Gov. Ivey awards grant to equip Birmingham domestic violence courts for virtual hearings

Local News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $27,339 grant to help the Birmingham Municipal Court provide necessary equipment and technology to continue to hear domestic violence cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Birmingham is using funds to purchase equipment to conduct hearings with defendants and domestic violence victims during the global pandemic. This includes monitors to be used for virtual hearings to maintain social distancing in domestic violence court rooms. This is part of the court’s Trauma Informed Domestic Violence Pretrial Service Project which determines handling of defendants before pre-trial appearances.

“Prosecuting domestic abusers and holding them accountable for their dangerous actions is a vital part of protecting victims from further abuse,” Ivey said in a statement. “This grant will help the Birmingham Municipal Court continue its important work even when social distancing and other precautions need to be taken.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice. Local matching funds of $9,113 will supplement the grant.

“ADECA supports Gov. Ivey’s efforts to prevent further domestic violence in our state by pursuing prosecution of those responsible and providing protection to those who’ve been victimized,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.  “This technology and equipment will help ensure that the criminal justice process continues moving for domestic violence victims in Birmingham.”

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

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