Chris Schulz Published

Federal Funds Support Criminal Justice, Recovery Efforts

A large pile of banknotes, cash2bgr8/Deviantart

During his regular briefing Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Jim Justice announced close to $4 million from two federal funds for criminal justice and substance use programs.

More than $2.5 million will fund 18 projects to address substance use disorders across the state. 

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Use Program (COSSUP), formerly the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP). This program was developed to provide financial and technical assistance to states and local governments to develop, implement or expand comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants and other drugs.

Horizon Behavioral Health will receive the largest individual award of $600,000 to expand and improve substance use, mental health treatment and peer recovery support services. Horizon works in Monongalia, Ohio, Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Tyler, Wetzel and Tucker counties with individuals suffering from one or more substance use disorders.

The next largest individual award of $500,000 will go to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to enhance and expand the West Virginia Quick Response Team, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and Angel (QLA) Early Intervention Program.

“We’re very, very, very very tickled to have those grants going out,” Justice said.

Justice also announced more than $1 million in Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program funds to 43 projects statewide.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program is a U.S. Department of Justice project to provide federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. 

“These funds will be used to assist state agencies, local governments, private nonprofit agencies to improve the criminal justice system,” Justice said.

Special emphasis was placed on multi-jurisdictional projects and statewide projects that seek to create and/or retain jobs in the criminal justice system in West Virginia.

The West Virginia State Police received the largest individual award of $200,667 to combat the war on drugs and reduce incidents of violent crime. The next largest individual award of $72,000 was awarded to the City of Bridgeport for the same purpose.