The following is a press release from the offices of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes:

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has received $103,000 in public protection funds from Brooklyn State Senator Martin J. Golden that will provide support the District Attorney’s existing alternative to incarceration programs for at-risk youths and to victims of domestic violence cases pending in Brooklyn’s Domestic Violence Court parts.

“Brooklyn is the only county in New York State with two separate Integrated Domestic Violence Courts,” said DA Hynes.  “Thanks to this generous grant, for the first time, we will have one dedicated social worker who will not only assist victims in the two courtrooms, but will also form the bridge connecting the court parts to the Brooklyn Family Justice Center.”

“I am proud to have secured more than $100,000 in public protection funds to support programs offered by Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes,” Senator Golden said.  “I am confident that through his office, this funding will be used to create better opportunities for youth and family justice in Brooklyn.”

Of the funds, $50,000 will be used to hire a full-time social worker for domestic violence victims with cases pending in Integrated Domestic Violence Courts in Brooklyn. These two IDVC parts were opened in Brooklyn in 2005.  They provide consistency and efficiency for domestic violence victims and their families who have pending cases with co-occurring criminal, family, and matrimonial components.  Prior to IDVC parts, one victim would have multiple cases in Family Court and Criminal Court.  Now, these cases can be consolidated into a single case, heard by a single judge.

The remaining $53,000 will help fund the seventh year of Project Re-Direct.  The project was created by our Gangs Bureau and was designed to offer an alternative to incarceration for young gang members who enter the criminal justice system.

Defendants must meet stringent qualifications to be accepted into Project Re-Direct.  They must be referred to the program by defense attorneys, assistant district attorneys and judges.  If accepted, he must plead guilty to the charge and agree that if they violate they will be sentenced to a substantial period of prison.  Each participant spends a minimum of six months wearing a GPS ankle bracelet to insure that they are compliant with their curfew and other mandates from the program.  Each must re-enter school or enter and graduate from a GED program.  If the participant has a substance abuse problem he is referred to an appropriate substance abuse program.  All participants receive group and individual counseling.  The funds will be used to hire a counselor who will provide group therapy.

“Thanks to the generous grant from Senator Golden, Project Re-Direct will be able to open its doors to more gang involved youth and provide them with the counseling, life skills development and other services that these young men need to make positive changes in their lives,” said DA Hynes. “Grants such as this one will enable Re-Direct to grow and will reduce recidivism thereby improving the quality of life for all Brooklynites.”

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