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Last week, the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs issued a standard press release touting the award of over $200 million in state and local grants through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. “We rely on those closest to the problem to find solutions that fit their needs,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was quoted as saying in the March 28 release. “This money will go directly to the front lines.” Maybe, but a lot less money will be flowing to the front lines if Gonzales has his way. A piece of news the Justice Department failed to mention: the attorney general and the White House have proposed eliminating all funding for the Byrne program in the coming year. Last week’s block of federal funds included $1.8 million for the District of Columbia. D.C. has proposed using the money to fund gang mediation, drug treatment facilities, and neighborhood programs such as community watch and graffiti removal.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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