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Office of Justice Programs

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety


​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, conducts research, publishes reports, protects crime victim rights, and provides financial assistance to victims of violent crime. 


Related Minnesota Statutes

The Minnesota Crime Victim Reimbursement Board is responsible for distributing funds in accordance with the Minnesota Crime Victims Reimbursement Act (formerly the Crime Victims Reparations Act), Minnesota Statutes 611A.52-611A.68, and Minnesota Rules 3050.0100–2050.4100.

The Crime Victim Justice Unit carries out the functions outlined in the Crime Victim Oversight Act, Minnesota Statutes 611A.72-74. OJP administers grants authorized under Minnesota Statutes 611A.211, 611A.212, 611A.32, and 611A.45.  

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office operates under Minnesota Statutes 299A.85 and the Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls Office operates under Minnesota Statutes 299A.90.

Executive Director 

Kate Weeks has been OJP's executive director since her appointment in October 2018. She is responsible for the development and execution of all programs within OJP and directs policy identification and implementation as well as fiscal and personnel administration.


Director Weeks has served in various public service capacities, including in positions with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, the St. Paul City Council, and the Minnesota Legislature and 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. 


OJP currently has 54 full-time employees. This includes 13 reimbursement staff, nine crime victim grants staff, eight justice and community grants staff, two research staff, one community engagement staff, one housing specialist, and one training staff, seven financial and administrative staff, three crime victim justice unit staff, four Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations Office staff, four Youth Justice Office staff, and one law enforcement staff. 



OJP was created in May 2003 through the Department of Administration Reorganization Order No. 187 with the aim of improving the effectiveness of Minnesota's criminal justice planning, grant administration, and victim services activities. OJP brought together five programs from several state agencies, including:

  • ​The 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 the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee from the Department of Economic Security;
  • The Statistical Analysis Center from Minnesota Planning; and
  • The Office of the Crime Victim Ombudsman.

Each program had a long history of providing quality support or services to their constituents, whether juvenile and/or criminal justice system professionals, community-based agencies or crime victim service providers.


Crime Victim Grants

​The Crime Victim Grants team administers state grants to more than 170 local services providers and six statewide crime victim coalitions. The grant funding ensures that victims of child abuse, general crime, domestic violence and sexual assault have access to support and services. State grant funds have been provided since 1979.​ 

Justice and Community Grants

The Justice and Community Grants team administers state and federal grants to address violent crime and drug abuse, create consistent and strategic plans and policies and improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. The unit combines the activities of the former Office of Drug Policy and Violence Prevention (ODPVP), which was created in 1989.

Youth Justice Office

The Youth Justice Office supports the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Minnesota's state advisory group, which allocates federal juvenile delinquency prevention funding and monitors compliance with core protections for youth. The state advisory committee is required under the 1974 federal Juvenile Justice Act, which created core protections for youth in the juvenile justice system.

​Minnesota Crime Victims Reimbursement Program

​The Minnesota Crime Victims Reimbursement Program (formerly the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Program), which was created in 1974, helps victims of violent crime with their crime-related financial losses and aids in their recovery. The team processes victim claims, and the five-member Minnesota Crime Victim Reimbursement Board appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety meets monthly to review certain claims for eligibility and coverage.

​Crime Victim Justice Unit

The Crime Victim Justice Unit (CVJU) replaced the independent Office of the Crime Victim Ombudsman, which was created in 1986. The CVJU team provides assistance to victims navigating the criminal justice system and investigates violations of crime victim rights.

External Relations and Communications

OJP staff routinely meet with community organizations, stakeholders and grassroots organizations to listen to their concerns and needs, make meaningful connections across disciplines and communities, increase awareness of resources available to crime victims, and explain grant opportunities. OJP also offers materials and resources on crime-victim related issues.

Key OJP training efforts include:

  • Annual OJP Conference on Crime and Victimization
  • Minnesota Victim Assistance Academy
  • Advocacy training and seminars on victim-related topics

Statistical Analysis Center

The Statistical Analysis Center team collects and analyzes criminal and juvenile justice data, issues reports and directs program evaluation.

Minnesota Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives

Created in 2021, the Minnesota Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office provides support and resources to Indigenous families and communities. The team strives to increase awareness of violence against Indigenous relatives (including men, women, girls and Two-Spirit); and works to improve the overall response from the criminal justice system to reported cases.

Minnesota Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls

The 2023 Legislative Session created the Minnesota Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls in response to a recommendation from the Minnesota Missing and Murdered African American Women and Girls Task Force. Formation of this new office is underway.

Violent Crime Coordinating Council

OJP provides administrative support for the Violent Crime Coordinating Council and administers state and federal grant funding for Violent Crime Enforcement Teams. OJP's gang and drug coordinator provides training and technical assistance for the Violent Crime Enforcement Teams. The Violent Crime Coordinating Council (Minnesota Statutes 299A.642) was established to provide guidance related to the investigation and prosecution of gang and drug crimes.


Partnerships at the state and local levels advance OJP's goals and extend OJP's impact. Examples of OJP partnerships include:

  • ​​Coordinating with the Minnesota 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, Health, and Human Services to complete the triennial Minnesota Student Survey.
  • 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 legislature on the state's juvenile justice system and allocating Minnesota's federal juvenile justice grant funds.
  • Partnering with the Youth Intervention Program Association (YIPA) to administer grants in support of intervention programming for at-risk youth. 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.