RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory recently announced close to $70 million in grant funding to address issues related to human trafficking, gangs, veterans rights and safer communities and schools through programs administered by the Governor’s Crime Commission.
Included in the grants is $148,000 for Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties earmarked for an assistant district attorney to work with Substance Abuse and DWI Treatment Courts already in place in the 13th Judicial District.
“Public safety is a top priority of my administration and I am proud to support the many initiatives funded through the Crime Commission,” said Gov. 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.”
As part of the same effort, Fayetteville received $71,000 for alternatives to incarceration for veterans by the creation of a specialized court. The court will focus on crime control and lowering the recidivism rate for veterans charged with non-violent crimes. Court personnel will collaborate with community agencies to provide treatment.
Fayetteville will also be the recipient of $42,000 for an EKG program that teaches students about the legal, medical, and emotional consequences of gangs, youth gun possession and gun-related violence and Fayetteville, and $48,000 to be used to provide transitional housing to victims of human sex trafficking through the Dream Center in Fayetteville. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro will collect data to understand the human sex trafficking dynamic to improve victim services and inform deterrence, intervention and prevention strategies.
During the past year, 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. 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. The GCC has 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.