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Victim safety project grants

Archived Backgrounder

Victim safety project grants

Backgrounder

Ministry of the Solicitor General

The Victim Safety Project is a joint $4.5-million 18-month initiative between the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of the Attorney General, funded through the Victims' Justice Fund. The Victims' Justice Fund is a special purpose account established under the Victims' Bill of Rights and funded from fine surcharges imposed under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Provincial Offences Act.

The Victims' Justice Fund is dedicated exclusively to assisting victims
of Criminal Code offences. Victims' Justice Fund grant applicants are required
to provide a description of how their proposal will assist victims of Criminal
Code offences as specified in the Victims' Bill of Rights.

Members of a committee, including justice sector partner representatives
from the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ontario Victim Services
Secretariat, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Ministry of Community Safety
and Correctional Services and the Ontario Provincial Police reviewed a total
of 22 applications last fall. Eight proposals totaling $875,000 are receiving
funding in 2008.

LIST OF PROJECTS AWARDED FUNDING

- Caledon/Dufferin Victim Services ($45,000): This project will enhance
services to victims of high-risk offenders. A CD-ROM containing
safety planning information will be available to victims who live in
remote communities where victim support and assistance are less
accessible.
- Greater Sudbury Police Service ($150,000): This project will offer
training to front-line officers with an emphasis on victim
notification and services available to victims. A coordinator will be
hired to maintain a registry of victim contacts and assist in the
development and maintenance of a web page containing updated
information about offenders for victims and members of the community.
- Hamilton Police Service ($140,000): This grant will assist Hamilton
Police Service in offering state-of-the-art technology to its
vulnerable population. Through a Global Position System victim
tracking and messaging device, victims will receive up-to-date
information about the offender based on police information and real-
time information that probation and parole services may wish to
share.
- Ottawa Police Service ($70,000): This grant will assist the Ottawa
Police Victim Crisis Unit in hiring a victim crisis worker who will
review files, conduct clinical assessments, provide safety plans and
offer post trauma counselling to victims and referral to community
partners. The worker will also provide victims with information on
reporting procedures to ensure a timely response to breach of
conditions.
- Oxford Community Police Service ($143,000): This project will lead to
improved accountability between local High Risk Offender Response
Team members, effective information sharing and better coordination
of case management efforts in monitoring offenders and assessing
risk. Specialized safety planning and risk assessment training will
be offered to victim services, Crown attorneys and probation and
parole officers.
- Victim Services of Middlesex County ($150,000): The project will
develop focus groups including victims, victim crisis and referral
services staff, police, Crown attorneys, probation and parole
officers, and, when appropriate, offenders. Using the information
gathered from the focus groups, an educational video and information
package will be produced to address service gaps and support the
needs of victims.
- Victim Services of Wellington ($89,000): A victim notification and
safety coordinator will be hired to help shorten the time between
offender release and victim notification and notify victims of the
outcome of hearings when the offender is not released.
- Victim Services of Windsor and Essex County ($91,000): A project
coordinator will be hired to increase victim/community safety by
addressing gaps in services to victims. The coordinator will develop
a police in-service training tool; create and facilitate a service
provider public education training session; create terms of reference
for a high-risk case management review team; and create a pamphlet on
safety precautions for the release of a high-risk offender.

A portion of the grant funding will be used to offer a provincewide
training symposium in fall 2008. The training will ensure that police
services, Crown attorneys and community-based victim service agencies are
provided with information and materials on victim safety and victim
notification. Attendees will also be provided with the ministry's guidelines
on Victim Assistance and Police Response to High-Risk Individuals.

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