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Feds Give $125,520 For Substance Abuse Treatment For USVI Prisoners

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that the Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission (LEPC) has received a $125,520 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in support of residential substance abuse treatment for state/territorial prisoners.

The award from the Bureau of Justice Assistance supports the vital work of the U.S. Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission’s efforts to increase services to state/territorial prisoners.

“The Law Enforcement Planning Commission provides substance abuse offenders essential treatment programs during and after incarceration in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Shappert said.

“These funds support direct services to assist offenders in their recovery from substance abuse.”

The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners Program assists states, territories and local governments to develop and implement substance abuse treatment programs in state, territory and local correctional and detention facilities, and to create and maintain community-based aftercare services for offenders.

The goal of the program is to break the cycle of drugs and violence by reducing the demand for, use of and trafficking of illegal drugs. The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment enhances the capability of states, territories and units of local government to provide residential substance abuse treatment for incarcerated inmates; prepares offenders for their reintegration into the communities from which they came by incorporating reentry planning activities into treatment programs; and assists offenders and their communities through the reentry process through the delivery of community-based treatment and other broad-based aftercare services.

The grantee will use the funds to implement up to three types of programs: residential, jail-based and aftercare. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) offers funding through a variety of different programs.

Learn about funding webinars, apply to become a peer reviewer, find information about previously available solicitation and see award details at

By John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.