Agenda Report # 64
SUBJECT: 2018-19 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Competitive – Underserved Area Grant #5
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 funding totaling $56,947 with a federal award of $45,557 from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council along with $8,542 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Fund allocated in the FY19 Budget to provide funding for Crime Victim Assistance in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit from January 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019. Along with an additional In-Kind Match of $2,847 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. The office currently employs 13.6 staff members; twelve full-time advocates, 3 part-time and 1 portion paid.
Analysis: If approved for FY19, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Georgia will allocate $45,557 to Muscogee County Government to support the Victim-Witness Assistance Program for the grant year January 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council requires a 20% total match ($11,389), which breaks down to a cash portion of $8,542 and the remaining $2,847 must come in the form of volunteer hours specified as In-Kind contributions. The District Attorney requests Council’s authorization to utilize $8,542, from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Funds, and amend the multi-governmental fund by the amount awarded plus the local match.
The total amount of $56,947 represents the salary, benefits, travel, and supplies for one (1) GS-14 Victim Advocate to provide direct services to crime victims who have been identified as currently being underserved or denied services. The area of focus is in Muscogee Juvenile Court and the Rapid Resolution Program.
Grant Funded Victim Advocate GS-14
Total Award 56,947
Federal Portion: 45,557
20% Match: 11,389
Cash Match: 8,542
Financial Considerations: The grant total is $56,947 with the Federal allocation of $45,557 along with $8,542 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Funds and $2,847 in In-Kind Match volunteer hours.
Projected Annual Fiscal Impact Statement: 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 urges the collaboration of agencies to identify and address gaps in service and work together to ease said burdens.
Recommendations/Actions: Authorize submission and, if approved, acceptance of a grant in the amount of $45,557 from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, along with $8,542 from the 5% Crime Victim Surcharge Funds in order to provide services to crime victims who have been identified as underserved. This action will provide the funding for a Victim Advocate to be in place for at least the next three years.