Justice Department awards $333 million for opioid crisis

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Some Indiana communities affected by the opioid crisis will receive funding from the Justice Department. The Department’s Office of Justice Programs has announced $333 million has been awarded to communities across the country. Over $2.4 million has been awarded to public safety and public health officials in the Southern District of Indiana to combat substance abuse and to be able to better respond to overdoses. 

“The opioid crisis has destroyed far too many lives and left too many Americans feeling helpless and hopeless,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine Sullivan. “This epidemic—the most deadly in our nation’s history—is introducing new dangers and loading public health responsibilities onto the public safety duties of our law enforcement officers. The Department of Justice is here to support them during this unprecedented and extremely challenging time.”

The funding will support several activities, including grants to help law enforcement and emergency responders to be able to better coordinate response to overdoses. Funding will also provide services for kids affected by the crisis and will support drug and treatment courts. Other funding will deal with expanding forensic lab capacity, prescription drug abuse and opioid-related research. 

Indiana communities receiving funding:

  • The City of Indianapolis and Marion County were awarded $500,000 and $653,408, respectively, under the BJA’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, which provides financial and technical assistance to facilitate collaborations between criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment systems. 
  • The City of Evansville was awarded $1,000,000 under the Opioid Affected Youth Initiative, which helps states, local governments and tribal jurisdictions develop data-driven responses to opioid abuse.
  • Hancock County Community Corrections was awarded $231,544 under the Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program, which provides financial and technical assistance to states, state courts, local courts, units of local government and tribal governments to develop, implement and enhance drug courts and Veterans Treatment Courts.
  • The Marion County, Indiana Coroner’s Office was awarded $61,712 under the National Institute of Justice Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program, which addresses the extreme shortage of board-certified forensic pathologists in the United States and aims to improve medical examiner-coroner services by supporting efforts toward agency accreditation.

More information on programs and awards can be found here