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DeKalb County Magistrate Court receives grant from the U.S. Department of Justice

Decatur

DeKalb County Magistrate Court receives grant from the U.S. Department of Justice

Judge Berryl A. Anderson
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Decatur, GA — The DeKalb County Magistrate Court has been awarded a grant of $649,984, according to a press release from the Magistrate Court. The grant was awarded through the Justice for Families Grant Program. The Court handles the county’s Temporary Protective Order cases by designation. The Court and its collaborative partners will use this supplemental comprehensive award to: 1) continue to provide supervised visitation and safe exchange services; 2) hire a legal advocate to provide in-court assistance in the dedicated domestic violence docket; 3) convene dedicated court calendars with specialized safety protocols for temporary protection order hearings and probable cause hearings for domestic violence-related warrants; and 4) provide victim advocacy during the temporary protective order application and hearing process.

DeKalb County Chief Magistrate Judge Berryl A. Anderson said, “Magistrate Court is a gateway for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking cases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of domestic violence cases. The Court has been laser focused on safely reopening physical courtrooms to provide even more access to victims in these matters. This funding could not have arrived at a more critical time. The grant will enable collaboration with our Justice partners and community partners to improve the Court’s response to victims, their families and the community at large.”

According to the press release, the Grants to Support Families in the Justice System program (referred to as the Justice for Families Program) was authorized in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 to improve the response of the civil and criminal justice system to families with a history of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse. The program supports the following activities for improving the capacity of courts and communities to respond to families affected by the targeted crimes: court-based and court-related programs; supervised visitation and safe exchange by and between parents; training for people who work with families in the court system; civil legal services; and the provision of resources in juvenile court matters. Projects supported by the Justice for Families Program are those that focus on keeping victims and their children safe from further abuse and holding offenders accountable.

 

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