Displaying all posts tagged with:


Jul 08

No Justice, No Peace

Posted to Community Services News on July 8, 2022 at 11:29 AM by Jessica Harris

Office of Justice Initiatives 

No Justice, No Peace

“No Justice, No Peace!” We have heard those words throughout history. Those words are the rallying cry for all of us when the definition of justice itself—righteousness, equitableness or even moral rightness—seems to be an illusion. But the Office of Justice Initiatives (OJI) was developed to actively remind each of us that justice is not a foreign concept, nor is justice only for those in the criminal justice system. Instead, the Community Intervention branch of the OJI was created to redirect hearts, minds and actions. And we do this with five distinct programs: Comprehensive Opioid Addiction Program (treatment for opioid addiction), JAG Grants (federal funds to support justice measures at the local government level), Juvenile Evening Reporting Centers (alternative to youth detention), Shelby County Connects (youth mental health) and the Youth & Family Resource Center (youth diversion program and family resources). OJI staff understands that their work is not just about balancing budgets or attending meetings. Their work is greater than that. It is restoring faith in the pursuit of justice because justice is not lost. Their work is to remind our citizens that peace is closer than they think. It is just beyond the horizon within OJI Community Intervention programming.
Stephanie WilliamsNichole Scarborough Melody Freeman

Jul 08

Director's Message: What It Means to DO Justice

Posted to Community Services News on July 8, 2022 at 11:21 AM by Jessica Harris

Director's Message

What It Means to DO Justice

When you hear the word justice, what comes to mind? Do you think of courts, lawyers, judges, or the justice system as a whole? Perhaps you think of the new Spider-Man movie (no spoilers, please!) or other superheroes who stop bad guys and save the day. In general, defining what justice is can be difficult. Over the past few years working on this team, I have become more reflective of not only what justice is, but what it means to DO justice. According to the dictionary, doing justice to something means “to treat or show (something or someone) in a way that is as good as it should be.”  All people deserve respect, fairness and equity. We should always act in a way that does justice to the humanity of one another.
Justice is an action. Justice initiates social change in our institutions. Justice addresses the underlying root causes of our most complex challenges. Justice is the collective effort that we take to prevent unfairness and inequities from ever occurring. In the Division of Community Services, we do justice every day. Whether it is within our partnerships with the courts and jails to help find alternatives and support for system involved residents, or our efforts to make sure that victims of crime have access to trauma healing services, doing justice is a part of the fabric of this team. 
As you read this month’s newsletter, I am hopeful that you are encouraged and inspired by the action of justice done year round by our own Shelby County Superheroes, the Division of Community Services. During this season and coming new year, it is a perfect time for us all to reflect on ways big and small to be just as actionable and to do justice within our own spheres of influence.
Happy Holidays,

Dorcas Young Griffin
Director of the Division of Community Services
Shelby County Government
Jul 08

Justice Assistance Grant

Posted to Community Services News on July 8, 2022 at 11:17 AM by Jessica Harris

Office of Justice Initiatives (OJI)

Justice Assistance Grant

One of the pivotal programs that the Office of Justice Initiatives (OJI) has oversight over is the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. It is the leading source of federal justice funding for state and local jurisdictions. The JAG Program provides states, tribes and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation and technology improvement. The JAG Program also supports crime victim and witness initiatives as well as mental health programs, behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams. Currently, the OJI Fiscal Manager provides grant management technical assistance for five (5) JAG Programs throughout Shelby County Government. Since 2017, OJI has monitored over $1,881,629 in JAG grant funds. Over 25 sub-recipients (including the Memphis Police Department) are successfully directing more than 20 programs with JAG funding. 

Tag(s): OJI, March2022, Justice, JAG