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Albany courts to receive federal funds

Dougherty County prosecutors say the Albany Municipal Court Office is now under investigation...
Dougherty County prosecutors say the Albany Municipal Court Office is now under investigation for misappropriation of funds.
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 10:42 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The City of Albany was one of seven applicants from around the country recently selected by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance under its National Community Courts Initiative to receive $400,000.

Albany will also get technical assistance from the Center for Court Innovation to implement a community court, which will serve Albany and surrounding counties.

“The Albany Municipal Court is very fortunate to be considered and awarded the grant. This gives the City of Albany a unique opportunity to embolden citizens systemically less fortunate than others,” said Chief Judge Willie Weaver, Sr. for the municipal court.

Albany Municipal Court Chief Judge Willie Weaver (Source:WALB)
Albany Municipal Court Chief Judge Willie Weaver (Source:WALB)

Community courts aim to improve public safety and reduce reoffending by addressing underlying issues— like substance use disorders, mental illness, and chronic unemployment— that often lead to lower-level crime, according to the city. At the same time, program participants perform community restitution projects.

The city said research has shown that community courts can reduce crime and substance use, increase services to victims, reduce unnecessary use of jail, save money and improve public confidence in the justice system.

“In these challenging times, Albany’s award reaffirms the important work being done by community courts and, in particular, the creative efforts of the City of Albany’s Municipal Court Community Court,” said Aaron Arnold, the Center for Court Innovation’s director of technical assistance. “It’s a huge accomplishment to win this highly-selective national competition, and we look forward to working with them.”

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