FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VAWO
FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2001 202/307-0703
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS IDAHO $960,000
TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
WASHINGTON, DC - Attorney General Ashcroft announced today that the Justice Department is awarding $960,000 to Idaho to prevent and respond to violence against women, as part of this year’s STOP (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program. This program is funded under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“No American should feel outside the protection of the law, or beyond the reach of the law. The STOP program supports communities that champion victims’ rights and develops coordinated responses to violence against women,” said Attorney General Ashcroft. “The funds will give law enforcement and victim services the resources they need to do a better job of investigating, prosecuting and preventing crimes against women. We must continue to provide our communities with the resources to hold offenders accountable and to meet the needs of victims.”
STOP funds are used to promote partnerships among law enforcement, prosecution, the courts and victim advocates to ensure victim safety and accountability for offenders.
The Justice Department has awarded Idaho over $5.2 million in STOP funds since 1995, for total funding exceeding $9.8 million under the VAWA grant programs since the enactment of the VAWA legislation in 1994. In the President’s FY 2002 budget request, the Justice Department seeks $390 million in overall VAWA funding, a $102.52 million increase over FY 2001.
Through this funding, states and communities are urged to restructure and strengthen the criminal justice system response to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, utilizing the expertise of all participants working in the system, including victim advocates.
Since 1997, the State of Idaho has used its STOP Formula funds to address identified needs and improve the criminal justice system’s response to violent crimes against women. Current project priorities emphasize:
· Training law enforcement officers and prosecutors to more effectively identify and respond to violent crimes against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence;
· Developing, enlarging or strengthening victim service programs, including sexual assault and domestic violence;
· Developing and enhancing the efforts of probation and parole agencies to monitor and control perpetrators on violence against women in order to maximize safety and offender accountability;
· Strengthening the response of pre-trial agencies in cases involving violence against women; and
· Coordinating efforts among all relevant justice agencies to leverage the coercive power of the criminal justice system to influence offender behavior.
With FY 2001 funding, the State of Idaho will continue providing state and local coordinated community responses to address violent crimes against women. At the state level, funding is directed at support programs that would enhance or improve local initiatives. At the local level, projects are funded to enhance and expand existing programs.
The STOP Program is authorized under the Violence Against Women Acts of 1994 and 2000. The STOP grants are awarded by the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) to designated state agencies, which must award 25 percent of the funds they receive to law enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, 30 percent to victim services, 5 percent to courts and 15 percent at the state’s discretion for other STOP program purposes.
For information about the Idaho STOP grant, contact Ed Strickfaden, Director, Idaho State Police, at 208/884-7046. Information about the STOP program and other initiatives involving violence against women issues is available on VAWO’s Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo or OJP’s Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free at 800/851-3420.
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After hours contact: Angela Harless on 202/616-3266 or pager #888/763-8943