Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $300,000)
The proposed project “Broward County Hate Crimes Awareness Initiative” will serve Broward County, the county with the second largest population in Florida with 1,952,778 residents. The project will be housed in the Broward State Attorney’s Office (BSAO), 17th Judicial Circuit, and will serve the following Congressional Districts: 20, 22, 23, and 24 serving all jurisdictions in Broward County. The project period will begin October, 2021 and will end September, 2024 for a total of 36 months. The Federal funds requested for implementation is $299,997.00. These funds will be supplemented by BSAO’s funds totaling $105,612.00.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office proposes to combat hate crimes by enhancing both internal and external capacity. The internal capacity will be enhanced by appointing a designated Assistant State Attorney to prosecute hate crimes and to work with local law enforcement agencies and community partners to create and coordinate the Broward County Hate Crimes Task Force. A dedicated phone line and link to the BSAO’s website will be established for victims/witnesses to report hate crimes. A dedicated victims’ advocate will be designated to provide guidance and support for victims as they navigate the legal system.
The external capacity will be enhanced by creating the Broward County Hate Crimes Task Force. This task force will work to educate the public, conduct outreach activities, provide information on local resources available to victims, procure training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors on the issues of hate crimes, and work to create/enhance policies and procedures to address this issue. The members of groups targeted by hate crimes will receive informational material on hate crimes as well as available resources in the community. Materials will be made available in the three prevalent languages in the county, English, Spanish, and Creole to ensure victims are provided with information and resources that are culturally and language appropriate.
The project will benefit all units of the BSAO, local law enforcement agencies, community partners, as well as the community at large. It will bring awareness on the issue of hate crimes and will provide support for victims.