Montgomery Co. DA’s Office “Open Doors” Initiative Modeled Nationwide
The “Open Doors” program launched by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office to minimize trauma on families impacted by homicides is being used as a model for other district attorney’s offices across the nation.
This year there have been 43 homicides in the City of Montgomery. District Attorney Daryl Bailey said children have been involved in 90% of these incidents and are being exposed to trauma at an alarming rate. In early July, a 10-year-old child witnessed his own father’s shooting in Pike Road.
They launched the “Open Doors” program last year to offer counseling services to youth who have witnessed or been a part of a homicide. Investigators and therapists arrive on crime scenes to canvas the area for children. They then provide further assistance with families based on specific needs, connecting them with necessary mental health services. The DA’s office is working with Montgomery Police, the County Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery Public Schools, the County commission, Parakeleo Counseling, and the City of Montgomery for the program.
The program is a part of the Helping Montgomery Families Initiative, lead by director Tim Anderson.
Bailey and Anderson said many kids who are exposed to trauma act out in a violent way themselves. However, they have seen success with the program in the Montgomery area to combat the issue. So much so, they presented to the National District Attorney’s Association, and its now being used as a model nationwide.
They want to spread awareness of the issue as more families are being impacted by this to create a healthy future for the community.
“It’s our part of engaging and educating the community at large about this being an issue that is really important and something that we all need to learn more about,” Anderson said.
If you have any questions about the “Open Doors” program or would like to make a contribution you can call the Helping Montgomery Families Initiative offices at 334-832-1666.