Agenda Report # 05
SUBJECT: 2014 Sexual Assault Services Program Request for Funds – Core Project
INITIATED BY: District Attorney/Victim-Witness Assistance Program
Recommendation: Approval is requested to authorize the District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program to submit and if approved, accept a grant for $44,265 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council allocated in the FY14 Budget to provide funding for Sexual Assault Victim Services in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit and specifically in Muscogee County from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.
Background: In July of 1989, the Office of the District Attorney began operating a Crime Victim Assistance Program. In October of 1992, the Crime Victim-Witness Assistance Program was awarded the first Crime Victim Assistance Grant, thereby broadening the program for the provision of basic services. In July of 1995, additional funds were received from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund, thus allowing the program to expand services to provide services to all 6 counties within the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. Grant allocations since that time have allowed the program to sustain minimum numbers of employed advocates and as of June 2013, the office has a staff of 5 full-time victim advocates and 1 part-time victim advocate.
Analysis: If approved, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will allocate $44,265 to the Muscogee County Government to provide support to the DA Victim-Witness Assistance Program as they fund a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate position for the grant year of January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. The total amount of $44,265 represents the operating budget for a full-time victim advocate with benefits and limited mileage throughout the year.
Grant Funded Sexual Assault Victim Advocate
Projected Annual Fiscal Impact Statement: There will be no annual fiscal impact as a result of awarding this grant.
Legal Considerations: Georgia Law requires the District Attorney provide extensive services, information and notification to crime victims. (O.C.G.A.-17-17-1) The District Attorney is solely and directly responsible for complying with this law as mandated by the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. Legislature acknowledges that this mandate places additional burdens on prosecutors and have designed laws enabling utilization of the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund to assist in easing said burdens.
Recommendations/Actions: Authorize submission and if approved, acceptance of a grant in the amount of $44,265 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, to provide funding to the DA Victim-Witness Assistance Program in order to fund a full-time Sexual Assault Victim Advocate position who will provide services to victims within the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.
Tiny B. Washington, Clerk of Council Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor