Agenda Item # 5
Columbus Consolidated Government
Council Meeting

10/09/2018

Agenda Report # 37


TO: Mayor and Council

SUBJECT: 2018-19 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Compensation Grant

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 $48,649 or as otherwise awarded from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia allocated in the FY19 Budget to provide funding for Crime Victim Assistance in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. This Compensation Advocate Grant has a Match Waiver so there is no request for either a cash match or an In-Kind match. It is requested that the multi-governmental fund be amended by the amount awarded.

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 the 6 counties within the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. Successful grant allocations since that time have sustained the program. The office currently employs a Director of Victim Services, two (2) Victim Advocate Investigators and 12.1 Victim Advocates.

Analysis: If approved for FY19, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia will allocate $48,649 to Columbus Consolidated Government to support the Victim-Witness Assistance Program for the grant year October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia is waiving both the cash match and the In-Kind match for this grant.

The total amount of $48,649 represents the salary and full benefits for one (1) position of Victim Advocate/Compensation Specialist who will provide Crime-Victim Compensation education and outreach throughout the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

Grant Funded Victim Advocate/Compensation Specialist Full-Time Total = $48,649

Financial Considerations: Since the match is waived, the award and total of $48,649 are the same.

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 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 $48,649 or as otherwise awarded from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia, in order to reach out to crime victims and the general public with education and information on Crime Victims Compensation. This action will provide the funding for a Victim Advocate/Compensation Specialist to be in place renewable 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 $48,649 OR AS OTHERWISE AWARDED FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COUNCIL OF GEORGIA ALLOCATED IN THE FY19 BUDGET, TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR CRIME VICTIM ASSISTANCE IN THE CHATTAHOOCHEE JUDICIAL CIRCUIT FROM OCTOBER 1, 2018 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2019, AND, AMEND THE MULTI-GOVERNMENTAL FUND BY LIKE AMOUNT.

WHEREAS, the District Attorney is requesting the acceptance of a VOCA Grant in the amount of $48,649 or as otherwise awarded 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), allocated in the FY19 Budget for the salary and full benefits; and,

WHEREAS, the funding will be used to enhance services as our office provides education and outreach specifically regarding Crime Victims Compensation to those within our Circuit; and,

WHEREAS, The District Attorney will continue to supervise the operation of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

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 $48,649 or as otherwise awarded from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia allocated in the FY19 Budget to fund the Victim-Witness Assistance Program which will extend over a twelve-month period beginning October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.
______________
Introduced at a regular Meeting of Council of Columbus, Georgia, held the 9th day of October 2018, 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 House voting _____________.
Councilor Huff voting _____________.
Councilor Thomas voting _____________.
Councilor Turner Pugh voting _____________.
Councilor Woodson voting _____________.



__________________________________ __________________________
Lindsey Glisson, Deputy Clerk of Council Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor