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U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded more than 3.3 million in grant funding for fund programs that address violence against children and support youth mentoring in the Northern District of Ohio.

The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), are part of more than $300 million made available to bolster school security, support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident, conduct research on school safety, support mentoring services for youth and protect children from abuse, exploitation and threats, such as sex trafficking.

“As the school year gets under full swing, it is important that funding is made available for law enforcement agencies and organizations that play a critical role in ensuring the safety of students on and off campus,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “By removing barriers to education, such as violence, we can help our students achieve their full potential.”

“Only by removing the threat of violence from our schools can we expect our kids to reap the full benefits of their education, and only after making our places of learning safe can we ask our teachers to instruct and inspire as they are trained to do,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “The Department of Justice is committed to securing our schools from danger and giving our kids the support they need to learn, grow and thrive.”

STOP School Violence Program

  1. Digitalc, Cleveland, Ohio – $750,000
  2. Bowling Green State University – $749,993

These organizations received funding under the Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence Program. This initiative seeks to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, respond quickly to and help prevent acts of violence. In addition to STOP School Violence Act funding, OJP’s National Institute of Justice is investing in research on school violence.

Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative

  1. Northern Ohio Recovery Association, Cleveland, Ohio  — $600,000

This initiative seeks to support the implementation and delivery of mentoring services to youth populations that are at risk for juvenile delinquency, victimization and juvenile justice system involvement.

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC).

  1. Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces — $612,392

The ICAC Task Force Program consists of 61 task forces, each led by a single law enforcement agency. Every state has at least one task force, with the more populated states having multiple task forces. Each lead agency receives an annual award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and then serves as the primary entity responsible for improving the effectiveness and sustainability of their state or regional task force. These task forces conduct forensic examinations and investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation throughout the country.  
 
Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking

  1. Advocating Opportunity, Inc. Toledo, Ohio – $664,932

 The Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking program awarded funding to organizations to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of labor trafficking whose victimization occurred when they were under the age of 18.

Additional information about Fiscal Year 2020 grant awards made by the Office of Justice Programs can be found online at the OJP Awards Data webpage.

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