Agenda Report # 59
Analysis: For Federal FY16, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, through PACGA, has allocated new additional OCA Grant Funding of $49,444 to support the Solicitor General's Victim-Witness Assistance Program for the grant year October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council requires a 20% match (which in this case is $12,361), which may come in the form of volunteer hours specified as in-kind contributions. The Solicitor General requests Council’s authorization to create a new, full time Victim Advocate position using the said grant money to fund the position at a salary of $36,000 with benefits as follows: FICA $2,754; GG Retirement $4,860; Health $5,650; Life $180; TOTAL $49,444. Volunteer hours will be used to meet the matching requirement of said grant.
Projected Annual Fiscal Impact Statement: There will be no annual fiscal impact as a result of awarding this grant. The Victim Advocate position's salary would be $36,000, plus benefits, which will be fully funded by the grant. Funding in subsequent years will be contingent upon subsequent grant funding.
Legal Considerations: Georgia Law requires the Solicitor General provide extensive services, information, and notification to crime victims pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 17-17-1 (Crime Victims' Bill of Rights). The Solicitor General is solely and directly responsible for complying with this law as mandated by the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The need for a Victim Advocate to work with crime victims earlier in the criminal justice process, essentially prior to or at the defendant’s first appearance, is greatly needed. Our office is currently understaffed and has one Victim Advocate/Investigator to assist numerous crime victims. The addition of this Victim Advocate position will greatly enhance our ability to serve our community's misdemeanor crime victims.
Recommendations/ Actions: Authorize the Solicitor General/Victim-Witness Assistance Program to submit and, if approved, accept a new additional Federal VOCA Grant for $49,444 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council through PACGA; and approve the creation of a new position of Victim Advocate in the Office of the Solicitor General Victim-Witness Assistance Program, with the salary and benefits of said position to be fully funded pursuant to said grant and said position contingent upon future grant funding in subsequent federal fiscal years.
VOCA MOA 2015-2016 12-1-15.pdf
WHEREAS, the funding will be used to create a new position of Victim Advocate who will provide services to crime victims from the time of arrest onward; and,
WHEREAS, the Solicitor General will continue to supervise the operation of the Solicitor General’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program in Muscogee County from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 and report.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, HEREBY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
That the City Manager is hereby authorized to submit and, if approved, accept an additional VOCA grant of $49,444 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to fund a new Victim Advocate position in the Solicitor General’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program which will extend over a twelve month period beginning October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016, said position contingent upon future grant funding in subsequent federal fiscal years.