Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Calls On Congress To Restore Crime And Drug Enforcement Funds
Attorney General Jack Conway joined 50 attorneys general in sending a letter today urging Congress to restore federal funding for crime and drug enforcement efforts. A 67 percent funding cut from last year to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne/JAG) program has already forced law enforcement agencies to shut down multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces.
“With the economic downturn and a possible increase in crime due to a weakened economy, these federal cuts could not have come at a worse time,” General Conway said. “Significant state budget problems will further disrupt our state and local enforcement efforts, while drug-related problems and crimes are on the rise.”
The attorneys general want fiscal year 2008 Byrne/JAG funds restored through supplemental appropriations, and adequate funding levels in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. If Byrne/JAG funding is not restored, police and prosecutors will be laid off and programs proven to assist drug-addicted citizens in becoming productive members of society will be shut down.
“For four decades Byrne-JAG has helped keep our streets safer by supporting local drug task forces, community crime prevention programs, and substance abuse treatment,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3). “I am working with Congressional Leadership to increase Byrne-JAG funding to ensure that Attorney General Conway and the Commonwealth have all the federal support necessary to effectively combat crime and drug trafficking.”
Byrne/JAG is currently the only source of funding available for multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement, including methamphetamine initiatives, and is critical for drug courts, law enforcement information sharing, gang prevention, and prisoner reentry programs.