The Tucson City Court is the recipient of a nearly half-million-dollar grant.

The Tucson City Court is the recipient of a nearly half-million-dollar grant.

As we come to the end of October and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I share some news from the Tucson City Court and the Arizona Supreme Court:

“Tucson City Court this month received a three-year $497,000 Justice for Families grant. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women and is the second such grant that Tucson City Court has earned. The grant will be used to continue the specialty domestic violence court program.”

“Judge Wendy Million launched a specialty court to handle domestic violence cases in 2013. Domestic Violence Court is not a separate building, rather it is a program that bundles all serious domestic violence cases on one judge’s calendar. Instead of spreading these cases among several judges, Judge Million hears all of these cases and works with advocacy groups to provide services to victims of domestic violence.”

City of Tucson-logo“‘The idea is to be able to provide a social and community safety net to families and individuals touched by domestic violence,’ Judge Million explained. ‘This new grant allows me to continue having a dedicated domestic violence court. The money will be used to help with extra security in the courtroom and for continuing education programs for judges, court staff, and attorneys who handle these cases. It also funds two victim advocates from Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse who will work at City Court.’”

“According to its website, the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse is a Tucson-based charitable organization that is the largest provider of domestic abuse prevention services in Southern Arizona. Judge Million said the two victim advocates will float between the court’s protective order office and the courtroom to provide direct aid to victims.”

“The grant will also allow Judge Million to continue doing outreach to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. National studies have shown that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals experience a greater incidence of domestic violence, which often goes unreported. Judge Million plans to use some funds to pay for American Sign Language interpreters when domestic violence victims with a hearing impairment need court services.”

Read the entire news release here.