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Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program FY 23

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,173,599)

The State Administrating Agency for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program is the New Hampshire Department of Justice (NH DOJ). New Hampshire (NH) is a small state situated in the northeast region of the United States has an approximate population of 1,377,529.  The population of NH is not evenly distributed, with the southern three counties, those that border the state of Massachusetts, where approximately 60% of the population lives.  The remaining 40% of the state’s citizens reside in areas north, with 13% of the population living in the three northern, rural counties.

The proposal narrative identifies several program areas that NH plans to address.  Funding will be utilized in relation to the program areas of law enforcement, prosecution, drug enforcement, and drug treatment.  This strategy, and the plans for the administration of JAG funding has been developed through NH’s integral involvement in ongoing criminal justice planning at the state level. 

The program area NH will primarily focus on is the continued enforcement of laws relating to illicit drug use and distribution throughout the state, by continuing to support the statewide multi-jurisdictional NH Attorney General’s Drug Task Force.  The reality is prescription drug abuse, fentanyl and methamphetamine misuse are a concerning problem in the area with numbers steadily climbing.  Statistics from a report put out by the NH OCME indicated that 2021 saw a high number of overdose deaths involving Fentanyl.

In addition, the JAG Strategic Plan Steering Committee agreed that a drug treatment program is vital and agreed to allocate funding to the NH Public Defenders Office (NHPD) to hire a social worker that helps offenders engage in services that will increase the likelihood of their successful re-entry into society as recommended by the Statewide Strategic Plan.

Directly related to the opioid crisis, the NHPD has experienced a startling rise in felony-level drug possession cases over the past several years.  As one would expect, NHPD has seen an increase in the percentage of clients afflicted with substance use disorder.

It is imperative that the progress made to maintain the operational and collaborative abilities of the NH Attorney General’s Drug Task Force is not lost, and that NH can continue to expand connections, collaborations, and services, to further the goal of achieving a reduction in the trafficking of opioids within the State.

Date Created: September 22, 2023