The Office of Justice Programs
(OJP) provides leadership and resources to reduce crime, improve the functioning of the criminal justice system and assist crime victims. To accomplish this, OJP administers grants; provides training and technical assistance; provides research and data; works to protect crime victims’ rights; and provides reparations benefits to victims of violent crime. More information on OJP's mission, goals and performance measures can be found in the 2013 Department of Public Safety Performance Report
Related Minnesota Statutes
The Minnesota Office of Justice Programs was created through the Department of Administration Reorganization Order No. 187
in 2003. This Reorganization Order brought together the Center for Crime Victim Services, the Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center, Office of Crime Victims Ombudsman and the Office of Justice and Community Grants.
The Reparations Board is responsible for distributing funds in accordance with the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Act, M.S. 611A.52 through M.S. 611A.68 and Minn. Rules 3050.0100 – 2050.4100.
Kate Weeks was appointed the executive director of the Office of Justice Programs in October of 2018.
She directs policy identification and implementation, as well as fiscal and personnel administration. Director Weeks is responsible for the development and execution of all programs within OJP, including the following units: crime victim grants, crime victim reparations, Crime Victim Justice Unit, law enforcement and community grants, training, research and communications.
Director Weeks has served more than 12 years in various public service capacities, including the Attorney General's Office and the Minnesota Legislature; and since 2014, as the legislative director for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. She holds a Master of Public Policy from John Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
The Office of Justice Programs has 35 full-time employees located in St. Paul. This includes 11 reparations staff, six crime victim grants staff, five justice and community grants staff, four staff on the grants administration team, three training, research and communications staff, three crime victim justice unit staff and two law enforcement staff.
The Minnesota Office of Justice Programs (OJP) was created in May 2003 to improve the effectiveness of Minnesota's criminal justice planning and grant administration activities. OJP brought together five programs from several state agencies, including:
- Minnesota Center for Crime Victim Services, and the Office of Drug Policy and Violence Prevention from the Department of Public Safety
- Juvenile Justice programs and Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee from the Department of Economic Security
- Statistical Analysis Center from Minnesota Planning
- Office of Crime Victim Ombudsman
Each program has a long history of providing quality support or services to constituents, including juvenile and/or criminal justice system professionals, community-based agencies and crime victim service providers.
OJP has three major program areas: Crime Victim Services, Justice and Community Grants, and Training, Research and Communication.
Crime Victim Services
Crime Victim Services comprises three major activities: Reparations, Crime Victim Grants, and Crime Victim Justice Unit.
- The Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board and program was created in 1974 and helps victims of violent crime with their financial losses and aids in their recovery.
- The Crime Victim Grants team administers grants to more than 145 local services providers to assist victims of child abuse, general crime, and domestic and sexual violence. State grant funds have been provided since 1979.
- The Crime Victim Justice Unit, which replaced the Office of the Crime Victim Ombudsman created in 1986, investigates violation of crime victim rights and provides assistance to victims navigating the criminal justice system.
Justice and Community Grants
Justice and Community Grants team is comprised of the former Office of Drug Policy and Violence Prevention (ODPVP) and the Juvenile Justice Programs.
- ODPVP was created in 1989 to create consistent drug policy, develop a strategic plan, and administer state and federal funds to address drug abuse and violent crime.
- The federal Juvenile Justice Act passed in 1974, created core protections for youth in the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Minnesota’s state advisory group, allocates federal juvenile delinquency prevention funding and monitors compliance with the core protections.
Youth Intervention Programs (YIP) is a state funded program authorized under Minnesota Statutes 299A.73 in 1976. The intent of the program is to provide an ongoing stable funding source to community-based early intervention programs for youth and their families.
Training, Research and Communication
The Training, Research and Communication (TRaC) team combines the Statistical Analysis Center from Minnesota Planning and the crime victims training component. TRaC provides best practices training, collects and analyzes criminal and juvenile justice data, and directs program evaluation. Activities include:
- Annual Conference on Crime Victims
- Minnesota Victim Assistance Academy
- Advocacy training and seminars on victim-related topics
The Office of Justice Programs continues to be at the forefront of developments in the long and accomplished timeline and history of crime victim rights.
Examples of Office of Justice Programs partnerships include:
- Coordinating with the Department of Corrections to complete annual inspections of adult and juvenile facilities to ensure compliance with the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act.
- Partnering with the Minnesota departments of Education, and Health and Human Services to complete the triennial Minnesota Student Survey. These agencies also work in collaboration to complete the e-newsletter Snapshots on Minnesota Youth.
- Collaborating with the Minnesota State Arts Board to host an annual Art of Recovery, showcasing art work by Minnesotans who have been victims of crime and have used art as a means to respond, explore, express or heal.
- Providing staff to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, which is charged under the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act with providing advice and recommendations to the governor and the state legislature on the state’s juvenile justice system and allocating Minnesota’s federal juvenile justice grant funds.
- Providing staff and oversight for the Violent Crime Coordinating Council (MS 299A.642), which was established to provide guidance related to the investigation and prosecution of gang and drug crime.
- Partnering with the Youth Intervention Program Association in support of intervention programming for at risk youth; YIPA provides Youth Intervention Program grant recipients with professional development training, public relations support and coordinating advocacy efforts.