Gov. Bentley Awards Grants to Domestic Violence Victims in Five Counties
MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded grants totaling $243,954 to support specialized units dedicated to assisting domestic violence victims and prosecuting abusers in five central Alabama counties.
“Domestic violence is a terrible crime, and those who are guilty must be held accountable,” Bentley said. “I commend these domestic violence units for helping victims and prosecuting offenders.”
A $137,259 grant is supporting the 19th Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Unit which assists victims in Elmore, Autauga and Chilton counties. The unit’s specially trained attorneys prosecute domestic violence cases in the judicial circuit. Prosecutors, investigators and victim advocates work with victims to obtain convictions, and advocates conduct follow-up visits to help prevent recurring abuses and to help victims obtain needed assistance as they rebuild their lives, including counseling. Matching funds of $45,753 are supplementing the grant to the Elmore County Commission, which acts as the unit’s fiscal agent.
An $84,645 grant is supporting the operation of the Montgomery County Violence Against Women Prosecution Unit. The unit includes a prosecutor who handles domestic violence cases. A victim services officer assists victims by providing them with information immediately after the crime has been reported, coordinating meetings between victims and the prosecutor and accompanying victims to court. Matching funds of $28,215 are supplementing the grant to the Montgomery County Commission.
With a $22,050 grant, the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the services of a domestic violence investigator. The funds permit the Sheriff to designate a deputy to investigate all domestic violence crimes in the county. The investigator also holds community meetings to educate victims and potential victims about signs of abuse and to make them aware of medical treatment, legal aid and other assistance available. Matching funds of $7,350 are supplementing the grant to the Crenshaw County Commission.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Justice Department. ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.