Local Victim Assistance Programs
PROGRAM CERTIFICATION OVERVIEW:
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is responsible for publicizing rules governing the certification of victim assistance programs in Georgia. These rules shall provide for the certification of programs which are designed to provide substantial assistance to victims of crime in understanding and dealing with the criminal justice system as it relates to the crimes committed against them. Certifications are designed to encourage local innovations in development of victim assistance, and provide the minimum standards necessary for certification of these programs.
Certification permits local victim assistance programs to request funding through their County Board of Commissioners from a fund derived from a five percent penalty added to fines in all criminal and criminal ordinance cases, specifically to fund direct victim assistance programs.
If the county where the fine was imposed does not operate any victim assistance program certified by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, funds shall be paid to the district attorney of the judicial circuit in which the county is located for the purpose of defraying the costs of victim assistance activities carried out by the district attorney's office.
Five percent funds are tracked and reported in the following four steps:
- The court officer charged with the duty of collecting monies arising from fines submits a monthly report of the collection and distribution of funds (to either the county’s governing authority or the district attorney’s office) to Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA). The GSCCCA then submits a financial report to the CJCC every month stating the amount collected and the amount disbursed. Court officers are not required to submit a monthly report to CJCC.
- The county governing authority submits a financial report to the CJCC every 6 months stating the recipients that directly received these funds as well as the amount. The county governing authority also has to include the amount of any of the 5% funds retained and how these retained funds were used.
- Recipients of these funds (certified victim services agencies) submit a report annually to the CJCC containing the total amount of funds received, how the money was used, and the total number of victims they served in each county where the funds were received
- The CJCC is responsible for reporting annually to the General Assembly the county governing authorities that failed to submit semiannual reports during the previous calendar year.
PLEASE SEE 2016-2018 LVAP (5%) GUIDELINES FOR COMPLETE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE PROGRAM