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Gov. Bentley awards grants to aid crime victims in southwest Alabama

Sep 26th, 2016

Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded grants totaling $277,394 to help the Family Counseling Center of Mobile support victims of crime and their families. The center offers services for victims of sexual assault, homicide, armed robbery and financial crimes in Mobile, Washington, and Clarke counties. “Crime victims should be able to find the help and services they need to begin recovering and seeking justice,” Bentley said. “I commend the center’s staff for their dedication to ensuring that victims receive the care and assistance they need.” The center offers support groups, crisis counseling, case management, financial crime awareness and education classes as well as assistance with financial recovery from identity theft, fraud, and assistance in filing Alabama Crime Victims’ Compensation forms. For sexual assault victims, the center coordinates exams by nurses who have special training to gather crucial forensic evidence used in court cases. Sexual assault victims also receive emergency transportation to and from the hospital and referrals to free, short-term counseling and other follow-up care if needed. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Justice Department. ADECA administers an array of programs in law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resources and recreation development. “AECA works with local partners to ensure that those who unfortunately become victims of crime have access to professional assistance at a time when they need it the most,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “I join Governor Bentley in commending the Family Counseling Center for their work in assisting victims and their families.” Bentley informed Chandra Brown, Family Counseling Center executive director, that the grants had been approved. Matching funds of $30,780 are supplementing the grants.