Story by: Charlie Schill
LOGAN – The Victim Services Division of the Cache County Attorney’s Office has secured a $166,000 grant for its proposed Family Justice Center.
Victim advocate Terryl Warner told Cache County Council members April 14 that the grant was approved recently by the state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
“This CDGB grant will provide money for a phone system; a security system for videotaping interviews as well as internal and external security for the building; a fire-prevention system; and, a vehicle for safely transporting victims,” Warner explained.
The Family Justice Center is a planned expansion of the county’s current Children’s Justice Center, according to Warner.
The Cache County Children’s Justice Center (CJC) is a child-friendly facility where youthful victims of abuse are interviewed and medically assessed by professionals specifically trained in the forensic investigation of abuse.
The planned Family Justice Center, to be collocated with the CJC at 1362 North 400 West in Logan, is intended to provide similar services for adult victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Warner said that the county had planned to begin construction of the Family Justice Center this summer, but fund raising efforts for that project have been delayed by the Coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re still hoping to move ahead with that project in the near future,” she said.
The county’s Victim Services Division consists of three full-time advocates involved with serious offenses charged in First District Court and a fourth part-time advocate who is involved with misdemeanor offenses in Logan City Justice Court. These advocates protect the rights of victims in the criminal court process by ensuring that they stay informed and are treated respectfully.
“The new Family Justice Center is needed,” Warner explained, “because our Children’s Justice Center is about out of room. We have one interview room, one observation room and one waiting room. The other issue that that we have a lot of victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and domestic violence who can’t be properly helped at the CJC simply because they are adults.”
“A victim of a sexual or physical abuse who is over 18 now has to be interviewed at a hospital or a police facility. That’s why we want a Family Justice Center, to support those victims in a less stressful environment. Luckily, we have a strong partnership with the Malouf Foundation for that purpose.”
Since 1974, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has provided funds that states may use to meet urgent community development needs. Under federal guidelines, a need is considered urgent if it poses a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community.
Warner added that Cache County plans to seek additional CDGB funding next year to install an elevator in the new Family Justice Center.