State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) is asking the public to give input on the grant application administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). The ICJIA is responsible for the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) that supports state and local governments in a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system.

“When the public has an opportunity to give their opinions about how tax dollars are spent, I encourage people to do so,” said Wilhour. “We have parents, teachers, counselors and law enforcement professionals who could provide insight as to what programs work best to deter crime and help keep our kids off of drugs and how to help victims of crime.”

JAG funds have supported government programs to enforce Illinois drug laws, decrease the likelihood of violent crime, and improve the criminal justice system. The money can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice in any of the purpose areas.

In its application for these funds, ICJIA will establish guidelines that include a five-year strategic plan to be approved by the ICJIA Board. The strategic plan will guide the use of JAG funds to address these priorities:

Law enforcement programs

Prosecution and court programs

Prevention and education programs

Corrections and community corrections programs

Drug treatment programs

Planning, evaluation and technology improvement programs

Crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation)

Mental health programs and related enforcement and corrections programs

People who would like to provide input on these priorities to inform ICJIA of emerging criminal justice issues, crime problems and possible interventions, and to help guide the ICJIA’s administration of JAG funding may submit comments by email at Louisa.Salazar@illinois.gov.

All comments must be received by May 6.

Written public comments may be mailed to Luisa Salazar, Federal & State Grants Unit, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 300 West Adams St., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60606

For questions, call Salazar at 312-814-0707.

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