This past week, our office announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC) has awarded a $532,814 grant to the Illinois State Police to combat human trafficking in Central Illinois. Our office also announced that the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has selected Decatur, Champaign, and Springfield to each receive awards through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program. The three awards total $172,390.

I have worked since my first term in Congress to raise awareness of and combat human trafficking. This grant to the Illinois State Police that is specifically for efforts in Central Illinois will bolster the often unseen fight against the terrible crime of human trafficking right here in rural America.

Attorney General William P. Barr had this to say about the grants: “The scourge of human trafficking is the modern-day equivalent of slavery, brutally depriving victims of basic human rights and essential physical needs as it erodes their sense of dignity and self-worth. The Department of Justice is relentless in its fight against the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Working with state and local law enforcement and community victim service providers, we will continue to bring these criminals to justice and deliver critical aid to survivors.”

Learn more about the grant here.