Governor Robert Bentley on Friday awarded an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) grant totaling over $1.2 million to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division for implementation of the Alabama Victim Notification program.
"This grant gives victims of violent crimes and their families a way to really work toward peace of mind as they deal with the healing process," Governor Bentley said. "I am proud to award a grant like this to ALEA because it will go toward helping both law enforcement and victims of crime."
The plans to expand Alabama's Victim Notification program will provide a comprehensive, one-stop service for crime victims to register for timely notifications of status changes as a criminal offender progresses through the criminal justice system. Once registered, victims can receive timely and accurate information about specific changes in the status of a selected offender through a method of notification of their choosing including automated voice recording, text messaging, e-mail and letter.
The notification system will also provide critical resources for crime victims across Alabama and contact information for live assistance to support their registration or to address issues that may arise. Through this project, victims and survivors of violent crime will be able to discretely access and receive important information that can help them make informed decisions about their level of participation in the justice process, have peace of mind by knowing what is happening with their case and take necessary precautionary steps to plan for their safety as needed.
"Protecting the people of Alabama is the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's No. 1 priority," Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler said. "With this grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, we will implement a comprehensive, one-stop place for victims of crime to register for timely status notifications as their offender's progress through the criminal justice system."
"Victims of crime need and deserve easily accessible updates to the criminal cases of those who have hurt them," ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. "Through this funding, ADECA is partnering with ALEA for this system, which will enable victims to quickly receive important information that helps them make informed legal decisions, gives them peace of mind from knowing what is happening with their cases and allows them to take safety precautions if needed."
The primary goal of the Alabama Victim Notification System project is to help protect victims and survivors of crime from further victimization and ensure their rights are secured. The initiative will be developed and implemented as a collaborative and informational program with inter-agency support and multi-jurisdictional cooperation.