MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded grants totaling $443,450 to support programs that assist domestic violence victims and prosecute offenders in eight south Alabama counties.
“Domestic violence has a lasting effect on victims, and they deserve professional support for overcoming the trauma as well as advocates to help them pursue justice in the legal system,” Bentley said. “I commend the work of these south Alabama organizations for helping those who need it most and for prosecuting those responsible for abuse so that they can't cause any more harm.”
Penelope House in Mobile is using a $136,000 grant to continue providing temporary housing to victims in the county who have become homeless due to domestic violence. The organization is using a separate $54,000 grant to continue funding its Court Advocacy Program in Mobile, Washington, Choctaw and Clarke counties. Advocates provide support and assistance to victims in navigating the criminal and civil court system. Matching funds of $34,000 will supplement the first grant.
The Mobile County Commission is using a $50,000 grant to support a collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office and Penelope House to provide training for law enforcement and prosecutors in using a database to track municipal court domestic violence cases in the county. This program will enable them to know when cases should be pursued more aggressively and when to seek tougher sentences offenders. Matching funds of $16,666 will supplement the grant.
With an $79,089 grant, the Baldwin Family Violence Shelter will continue providing transitional housing to victims and their children who have become homeless due to domestic violence in Baldwin County. A separate grant of $40,571 is helping the shelter to continue providing 24-crisis line, advocacy service and other services to victims in Baldwin, Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties. Local matching funds of $19,772 will supplement the first grant.
The Escambia County Commission is using a $83,790 grant to continue the efforts of the Domestic Violence Unit, a joint venture of the county Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. The unit works closely with law enforcement agencies, health care providers and victim service organizations in the county to help increase public awareness of victim’s rights, prosecute domestic violence cases and reduce violent crime against women in Escambia County. Local matching funds of $27,930 will supplement the grant.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is managing the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“These local partnerships are key to ensuring those who have suffered from abuse have access to the support services they need to begin the recovery process,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is pleased to continue support of these important programs.”
ADECA manages a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy conservation, water resource management, job training and career development.
Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley