The state has approved the distribution of $1.2 million in additional funding for Indiana’s domestic violence shelters.
The money had already been earmarked for the programs but the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute board had delayed its distribution to gather more information and confirm the money will be spent to expand programs.
The criminal justice institute is now “moving quickly to ensure the domestic violence shelters receive these additional monies as soon as possible,” said Mary Allen, the agency’s executive director. “A total of 48 domestic violence shelters are receiving funding – including five first-time awards.”
The money must be used to provide immediate assistance and short-term support to victims of domestic violence.
The newest grants were recommended by the Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Council to an ICJI subcommittee for final approval. The council recommended that the group hold back about $285,000 rather than distributing it.
The subcommittee agreed to the hold back but sent a letter to the council’s chairwoman, Laura Berry, to ask for an explanation. Berry has been critical of the institute in recent months for failing to fully spend the available domestic violence dollars.
“In earlier statements, you indicated that domestic violence programs were in dire need of immediate financial support,” an assertion backed up by providers who appeared before the institute’s board, Allen wrote to Berry.
Given that, the board’s subcommittee has “concerns about why all monies are not being put into the hands of providers.”
In all, the institute has awarded more than $3.9 million for domestic violence programs over the past two years.
New programs receiving funding include:
- Beacon of Hope Center for Women, Marion County
- Center for Victim and Human Rights, Marion County
- Elijah Haven Crisis Intervention Center, LaGrange County
- Heminger House Shelter for Women and Children, Marshall County
- Sanctuary of Shelbyville, Shelby County
Lesley Weidenbener is executive editor of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.