MONTGOMERY— Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $7.9 million for programs to support victims of abuse and crime across Alabama.
The grants will support five programs and organizations that assist victims in many areas of the state.
“We must work to ensure that professional help is always available for anyone who has been victimized or abused in Alabama,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend these organizations for their efforts to provide services for victims and for their outreach work in helping to prevent these horrible crimes.”
The Alabama Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is using $1.7 million in funds to continue providing abused, neglected or abandoned children with trained, caring advocates to assist them in all court proceedings in Autauga, Calhoun, Colbert, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties. Advocates also conduct independent, objective investigations into the life of the child and interview adults and those involved with the case. That information, along with legal, medical and psychological records, provides the means to make recommendations to the court until the child can be placed in a safe, permanent home. Matching funds of $434,250 will supplement the grant.
Funds of $90,000 will help the Alabama chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving continue offering services at no cost to victims and survivors of drunk driving such as emotional support, referrals to additional community resources, support literature, assistance with navigating the criminal justice system and applying for Alabama Crime Victims Compensation. Matching funds of $22,500 will supplement the grant.
The Alabama Office of Prosecution Services will use grant funds of $5.7 million to continue use of Certified Facility Dogs throughout the state. District attorneys in all 67 counties can request the service dogs to assist with the emotional needs of victims. For example, a service dog can help a young victim of abuse feel more comfortable when having to recount details of the abuse in the criminal justice system. Matching funds of $1.4 million will supplement the grant.
The Alabama Coalition Against Rape will use funds of $225,000 to continue aiding victims of sexual violence and to conduct outreach and education services to help prevent further assaults statewide. Funds are also being used to collect data from more rural areas of the state to determine where there is the most need for further assistance. Matching funds of $56,250 will supplement the grant.
Grant funds of $185,000 will help the Victims of Crime and Leniency Angel House in Montgomery continue providing counseling, advocacy, court accompaniment, education and a 24-hour crisis line in Montgomery, Elmore, Autauga, Chilton, Jefferson, Blount, Chambers, Tallapoosa, Lee, Walker, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cullman, Sumter, Mobile, Marshall and Morgan counties. The organization assists victims of robbery and family members who have lost a loved one to homicide. Matching funds of $46,250 will supplement the grant.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim services, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreational development.
“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in commending the staff members of these organizations for the important work they continue to do to ensure all victims receive the care and support they need,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA’s partnership with these local groups provides victims with important access to needed services.”