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City of New Orleans Office of Criminal Justice Coordination Announces Crime Victims Assistance Formula Grant and New Crime Victims and Survivor Services Coordinator

NEW ORLEANS — On June 22, 2023, the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) voted to approve the New Orleans – District 9 applications, totaling $2,403,130, for Crime Victims Assistance Formula Grants (VOCA). The Crime Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program provides funding to local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims. Priority is given to programs providing assistance to victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, child abuse and underserved victims of violent crimes. Direct assistance to crime victims includes crisis counseling, telephone and onsite information and referrals, criminal justice support, as well as advocacy, shelter, therapy and additional assistance.

“Keeping our public safe includes providing wraparound services for all victims of violent crimes to ensure they are properly cared for and supported in their time of need,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This funding, in addition to the new hire within OCJC devoted solely to victim services, will be vital in healing our communities after senseless tragedies. It will allow victims and survivors to retain some peace of mind while they’re assisted through a difficult time and seek to regain a sense of normalcy and security. My administration always strives to meet our people where they are, and this is just one form of outreach we’re providing.”

New Orleans submitted and received approval from the full commission for 18 applications submitted by 16 local nonprofits and City agencies. Prior to approval by LCLE, all applications and funding awards were allocated by the Sanford “Sandy” Kransnoff Criminal Justice Council. These projects, administered and monitored by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Coordination (OCJC), will run through the fall of 2024.

“Supporting our victims and survivors of crime is paramount to building safe and thriving communities,” said OCJC Commissioner Tenisha Stevens. “My office is excited to continue to support this work and all of our criminal legal system and community partners to provide vital services to our community.”

As an additional resource to support crime victims and survivors, OCJC recently hired a Crime Victims and Survivor Services Coordinator. This position will help coordinate victim and survivor services through connecting stakeholders and leveraging resources to continue to build upon the successful support system of victims and survivors in our community.

“I am grateful and honored to be working for the citizens of our great city of New Orleans,” said OCJC Crime Victims and Survivor Services Coordinator Dr. LaTasha M. Atkins. “I would like to thank Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Councilman Green and Commissioner Tenisha Stevens for this important and valuable opportunity. It is because of their commitment to helping provide services for victims of crime that I am able to serve this great community. I humbly stand firm in providing quality service through hard-work and dedication. Again, I am honored and happy to be a part of the OCJC Team.”

“The most important reason that our criminal justice system must function well is to reduce the incidents of crime and hurt brought onto victims of crime,” said Councilmember Eugene Green. “It is good that the Cantrell Administration has secured the funding that will work to support the needs of those who suffer as victims and survivors. It is hoped that in time the need for such funding will be diminished as people will be better protected and supported by reduced criminal activity.”

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