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New Illinois Prosecution Unit Helps Protect Women Against Violence

U.S. Department of Justice grant creates federal-state-local partnership to help fight domestic violence, sexual assault

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A sweeping $1.1 million U.S. Justice Dept. grant is fueling a new push by a state prosecution agency to help combat domestic violence and sexual assault across Illinois.

Under the new grant, the State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor's office has hired two full-time prosecutors to help 20 counties improve their response to violence against women.

Flanked by four state's attorneys and leaders from key partner agencies, Appellate Prosecutor's office Director Patrick Delfino announced the new push on National Crime Victims Rights Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. "This grant is giving counties the tools to fight violence against women. It is a targeted and intelligent approach to a complicated problem," Delfino said.

Added Robert Haida, St. Clair County State's Attorney and chairman of the Appellate Prosecutor's board, "This is a great example of a federal-state-local partnership that is working in concert to protect our citizens from insidious crimes."

In all, 20 Illinois counties will be targeted with a series of training regimens under the direction of the new prosecutors and in partnership with key advocacy and government agencies. In addition, five counties will receive more intensive focus, with eligibility for multidisciplinary team development and training. Those counties are: Sangamon, Rock Island, Jefferson, Tazewell and Winnebago.

The two-year grant comes from the Justice Department's office on Violence Against Women. It concludes Nov. 30, 2010. The full title is the Grant to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders.

Partner agencies include: Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, University of Illinois Regional Institute for Community Policing, Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, Illinois Attorney General's Office, Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Councils and the Sojourn Shelter in Sangamon County.

SOURCE State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor
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