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News Release    

September 30, 2003

 

County Executive Announces Grant to Combat Sex Offenders and Help Victims

Poughkeepsie... County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today during his presentation to the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Criminal Justice Council (CJC), receipt of a $218,242 grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs to aid Dutchess County’s Project to Enhance Management of Adult and Juvenile Sex Offenders. The grant award will enable the County to enhance the current programs and resources used to control sex offenders living in the community with an emphasis on developing a focus on assisting victims of the horrific crimes. The effort will be spearheaded by the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections in conjunction with Family Services, Inc. Relapse Intervention for Sex Crimes Program.

County Executive Steinhaus said, “The aim of the grant is two-fold; first to enhance and ensure community safety and second, in doing so, assisting victims in a proven and effective manner. Since the grant criteria matched partnerships already in place for crime prevention in Dutchess County, the grant award once again demonstrates Dutchess County’s ability to meet standards of national recognition. I am confident our team of the Departments of Probation, Social Services, Mental Hygiene, and the District Attorney along with our other partners will utilize this funding in ways that will combat offenders and repeat offenders.”

The grant is designed to enhance departmental efficiencies and create a continuum of services that will reduce the number of repeat offenders and provide the proper method and amount of services for victims of abuse. The plan, or ‘Stakeholders Manual,’ will be completed within one year and will serve as the standard in controlling sex offenders and ensuring community safety.

“Dutchess County’s grant application demonstrated a team of law enforcement professionals and community agencies that simply will not tolerate sex offenders to prey on our community,” said Congresswoman Sue W. Kelly. “Through the efforts of County Executive Steinhaus, Dutchess already has a Criminal Justice Council in place and is tough on crime. Their hard work made it easy to support their application and obviously the US Justice Department agreed,” said Kelly.

Now that this funding is in place the team of professionals at the Dutchess County Project to Enhance Management of Adult and Juvenile Sex Offenders will hire a consultant and a victims advocate to develop a comprehensive plan of intervention and coordinated safety efforts to respond to identified sex offenders and the victims they prey upon.

Mary Ellen Still, Director, Dutchess County Department of Probation and Community Corrections said, “The selection of Dutchess County’s grant application by the Office of Justice Programs reflects their confidence in the County to create a victim centered comprehensive approach to dealing with sex offenders. The results of this project will serve as a blueprint to other jurisdictions endeavoring to create similar models.”

The team will be comprised of representatives from the Dutchess County Department of Probation, Chair of the Criminal Justice Council, Family Services RISC Director, Law Clerk from the Office of Judge Dolan, Astor Clinic, Children’s Services Coordinator from the Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene, Parole, Dutchess County Department of Social Services, Dutchess County District Attorney, Crime Victims, Dutchess County County Attorney’s Office and a Research Coordinator.

The hired consultant and victims advocate will work with the team to develop and establish procedures for both adults and juveniles, offenders and victims.
 

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