DNA Analysis

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The United States Justice Department announced Wednesday that more than $17 million in grants has been earmarked for Northern Ohio, with Mansfield set to collect a chunk of that funding.

According to a press release from the Justice Department, Mansfield will receive $250,000 from the National Institute of Justice. The money will be used to reduce any forensic DNA backlog, provide for continuing education training for DNA analysts, and purchase necessary equipment, software and training.

In addition, Mansfield is among a list of police departments assigned to receive funding from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. That agency will receive $259,188 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The money is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program and will be distributed to police departments in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Elyria, Lorain, Mansfield, Toledo and Youngstown to help fund initiatives designed to help reduce gun violence.

In Cleveland, Justice Department funding will pay for a number of items, including: the citywide expansion of the Cleveland Division of Police’s domestic violence high risk team, improvements in DNA testing capabilities in several areas, expanding drug courts in several cities, allowing the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to build a database to track violent crime trends, providing transitional housing in Ottawa County and Canton for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and numerous other programs.

“These funds will save lives, whether that is expanding a program that identifies the most dangerous abusers, provides emergency shelter to our most vulnerable victims, allows law enforcement to do a better job tracking and sharing crime data, just to name a few,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “These grant awards demonstrate the Justice Department’s commitment to working across the state and country, with jurisdictions large and small, to make our communities safer.”

Money for other jurisdictions will be used to hire detectives, expand DNA testing, support drug courts, provide housing for crime victims and other priorities.

Below is an incomplete list of grant recipients announced in the past few weeks. Additional grants may be announced in coming days:

MARION

Marion will receive $10,995 from Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant, which can be used for a broad range of crime control and prevention strategies based on local needs.

NORTHEAST OHIO

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s Sexual Assault Kit Task Force will receive $3 million from the Justice Department. The money will be used to expand the Task Force’s DNA project, implement geneaology searches of “John Doe” indictments, continue partnership with Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and maintain personnel and training.

Cleveland will receive $500,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The money will be used to support the expansion of the Domestic Violence High Risk Team program to all police districts, employ two full-time detectives, a full-time victim advocate to be embedded with the police, develop training for law enforcement on trauma, victim engagement and trauma-informed interviewing.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office will receive $360,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The money will be used to help law enforcement agencies throughout the county to collaborate and build a database that will detect and track violent crime trends to improve information sharing.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office will receive $609,019 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The money will be used to support the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Lake County will receive $270,013 from the National Institute of Justice. The money will pay for a DNA analyst to complete up to 400 cases a year, as well as purchase laboratory automation instrumentation to perform DNA extraction.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office will receive $339,459 from the National Institute of Justice. The money will be used to fund a DNA forensic scientist, procure supplies, and train staff.

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center will receive $424,977 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The money will be used to work with the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center to establish a multidisciplinary team, provide services to individuals with disabilities who are victims of violence and abuse, among other areas.

The Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center will receive $550,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The Center will work with the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court to provide supervised visitation and safe exchange services. The money will pay for a supervised visitation intake specialist housed at the court, two supervised visitation monitors, a supervised visitation coordinator and contract security services over three years.

Cleveland will receive $750,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The money will be used to improve responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder who come into contact with the justice system.

The following entities will receive money from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to fund drug courts and/or veteran’s treatment courts: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, $439,924; Geauga County, $500,000.

The following cities received money from Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant, which can be used for a broad range of crime control and prevention strategies based on local needs. The cities are: Cleveland, $602,791; Lorain County, $32,410, and Lake County, $24,459.

AKRON/CANTON AREA

Summit County will receive $500,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The money will be used to support the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence Unit Program; centralize prosecution, probation and victim services; and employ additional domestic violence prosecutors, a domestic violence probation officer and a full-time victim advocate.

The Domestic Violence Project, Inc. will receive $310,147 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The money will allow the Canton-based organization to work with several community partners to provide housing and support services to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

Coleman Professional Services in Kent will receive $363,795 from the Office of Victims of Crime. The money is awarded as part of OVC’s Transforming America’s Response to Elder Abuse. The money will be used to increase coordination of services for those meeting the needs of victims and moving cases more successfully through the judicial system.

The following entities will receive money from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to fund drug courts and/or veteran’s treatment courts: Medina County, $500,000, and Summit County, $455,471.

The following cities received money from Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant, which can be used for a broad range of crime control and prevention strategies based on local needs. The cities are:Akron, $125,149, and Canton, $75,633.

NORTHWEST OHIO

Lucas County will receive $775,775 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Lucas County will use the money to realign referral requirements to the Community Treatment Center to improve services and balance traditional probation responses with extended incarceration.

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. in Toledo will receive $448,222 from the Office of Violent Crime through the Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis program. ABLE will provide free, trauma-informed civil legal services for children affected by the opioid crisis, including resolving custody disputes, obtaining civil protection orders and accessing public benefits and health care.

The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County will receive $400,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The money will be used to improve responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder who come into contact with the justice system.

The Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services and the Erie County Health Department will each receive $600,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse site-based Program. COAP aims to reduce opioid abuse and the number of overdose fatalities, as well as supporting comprehensive, collaborative initiatives.

Ottawa County Transitional Housing, Inc. will receive $449,823 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The money will be used to allow the Port Clinton-based group to work with community partners to provide to provide housing and support services to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, as well as their families.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. will receive $425,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women. The money allow Legal Aid to work with community partners to provide accessible, safe and effective services to individuals with disabilities who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Bowling Green State University will receive $797,079 from the National Institute of Justice. The money will be used to fund research into criminality trends of 12- to 18-year-olds who resided in Lucas County, to establish the importance of individual and social factors on changes in offending/criminal behavior.

Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio will receive $999,974 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The grant is part of the Second Chance Act’s Comprehensive Community-Based Adult Reentry Program and will be used to provide individualized transitional reentry services to participants.

Lima will receive $31,351 from Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant, which can be used for a broad range of crime control and prevention strategies based on local needs.

MAHONING VALLEY

Youngstown will receive $181,695 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to fund drug courts and/or veteran’s treatment courts.

The following cities received money from Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant, which can be used for a broad range of crime control and prevention strategies based on local needs. The cities are: Youngstown, $43,212, and Warren, $21,927.

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