Jones County receives grant awards to help provide victims’ advocates funding

Pine Belt

JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – Jones County has been awarded two grants by the Mississippi Department of Health to help fund Victims’ Advocates positions at the Jones County Sheriff’s Department. The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant are federal grants administered by the Mississippi State Department of Health – Office Against Interpersonal Violence. The Jones County Board of Supervisors voted to accept both grant awards at their regular meeting on Monday, September 21st. 

Sheriff Joe Berlin said, “We are greatly pleased to have been awarded both the VOCA and VAWA grants which help provide funding for our two Victims’ Advocates. Deputy Priscilla Pitts serves as our VAWA Advocate and works with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Deputy Reagan Smith serves as our VOCA Advocate and assists victims of all crime types and can assist with those crime types handled by Deputy Pitts.” 

He added, “Providing crime victims with support, information, and follow-up is critical to their well-being and recovery from the effects of crime on their lives. We are blessed to have two dedicated JCSD staff members who serve as advocates and whose daily job is to be there for the crime victims we serve.”

Jones County will receive nearly $110,000.00 in reimbursements for salaries, benefits, training, travel, commodities, and equipment expended in support of crime victims’ advocacy efforts.

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