In July 2020, the Office of Criminal Justice Programs announced a deadline extension for local jails and courts to apply for federal grants through the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, and White County took advantage of the opportunity and was recently awarded a total of $40,000 in federal funding.
Tennessee had $4,250,000 available for distribution among its local communities for law enforcement agencies, jails, and courts and was marked for expenses related to COVID-19 to assist in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the pandemic.
“White County was awarded funds in the amount of $40,000 for use in the White County Jail, White County Court System, and White County Sheriff’s Office,” Cami Howard, director of administration for the White County Sheriff’s Office, said. “Federal funding grant opportunities were made available to Local Law Enforcement ($10,000), Local Jails ($20,000), and Local Courts ($10,000) for expenses related to COVID-19.”
Allowable projects and purchases for the supplemental funding program include equipment (such as technology for remote hearings/appearances and personal protective equipment), supplies (gloves, masks, sanitizer, etc.), and training and travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas). While additional purchases may be acceptable, there are some restrictions, and funding cannot be used to supplant local funds or to make up for budget shortfalls.
Howard is the project director for the two grants at the White County Sheriff’s Office and has been approved to use the funding for additional personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, agency training, and a high-heat sanitizing station to ensure the safety of food-service equipment in the jail.
Lynn Mitchell is the project director for the Local Court Grant and was awarded $10,000 for the White County Court System and plans to use the funding to provide additional protective measures and supplies to the staff and citizens that use the courtrooms.All Tennessee recipients were issued a one-year contract so that funds can be applied to expenses incurred between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and, while successful applicants didn’t receive their contracts until Sept. 1 or after, COVID-19 expenses from July and August may be applied to the grant.