Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $150,000)
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 New Jersey Crime Victims' Law Center (NJCVLC) advances the cause for victims' rights through direct pro bono legal representation in the criminal justice system and educating judges, prosecutors, private attorneys, legal advocates, and service providers through educational publications, resource centers, and trainings involving victims' rights and the respect for these rights throughout the justice system. Therefore, the NJCVLC will use their FY 2009 Congressionally Selected Award to address each of the two components by adding three attorneys who will provide direct pro bono representation to crime victims and enhance the education component through unique and novel types of publications and trainings. The goals of the project involve increasing the ability of NJCVLC to provide effective and capable pro bono legal assistance to victims by increasing its number of attorneys and changing the attitude toward victims' rights in the criminal justice system and the public through education, trainings, and other sources of information.