COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Cochise County Attorney's office has received a $318,643 grant to continue its Victim Witness Program.
The funds, awarded by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, will allow the County to provide victim assistance services for three fiscal years.
Along with matching funds in the amount of $79,661, required by the state, the grant will pay for two full-time victim advocates' salaries, as well as a part-time program manager.
"These staff members will provide quality services to victims of crime throughout Cochise County," said County Attorney Brian McIntyre.
The advocates will spend a portion of their time in the lower courts to ensure crime victims are aware of and receive the full gamut of available services. They will also assist victims of violent felony crimes in the Cochise County Superior Court.
"With some of the tougher cases especially, we do really see the benefits of this program," McIntyre added.
The Cochise County Attorney's Office began its Victim Witness Program in 1987 and its services are provided free of charge, thanks to the grant funding.
Services include helping victims navigate the criminal justice system, accompanying them to court proceedings, locating resources, and guiding people through the crime victim compensation process.
Additionally, the program sends out around 300 notifications per month regarding court hearing dates, and other related information.
"If not funded, the positions under this grant would not exist and Cochise County crime victims would be underserved," said McIntyre.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the grant agreement at its regular meeting on Jan. 23.