U.S. Justice Dept. awards $42 million in tribal grants to fight crime, help victims in rural Alaska

U.S. Attorney General William Barr listens to concerns raised about public safety in rural Alaska during a roundtable discussion at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Mark Thiessen/AP Photo)
Speaking to the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Fairbanks, in the state’s Interior region, Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced the Justice Department has awarded $42 million in grants to help rural Alaska cope with the high rates of crime and violence.

“These funds will support a wide variety of programs aimed at improving law enforcement, public safety infrastructure and services for victims of crime,” he said, via video link from Washington, D.C.

The money comes from Justice Department programs intended for tribes. It’s slated to go to tribal councils, women’s shelters, youth programs, substance abuse programs and policing.

Barr said $7 million is headed for the Denali Commission to distribute micro-grants.

“And through this grant, the Denali Commission will help tribes who have not traditionally received federal funding to create and implement crucial victim services,” Barr said.

Barr toured rural Alaska villages in May to see the impact of crime on rural Alaska. In June he declared an emergency to direct federal funds to the crisis.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Offender in Northern Canada wins appeal, overturns banishment from his community, CBC News

Finland: Number of reported domestic violence cases rises in Finland, Yle News

United States: U.S. Justice Department to send millions to rural Alaska law enforcement, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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