Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jun 2006
Source: Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
Copyright: 2006 Asheville Citizen-Times
Author: Leslie Boyd


Groups Get Funding To Help Victims, Increase Security

Nearly $22 million in funding to improve community security and help 
crime victims is on its way to agencies and programs across the state.

The money, a block grant from the federal government administered by 
Governor's Crime Commission, is awarded to state and local agencies 
for programs that fight juvenile delinquency and drug abuse, assist 
victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and buy modern 
equipment and technology for local law enforcement agencies. 
Multimedia   Governor's Crime Commission grant list for WNC counties 
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Pisgah Legal Services will get about $43,600 to continue its program 
to help Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence escape from and 
prosecute their abusers.

"A lot of Spanish-speaking people are intimidated by the court system 
and by their abusers," said Jim Barrett, executive director of Pisgah 
Legal Services. "A high percentage of the women we serve follow 
through and prosecute their abusers."

The Macon County Sheriff's Office will get $50,000 for its narcotics unit.

"It is critical that our local law enforcement agencies have the 
tools and equipment they need to keep our communities secure and 
safe," Easley said in a statement.

Nearly $1.5 million was awarded to Western North Carolina programs 
and agencies.

Funding for the grants is appropriated annually by Congress to the 
U.S. Department of Justice for state distribution in four categories: 
drug control and system improvement; juvenile justice and delinquency 
prevention; Victim of Crime Act; and Violence Against Women Act programs.

Total federal funding for the grants dropped from $26.9 million last 
year to $21.9 million this year. Despite the decline in funds, the 
commission awarded grants to 216 agencies, 23 more than last year.

Among the state agencies that received funds:

The state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety will get $2.3 
million to fight gang activity, improve the state's fingerprint 
identification network, provide school-based crime prevention 
programs and improve the state's emergency communications network 
known as VIPER.

The Administrative Office of the Courts will get $2.3 million for 
dealing with domestic violence, child abuse and other family-related issues.

Nearly $850,000 will be devoted to upgrading the state's automated 
system that helps notify crime victims on custody status and court 
information of convicts.

More than $400,000 is being directed for enhancing sex offender 
tracking technology, including updating and improving Web site data.
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