May 25th, 2024

Province investing millions to help crime victims deal with justice system


By Lethbridge Herald on April 10, 2024.

Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald

The Alberta government is investing $6.8 million over two years to ensure crime victims have access to the help they need when interacting with the province’s justice system.

The government announced late last week that it is investing in supports that are provided by front-line organizations to crime victims.

The funding is being provided through the Specialized Criminal Justice Navigator Grant that the province established last fall.

Funding is being provided to 20 non-profits in Alberta, says the province in a news release, including “including child advocacy centres, sexual assault services, and specialized programs for victims of elder abuse, intimate partner violence, newcomers to Canada and human trafficking. These criminal justice navigators will work directly with victims and survivors of crime to provide essential information about the criminal justice system, including ways to participate, information and referrals on various programs and resources, and support with courtroom orientation and accompaniment.”

Among grant recipients is the Chinook Sexual Assault Centre in Lethbridge which provides numerous services including counselling, crisis support, police and court support and advocacy. It also has a specialized program in the Chinook Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.

“The grants can be used to cover the salary, training and benefits for up to two full-time employees, as well as travel, technology requirements and administrative expenses related to directly delivering services to Albertans navigating the criminal justice system,” says the province.

Grants will cover a term from April 1 of this year to March 31 of 2026.

Also receiving funding in the area are the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society and the Southeastern Alberta Sexual Assault Response Panel.

“After a crime, figuring out what to do can be difficult and stressful. It’s our duty to stand by victims of crime, providing predictable, sustainable and consistent funding as they navigate the complexities of the justice system. With the Specialized Criminal Justice Navigator Grant, Alberta’s government stands firm in its dedication to placing victims of crime first, ensuring they receive the guidance and assistance they deserve, says Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Ellis.

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