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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 18, 2024


June 30, 2001 – The V.I. Justice Department is planning to seek federal funds to hire two full-time, permanent prosecutors to pursue cases of violent crime in which a gun is used.
The U.S. Justice Department is making such funding available to the states and territories under its Community Gun Violence Prosecution Grant Program. The program goals are to enable chief prosecutors to assign assistant prosecutors who are dedicated to the prosecution of firearm-related crime; to improve the long-term ability of prosecutors' offices to address the issue of firearm-related violent crime more fully; and to deter gun-related violent crime through the swift certainty of prosecution.
The grants are to enable justice offices to hire personnel who will "focus their attention of the prosecution of cases involving violent crimes committed with guns and other violations of gun statues involving drug trafficking and gang-related crimes in high firearm-related violence areas," an outline of the program states.
Grants are available of up to $40,000 a year for three years to cover up to 80 percent of the total salary and benefit costs of hiring a new prosecutor for a three-year period. The funds cannot be used to contract lawyers on a non-permanent, non-full-time basis. And jurisdictions receiving grants must make "a good faith effort to retain these prosecutors for a minimum of one year beyond the conclusion of the grant period," the outline states.
Applicants must agree to "make good-faith efforts to coordinate the gun prosecution strategy with the U.S. attorney for the applicant's district and with other community justice initiatives (such as Weed and Seed)." The Virgin Islands has an award-winning Weed and Seed program, which works with at-risk young people, on St. Thomas.
Jurisdictions with populations of less than 150,000 may seek funding for two prosecutors, and that is what Attorney General Iver Stridiron is proposing to do.
In a memorandum to "all media," Stridrion said that "in order to attract seasoned prosecutors," he will "propose that an additional $18,000 be added to each prosecutor's salary for a total of $58,000 each. Under the 80:20 federal matching formula, the total package with $40,000 funding would be $50,000. If the federal match is $58,000, the package would be $72,500.
The deadline for submitting grant applications is July 20.

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