Eastern Carolina communities to receive portion of $70M for public safety programs through Governor’s Crime Commission

RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCT) – Nearly $70 million in grant funding will address issues related to human trafficking, gangs, veterans rights and safer communities and schools through programs administered by the Governor’s Crime Commission (GCC).

Governor Pat McCrory made the announcement Thursday.

“Public safety is a top priority of my administration and I am proud to support the many initiatives funded through the Crime Commission,” said Governor McCrory. “These programs the commission supports are helping to propel the continued downward trend of crime in North Carolina, and are also working to improve the way of life for many others in our communities.”

The governor’s office said in a news release that the Crime Commission grants have funded domestic violence shelters, child advocacy centers, legal services, and other programs to assist crime victims and aid in their healing, most involving a sexual assault, over the past year. Law enforcement funds were allocated for projects that address gang violence, substance use and prisoner reentry.

“The Governor’s Crime Commission is a great cross section of the justice community and support organizations volunteering their time and administering close to $70 million in funding, and we see the results all across the state,” said commission chairman Chris Schwecker. “Incubating good, innovative programs – that’s our main function.”

The Governor’s Crime Commission serves as the chief advisory body to the governor and the secretary of Public Safety on crime and justice issues. It’s comprised of 44 members including leaders of criminal justice and human services agencies, representatives from the North Carolina Court System, law enforcement, local government, the General Assembly and private citizens.

Among the locations of programs funded through the commission include:

Criminal Justice Improvement and Juvenile Justice Committee

Bertie County – ($57,000) Conflict Resolution Teen Court will offer first-time offenders the opportunity to remain out of juvenile court while building stronger ties in the community, avoid inappropriate behaviors and seek to deter engagement in delinquent acts.

Beaufort – ($90,385) This project will focus on individuals who obtain prescription medication fraudulently by means of doctor shopping.

Halifax County – ($134,000) The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office has established a gang task force, that includes other county agencies. Funding will support a gang officer to head the task force and work with communities to address the serious county gang problem.

Jones County – ($63,000) The Sheriff’s Office will use funds to assist with combating the gang/narcotics problem.

Trenton – ($63,000) The community will work with surrounding agencies to provide highway interdiction and street-level canvasing to work toward a zero tolerance on prescription pill abuse and the crimes associated with the abuse of prescription narcotics.

Pitt County – ($112,000) The Pitt County Reentry Program is a non-residential program that provides an array of services to individuals recently released from incarceration in eastern North Carolina. One key aspect of this program is connecting participants with much-needed substance abuse treatment services.

Rocky Mount – ($150,000) This project will replicate Project Re-entry pre-release programming at Tillery Correctional Center and develop Project Re-entry’s Successful Transition As Mothers Post-Prison, (STAMPP), pilot program for females at Eastern Correctional Center.

Warsaw – ($15,000) Operation Blue Justice will provide increased law enforcement efforts through supplemental part-time funds that will target street-level, open-air drug markets. The project will provide essential life-saving and operational equipment.

Crime Victim Services Committee

Beaufort – ($182,000) Ruth’s House Domestic Violence Program will provide a comprehensive set of services for the victims of domestic violence to help them transform their lives and regain independence free from the fear of trauma and abuse.

Craven, Jones, Pamlico Counties – ($230,000) This project will provide direct services to victims of domestic violence in rural Eastern North Carolina. Services include safe house, support groups, victim and court advocacy, assistance obtaining victim compensation benefits, 24/7 crisis line, crisis counseling, and information and referral.

Elizabeth City – ($138,000) This project will provide professional advocacy and evidence-based therapy to child witnesses of domestic violence, child victims of human sex trafficking, and survivors of homicide. Comprehensive services will take place in an accredited, family-friendly center with multi-disciplinary team support.

Elizabeth City – ($220,000) This project will provide comprehensive services (medical, evidence-based trauma treatment, family advocacy, multi-disciplinary team) to child victims of sexual, physical abuse and/or severe neglect in the rural, geographically isolated counties of the 1st Judicial District of northeastern North Carolina.

Greenville – ($343,000) Tedi Bear Child Advocacy Center will enhance advocacy and evaluation services for abused children, improving the lives of maltreated children and families in eastern North Carolina.

Halifax County – ($215,000) Hannah’s Place, Inc. will use funds to help serve the target population by providing basic domestic violence and sexual assault services. Funds will be used to continue to provide shelter services, 24/7 crisis line, group support, counseling and advocacy for clients.

Hertford County – ($324,000) This project will provide salaries, fringe benefits, health insurance, travel and a cellular telephone for one cross-trained domestic violence advocate and one cross-trained sexual assault advocate.

Nash/Edgecombe Counties – ($196,000) This project will provide shelter, 24-hour crisis line, hospital response, court services, support groups, referrals and information for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

N.C. Department of Justice – ($143,000) This project works with several parties to identify elderly repeat victims of fraud and then tries to prevent their re-victimization. Fraud against older citizens is different from other types of fraud because such victims tend to be victimized again and again.

Wayne County – ($159,000) This project will operate a safe shelter for county domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their dependent children. In addition, the project will provide victims with court advocacy, counseling, information and referral services, as well as operate 24-hour hotlines in English and Spanish.

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