Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office has been awarded a STOP Violence Against Women (Service, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) grant by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant is worth $79,961 grant and will create an assistant prosecutor position that focuses solely on intimate partner violence in a victim-centered, offender-focused manner, using a trauma-informed approach.
The grant project will build on a partnership with the Lansing Police Department (LPD) and End Violent Encounters (EVE) and will work closely with the newly-created Domestic Violence Court in Lansing 54-A District Court over which Judge Cynthia Ward presides.
The grant will form a “focused-deterrence” model for intimate partner violence (IPV) and allow police, prosecutors, and victim advocates to ensure a more victim-centered approach that promotes victim safety and enhances victim services.
Some of these services will include safety planning, advocacy, courtroom support, and assistance with personal protection orders, shelter, and counseling for victims of intimate partner violence.
The prosecutor’s office will be able to provide a more reliable response to both the authorization and prosecution of IPV cases. The newly funded prosecutor position would incorporate “vertical prosecution” for high-risk felony offenders.
In a vertical prosecution, one prosecutor handles a case from its initial review through the trial phase and this allows the victim to work with one prosecutor throughout the criminal justice process.
The new prosecutor will work with police to appropriately target violent, repeat offenders, which is an expanded level of service that is not currently available.
“The STOP Violence Against Women grant is a major element in our office’s strategy regarding domestic violence prosecution and support for victims and survivors,” said Carol Siemon, Ingham County Prosecutor in a press release.
The county grant’s approval passed with unanimous and bipartisan support, during the Tuesday night Ingham County Board of Commissioners meeting.