Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $142,715)
The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program (Byrne Discretionary Program) helps local communities improve the capacity of local justice systems and provides for national support efforts. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 08 Congressional Budget. Funds should be used for purposes recommended by Congress.
The Macon County State's Attorneys Office will fund a full-time Witness Liaison position. The goal of the project is to reduce firearm-related violence by securing the cooperation of victims and witnesses in criminal investigations and prosecutions. The Witness Liaison, a hybrid between a criminal investigator and victim and witness advocate, will work primarily on the street, in neutral territory, and in homes in order to develop and sustain relationships with victims and witnesses. Contact will be made within 48 hours of the crime, and will continue through post-sentencing phases, with referrals and arrangements made throughout the process for needs such as trauma-related therapy, transportation, child care, and emotional support.