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Iowa Legal Aid Health and Law Project

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $300,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

The primary purpose of the Iowa Legal Aid Health and Law Project that is located in Des Moines, Iowa is to improve the health and quality of life for low-income or other vulnerable patients (children, older Iowans, and persons living with chronic diseases) who are victims of crime or otherwise have a legal problem that is causing or exacerbating their health conditions. Vulnerable Iowans, as a result of their status, are more likely to become victims or in some way become involved with or impacted by the criminal justice system. The goals of the project are to maintain cooperative working relationships between medical personnel, social workers, health care professionals and Iowa Legal Aid lawyers through training; joint intake and case identification; collaboration with county attorneys, victim advocates, and judges, attorneys and others who will make referrals to the project; identification of the civil legal problems that low-income or otherwise vulnerable patients are facing that can cause or exacerbate their chronic health conditions; and resolution of patients' problems through legal channels in order to improve their overall health and well-being. Iowa Legal Aid will use awarded grant funds to support the salaries, fringe benefits, supplies, and travel of a project manager, eleven staff attorneys, and the executive director for matters related to grant programming and management. A survey will be conducted to assess community awareness of the project and to identify the areas of potential service most important to health clinic visitors.


Date Created: September 2, 2009