District Attorneys receive grant money despite state budget cuts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

District Attorneys receive grant money despite state budget cuts

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

October 7, 2008

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Offices that help victims of crimes are losing money because of state budget cuts. It could have been worse. Initially, they were told they wouldn't get any money from the state this year.

District Attorneys in Southwest Georgia put up a fight. That's why workers in the victim services office in Bainbridge today were thrilled. The grant they thought was lost was reinstated today.

And that's money they depend on to do their job.

"Without this money, we would not be able to help get a woman out of a domestic violence situation and put them up in a hotel for the night. You know that kind of thing," says Ashlee Landrum, an Advocate with the Victim Services Unit.

A little over a month ago victim services were told by the state they weren't getting their grant next year, a grant worth over 70,000 dollars.

"Not having these grants would have effectively diminished our role in protecting the public. And that's something we just couldn't do without. That's why it was so important. That's why myself, and other District Attorney's went to Atlanta and fought for our victims to make sure these grants were reinstated," says Joe Mulholland, the District Attorney for the South Georgia Judicial Circuit.

They will only receive about 65,000 dollars next year, an 11% cut from this year.

"Understanding that the entire state is being cut on their budgets we were ecstatic to know that we are going to be getting that grant again next year," says Mulholland.

Meaning victims of domestic violence, rape, and child molestation to name a few, will still have a place to turn.

"A victim is traumatized already by a crime and sending them somewhere else is just going to traumatize them even more," says Landrum.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland, and workers at the office Wednesday were excited that they can continue serving the public...protecting victims and prosecuting criminals.

The South Georgia Circuit covers Decatur, Grady, Mitchell, Calhoun, and Baker counties. Dougherty County's grant was also reinstated today. Feedback

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