By Al Beeber
Southern Alberta Newspapers
The provincial government has launched a new grant to help victims of crime in Alb erta access supports when they navigate the criminal justice system.
The Specialized Criminal Justice Navigator Grant will provide eligible non-profit organizations with funding for staff to help ensure “victims receive equitable, responsive and efficient support as they navigate the criminal justice system,” says the province in a press release.
“These dedicated staff will play an integral role in ensuring Albertans can access comprehensive, coordinated, safe and culturally relevant services regardless of where an incident occurs or where they are located,” says the province.
In a statement, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis said “navigating the aftermath of a crime can be complex and stressful, and it’s important to ensure victims have access to the help they need when they need it. Through the Specialized Criminal Justice Navigator Grant, Alberta’s government is putting victims first by ensuring they are supported as they navigate through the criminal justice system.”
The grants will cover two-year terms from April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2026.
Eligible applicants must be Alberta-based non-profit organizations which offer programs and services that support victims of crime during their involvement with the criminal justice system.
And they must have experience in supporting victims of specific types of crimes, says the province. Those crimes include sexual or family violence or victims who may require extra supports – children, seniors, victims of human trafficking or families of homicide.
Grants can be used to cover salary, training and benefits for as many as two full-time employees, says the province. Also eligible to be covered are travel, technology requirements and administrative expenses directly related to delivering navigation services to organizations’ clients.
The funded positions will provide victims with four services:
—information about the criminal justice system and ways to participate;
—referrals to victim assistance programs and supports;
—courtroom orientation and accompaniment;
—liaison services with community and criminal justice agencies on their behalf.