April 26, 2003 – The Law Enforcement Planning Commission earlier this month awarded grants totaling $978,000 in federal anti-crime funds to nine community agencies and programs, along with a separate $70,000 grant to St. John's Safety Zone Inc.
The Safety Zone funding is to support the provision of direct services to victims of crime on St. John, primarily involving domestic violence, child abuse, adult sexual assault, elder abuse, economic exploitation, fraud and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Services include crisis intervention, counseling, group therapy, safe house protection, information and referral, victim and legal-system advocacy, and other actions "to stabilize victims in the aftermath of victimization." Services will be provided in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay and will include the availability of a Hispanic advocate.
The nine other recipients and the programs for which the funding is intended are:
– Juvenile Intervention Social Service, which will receive $250,000. JISS, an alterative sentencing project for youth offenders, includes probation service for at-risk adolescents whose behavior also puts the community at risk of escalating violence. The project of intensive supervised activities as an alternative to incarceration is for youths ages 13-17 who have committee non-violent crimes.
– KidsCope, which will receive $110,000. The St. Thomas child advocacy center helps children and adolescents who have been abused or neglected, through a comprehensive program of counseling and advocacy for youths involved in the legal system, whether as victims of maltreatment or as delinquents.
– Music in Motion, which will receive $100,000. The St. Croix dance school provides at-risk children ages 3-18 with training in dance and gymnastics in afterschool and evening classes. The funded project focuses on preventing juvenile delinquency.
– Our Town Frederiksted, which will receive $100,000. As part of a program addressing gaps in services for residents and offering positive alternatives, the funding will be used for initial clearing of "botanical overgrowth" and debris from empty lots and dilapidated structures within the Frederiksted historic district.
– Safe Streets Task Force, which will receive $95,000. The funded program, to strengthen response to violent crime, will involve operations and initiatives aimed at identifying and dismantling enterprises and organizations responsible for committing violent criminal acts having a federal aspect. The task force will work with the FBI in addressing such crimes.
– St. Patrick's Alumnae Afterschool Program, which will receive $100,000. The funded project will promote family literacy to adults through the teaching of basic computer skills and GED and life-skills courses; create a youth steelpan orchestra; and support an afterschool program of tutoring, leadership skills training, and anger management for youth.
– V.I. Office of Inspector General, which will receive $100,000. Funding is to allow the Inspector General's Office Task Force to audit, investigate and prosecute all cases of suspected corruption, fraud and embezzlement by any public officer or official, giving priority to cases involving the mismanagement and abuse of government funds, money laundering and racketeering influence and corruption.
– V.I. Police Juvenile Bureau Afterschool Boot Camp, which will receive $53,000. Funding is for an afterschool and weekend program to serve youths ages 11-17. It is aimed at reducing and preventing juvenile delinquency and illegal drug use through ongoing counseling, drug testing, accompaniment to appointments and periodic home visitations. An aspect of the program is mandatory parenting skills training for parents and guardians of participants through the Beacon Schools program.
– Virgin Islands Rites of Passage, which will receive $70,000. The project for boys ages 11 to 16 will involve the youths in weekly educational outreach presentations and activities.
Information about applying for future grants may be obtained by contacting Meredith Nielsen, LEPC grant administrator, by calling 774-6400, ext. 208, or e-mailing to LEPC or to Crime Victims.
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