Story by: Benjamin Pounds
The Family Justice Center of Anderson County will open no later than July 1, a news release stated.
District Attorney General Dave Clark announced that a large grant was secured to fund the creation and opening of the Family Justice Center of Anderson County.
A family justice center is a place and an organization that provides help to people who are victims of family related problems, Clark’s office explained in a news release.
“There are four groups that will directly benefit: domestic violence victims, sexual assault victims, children who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse as well as elder abuse victims,” the release stated.
Victims will go to the Family Justice Center to be introduced to available services and receive services from some fifteen partner organizations who are participating in the Family Justice Center. These services may include law enforcement, prosecution, mental health, civil legal help, temporary housing and many others.
In 2019, Clark applied for a grant to study the need for a family justice center in Anderson County, the release stated. As a result, a grant was secured to hire someone within the District Attorney’s Office to evaluate the need for a family justice center in Anderson County. This first grant found that Anderson County could benefit from the services of a family justice center being offered to its citizens. As a result, the District Attorney’s office prepared and submitted a grant application to fund the creation of and opening of a family justice center in Anderson County.
The new Family Justice Center of Anderson County will be an arm of Anderson County Government. The grant application was submitted by the District Attorney General on behalf of Anderson County.
“With gratitude it is acknowledged that County Mayor Terry Frank and the Anderson County Commission have both graciously and enthusiastically supported the creation of a family justice center in Anderson County. Anderson County Government has been very supportive of grant funded efforts to help Anderson Countians involved in the criminal justice system,” the news release stated.
The State of Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs provided notice that it was offering a grant to support the Anderson County Family Justice Center over the next 28 months in the amount of $572,052.
District Attorney General Dave Clark remarked in the news release, “this grant represents over one half million dollars of outside money that will benefit people from all walks of life and all corners of Anderson County who are in need of justice help. Our most tender citizens in the hour of their greatest need will receive a new type of cooperative and convenient help from both existing and new types of providers. This Family Justice Center will not only directly help these victims, but will make the whole community a better and safer place to live. All Anderson Countians will benefit.”
The funds obtained are supplied by the U.S. Government to the State of Tennessee. These funds are obtained from fines, costs and seizures that have been collected from those convicted of crimes in the Federal criminal justice system.
“These are not taxpayer funds,” the news release stated.
The FJC contract was unanimously approved by the Anderson County Commission Purchasing Committee, Clark stated in an email. It also passed Anderson County Commission.