American Samoa's Fono has hired four new employees under a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to collect data on criminal activities in the territory with an emphasis on domestic violence offenses.
The grant of a hundred thousand US dollars was awarded to the Fono through the Criminal Justice Planning Agency, and halved between the Senate and the House.
Senate President Gaoteote Palaie says the Senate is hiring one new employee, an existing Senate staff member will have their salary paid and the House has hired three new employees under the grant.
The project staff will collect data on crime from the Courts, Human and Social Services, Public Safety, Youth and Women Affairs , LBJ Hospital and Catholic Social Services.
The information will help the Fono determine if existing legislation is adequate or whether new laws are needed and although the grant has a special focus on domestic violence, the research is being expanded to include all criminal offenses.