisions. For example, Senator Mathias indicated that the status of incumbent directors of the NIJ and the BJS as presidential appointees would be eliminated. In this regard, he also indicated that justice and research statistics are vital components of the Federal effort and that they must be independent, objective, scientific, and insulated from political pressure. Provisions of the Act related to the Office of Justice Assistance are described that reflect the composition of the Justice Assistance Advisory Board. The Act stipulates that this board will consist of no more than 21 members who are appointed by the President. Members should include representatives of various components of the criminal justice system at all levels of government and individuals experienced in the design, operation, and management of State and local programs. The impact of the Justice Assistance Act on the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 is discussed, and a section-by-section analysis of the Justice Assistance Act is provided.
Date Published: January 1, 1983
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