Agenda Item # 8

Columbus Consolidated Government
Council Meeting

07/26/2016

Agenda Report # 16

TO: Mayor and Council

SUBJECT: 2016-17 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Competitive Grant #1

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 $46,227 from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council along with $8,668 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund allocated in the FY17 Budget to provide funding for Crime Victim Assistance in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. Along with an additional In-Kind Match of $2,889 to be contributed by volunteer hours, it is requested that the multi-governmental fund be amended by the amount awarded plus the local match.

Background: In July of 1989, the Office of the District Attorney began operating a Crime Victim Assistance Program. In October of 1992, the 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 all 6 counties within the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. Successful grant allocations since that time have sustained the program. Although still understaffed, the office currently employs a Director of Victim Services and 7.5 Victim Advocates.

Analysis: If approved for FY17, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Georgia will allocate $46,227 to Muscogee County Government to support the Victim-Witness Assistance Program for the grant year October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council requires a 20% total match of 11,557; cash portion is $8,668 and In-Kind ($2,889) must come in the form of volunteer hours. The District Attorney requests Council’s authorization to utilize $8,668 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Funds, which is the required cash match.

The total amount of $57,784 represents the salary, benefits and match for one (1) position of Victim Advocate/Investigator who will assist in providing services to crime victims from the time of arrest.

Grant Funded Victim Advocate/Investigator – Full-time Personnel Expenses

Financial Considerations: The grant total is $57,784 with the Federal allocation of $46,227 along with $8,668 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund and $2,889 from the required In-Kind Match in the form of volunteer hours.

Projected Annual Fiscal Impact Statement: Due to the cash match coming from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund, there will be no annual fiscal impact as a result of 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 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 $46,227 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, along with $8,668 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund, in order to continue to provide services from the moment an arrest occurs. This action will provide the funding for a Victim Advocate Investigator position to be in place for at least the next three years renewable through CJCC on an annual basis.



A RESOLUTION
NO._____

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION, ON BEHALF OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND, IF APPROVED, TO ACCEPT A VOCA GRANT OF $46,227 FROM THE GEORGIA CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COUNCIL ALONG WITH $8,668 FROM THE 5% CRIME VICTIM ASSISTANCE SURCHARGE FUND ALLOCATED IN THE FY17 BUDGET, TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR CRIME VICTIM ASSISTANCE IN THE CHATTAHOOCHEE JUDICIAL CIRCUIT FROM OCTOBER 1, 2016 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2017, AND, ALONG WITH THE $2,889 IN-KIND MATCH, AMEND THE MULTI-GOVERNMENTAL FUND BY LIKE AMOUNT.

WHEREAS, the District Attorney is requesting the acceptance of a VOCA Grant in the amount of $46,227 to be allocated over a twelve-month period from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia to support innocent victims of violent crime under the 1996 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), along with $8,668 from the 5% Crime Victim Assistance Surcharge Fund allocated in the FY17 Budget for salaries and benefits; and,

WHEREAS, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council requires a minimum 20% of the grant come in the form of a match and 25% of that be an In-Kind Match to be met through the use of volunteers. Figures are based on a twelve-month period; and,

WHEREAS, the funding will be used to enhance services as our office provides services to crime victims from the moment of victimization;

WHEREAS, The District Attorney will continue to supervise the operation of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, HEREBY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:

That the City Manager is hereby authorized to submit and if approved, accept a grant of $46,227 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council along with $8,668 of the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Funds allocated in the FY17 Budget to fund the Victim-Witness Assistance Program which will extend over a twelve-month period beginning October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.
____________________________

Introduced at a regular meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia, held the _________ day of _____________ 2016, and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of ________ members of said Council.


Councilor Allen voting __________.
Councilor Baker voting __________.
Councilor Barnes voting __________.
Councilor Davis voting __________.
Councilor Garrett voting __________.
Councilor Henderson voting __________.
Councilor Huff voting __________.
Councilor Thomas voting __________.
Councilor Turner Pugh voting __________.
Councilor Woodson voting __________.



_______________________________ __________________________
Tiny B. Washington, Clerk of Council Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor