California News: SAN DIEGO, U.S. Attorney Announces Millions of Dollars in DOJ grants

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cindy Cipriani 619-546-9608

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – October 4, 2018

SAN DIEGO, California – U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman today announced several significant U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grants to San Diego entities, each of which submitted competitive proposals to increase public safety by preventing and/or responding to emerging crime problems. The awards include:

A total of $2,615,000 to Alliance for HOPE International (Alliance), a non-governmental organization that works to end violence against women, children and families. Of this sum, $2,165,000 will be used to streamline the case intake and service delivery process at Family Justice and Multi-Agency Centers and other victim service provider organizations. The revised system will increase agency coordination, provide easier access to services, and allow for data aggregation at the national level to improve service delivery and effectiveness for human trafficking survivors.

The project will also integrate cutting-edge tools into the intake and assessment process, allowing Centers to quickly determine victims’ needs, streamline referrals, and automate and track effective service delivery. Alliance will also receive $450,000 to provide trainings and technical assistance to Family Justice Centers throughout the United States.

In partnership with the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health, the Alliance will provide training and technical assistance focused on building the capacity of Family Justice Centers/Multi-Agency Centers, as well as other co-located service centers, to provide effective services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with substance use-related needs.

$1,973,347 to the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) to create technology solutions designed to help victims of identity crimes receive immediate assistance and reduce the risk of further victimization. ITRC plans to expand hours of service, improve tools for faster intake, develop the capability to offer immediate customized recommendations and resources, expand remediation tools, incorporate a data breach risk score, include real time alerts and additional remediation tools on an identity theft app, provide ways for victims to self-report and access case information, and launch an outreach campaign to increase awareness of ways to mitigate risks associated with identity crime.

$1,200,000 to Rady Children’s Hospital Center to develop and strengthen Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Teams (MDTs) in 13 states in the Western region. These funds will be used for conferences; information dissemination; on-site technical assistance and team training; multidisciplinary and discipline-specific training; use of innovative technologies; mentoring of CAC programs; CAC leadership development; and chapter development to strengthen state networks and develop new programs. The Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego (RCHSD) will manage the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (WRCAC). The WRCAC will help communities develop multidisciplinary teams and local programs, such as child advocacy centers, to better respond to child abuse and neglect, especially child sexual abuse, child sex trafficking, and severe physical abuse. It will also deliver training and technical assistance to strengthen existing functions in the 13 western states.

$ 931,395 to the City of Escondido Police Department to create and begin implementing a strategic, collaborative, and community-oriented plan to reduce crime. The City plans to identify, verify, and prioritize crime hot spots within a specific target neighborhood; work with cross-sector team and law enforcement partners to develop a multi-faceted strategy, using multiple approaches to address crime drivers; pursue community partnerships; engage the community by employing innovative approaches to collecting resident input; and collaborate with local law enforcement, a research partner/team, and the community to conduct analysis of crime drivers and an assessment of needs and resources. The project managers plan to have neighborhood residents play an active role.

$700,000 to San Diego Youth Services to enhance the specialized services available to assist victims of human trafficking by increasing interagency collaboration and ensuring a coordinated community response to victims. This grant will fund provision of high-quality, specialized services that address the individual needs of trafficking victims, including housing, economic and leadership empowerment, mental health, substance abuse, and legal services.

The program will also support efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities.

$500,000 to the Escondido Education Compact, to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a juvenile justice agency to provide mentoring services to youth screened as posing low risk to public safety.

The goal of Project Hero, a diversion program that emphasizes the dual goals of rehabilitation and accountability, is to improve the quality of life for at-risk and high-risk juvenile justice system-involved youth, families, and communities by directly influencing youth outcomes. The program will target improved academic performance, reduced dropout rates, juvenile delinquency, substance use, and gang participation.

To achieve this goal, the compact will provide high-quality, evidence-based mentoring services tailored to the needs of at-risk and high-risk youth referred to the program through the Escondido Police Department or other law enforcement agencies. By matching youth with mentors, the program intends to reduce recidivism and support academic achievement and school attendance.

$ 401,136 to the City of San Diego for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, to prevent, interdict, investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated child exploitation and Internet crimes against children; improve task force effectiveness by educating, training and empowering local School Resource Officers and Juvenile Investigators; and engage in community outreach activities including training, prevention, and education seminars.

$373,037 to the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Initiative, Inc., which serves tribal reservations and communities located in the counties of San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and Riverside. Additionally, SHNWC also works with many of the non-native service providers within San Diego and Riverside Counties, including four shelter programs and three rape crisis centers, as well as with San Bernardino-Riverside Indian Health under the Kiicha safe home project. With this award, SHNWC will provide technical assistance, training, and services to the community service area to enhance access and awareness to services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking.

“The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to keeping our community safe by supporting innovative programs that both prevent crime and showcase best practices in supporting victims,” said U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman. “These grant awards will benefit San Diego and, in some instances, the entire country, by increasing awareness, upgrading crime reporting options, offering critical assistance to those who need it during an extremely difficult time in their lives, and connecting vulnerable communities to law enforcement resources.”

SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Thursday, October 4, 2018.