Contra Costa County received separate grants from the U.S. Justice Department on Monday to focus on effective criminal defense and helping those released from prison reintegrate into society.
The county was given nearly $400,000 for a Smart Defense Initiative aimed at making sure criminal defendants have effective lawyers.
Contra Costa was also one of six counties nationwide to share in a $6 million Smart Reentry award to aid people released from prison in successfully reentering society.
The county's two awards were among $34.5 million in grants to more than 40 agencies and research institutions in a department initiative to reduce crime by providing a science-based approach to criminal justice operations.
In another set of Justice Department grants announced Monday, Alameda County won a $1 million grant to enhance the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced.
The county's award was one of 106 national, state and local grants, totaling more than $20 million, that were made by the department's Bureau of Justice Assistance to improve body-worn camera policy and use.
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District was given a $27,194 award for its police force's use of the cameras.
"When backed by sound policies and procedures, body-worn camera use has the potential to heighten transparency, reduce complaints, and improve evidence collection, leading to safer neighborhoods and greater respect for the law," Lynch said in a statement.
-- Bay City News Service