Agenda Report # 37
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.