U.S.

Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Office of the Assistant Attorney General APR 3 1998 The Honorable John Breaux United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510-1803 Dear Senator Breaux: I am replying to your inquiry on behalf of Judge Frank A. Marullo, Jr., Chief Judge, Criminal District Court, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana. Judge Marullo seeks information about the availability of Federal financial assistance for capital improvements to the Israel M. Augustine, Jr. Criminal Justice Center in New Orleans. Please excuse our delay in responding. Staff of the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, researched potential sources of funding in response to Judge Marullo's request. There are no Federal domestic assistance programs specifically earmarked for accessibility renovations and security upgrades to State and local court buildings. However, some State and local courts have, nonetheless, been successful over the years in their efforts to obtain Federal assistance for capital improvements. According to Mr. Bob Tilden of the National Center for State Courts, Conference of State Court Administrators, 1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1710, Arlington, Virginia 22209, telephone (703) 841-0200, the funding sources have been innovative and wide-ranging. They have included such methods as Congressionally appropriated line-item riders, funding associated with Federal agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency following disaster-related damage, urban-renewal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, "impact funds" associated with a significant "Federal presence" in the local community, and "move-ins" to vacated Federal facilities. In 1995 the State Justice Institute published the results of a study entitled "Court Managers Guide to Court Facility Financing Survey" which describes such creative financing efforts undertaken by local court systems. According to Mr. Tilden, Judge Marullo should consult Mr. Hugh Collins, the State Court Administrator in New Orleans, for a copy of the financing survey. (handwritten)FOIA Washington, D.C. 20035

-2We also referred Judge Marullo's correspondence to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (Enclosures). OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance administers criminal justice formula grants. Funding for facility renovation of State and local courts may be considered for this program under existing guidelines. HUD administers Federal aid to promote community development under its Community Development Block Grants Program. State and local courts may be recipients of community development funding for capital improvements. Both OJP and HUD should be able to provide Judge Marullo with specific information about the Federal financial assistance programs under their administration. An additional resource that Judge Marullo might find useful is entitled "Opening the Courthouse Door; An ADA Access Guide for State Courts", published by the American Bar Association's Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. This 1992 guide has a chapter with suggestions on funding resources that may be helpful to pay for providing access to the courts by persons with disabilities. It is available by contacting: American Bar Association Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law 740 15th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005 Telephone (202) 662-1570 I hope this information is useful in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Bill Lann Lee Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures