Thursday, November 15, 2012
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CONYERS -- Rockdale County has been awarded a grant to establish a Family Violence Court as part of an ongoing effort to deal with multiple issues related to family violence cases.
State Court Judge Nancy Bills announced the $337,920 grant award Tuesday to the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners. The grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice under the Court Training and Improvement program managed by the Office on Violence Against Women. There is no local match required for the grant. The BOC voted unanimously Tuesday to accept the grant.
"This grant is the culmination of hard work by many organizations and the courts within the county to address the totality of circumstances associated with family violence cases," said Bills in a press release. "We envision a single court with the ability to handle a temporary protective order normally filed in Superior Court, concerns for the children, which are typically dealt with in Juvenile Court, while at the same time addressing a criminal charge usually prosecuted in State Court. It becomes much easier for the victim to receive a more holistic treatment and harder for the accused to manipulate the system."
The three-year grant will be used to develop a Family Violence Court based on best practices offered by multiple resources associated with the Office on Violence Against Women and the strengths of Rockdale County, according to a release from Rockdale County. The Family Violence Court will be designed to improve the efficiency of the court system with dedicated family violence dockets and prosecutors. The court will also make it unnecessary for a victim to appear in multiple courts to address potential criminal and civil cases associated with an abusive relationship. The Family Violence Court will also increase the integrity of service to victims while elevating the level of accountability for abusers.
The court has already hired Derek Marchman as the coordinator of the Family Violence Court. He will be paid through a $40,000 Court Training and Improvements grant, also approved by the BOC Tuesday.
For more information, contact Bills at 770-278-7720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.