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Press Room

For Immediate Release: February 04, 2009

Attorneys General Call on Congress to Restore Crime and Drug Enforcement Funds

Law enforcement agencies forced to shut down drug and gang task forces

Washington, DC-- The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) today sent a letter signed by 51 Attorneys General to congressional leaders 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.

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.

NAAG President and Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch said, “The consequences of these cuts are very real and very troubling. The states and territories need adequate Byrne/JAG funding to engage in the fight against drug abuse, crime and violence.”

NAAG President-Elect and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said, “If funding isn’t restored, we’ll see more criminals on our streets, more drugs in our neighborhoods and innocent people paying the price.”

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.

In addition to Attorneys General Lynch and Bruning, the letter was co-sponsored by Attorneys General John Suthers of Colorado, Tom Miller of Iowa and Martha Coakley of Massachusetts.

View the Letter

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