MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – More money is on the way to fund victim advocacy programs in Georgia and other states across the U.S.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement during his visit in Macon on Thursday addressing the rise in violent crimes.
He discussed several incidents plaguing cities everywhere including those in Middle Georgia and gave some pretty simple insight into his solution–“backing the blue” no matter the cost and putting victim advocacy first.
“We had a 20% increase in homicides in this country,” said Sessions.
Two years…that’s how long he says violent crime has been steadily going up.
“We are faced with a surging unexpected rise in crime after about a 30 year decline in crime,” he said during a news conference.
Sessions cited turning that trend around as a top priority.
“We want to be sure the tools are there federally and state where we can to keep the career criminals behind bars and to protect the public,” he said.
For his office, that means helping the 85% of law enforcement agents across the country who do their jobs at local and state levels.
“The justices both in this administration and in the previous administration really helped us through the project safe neighborhood initiatives,” said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.
Sessions also announced a large shift in the office’s focus–giving billions of dollars to states for victim advocacy service programs.
“3.3 billion will come from fines fees and special assessments paid by the criminals not the tax payers. So the grant will be helping the crime victims and it will be holding criminals accountable,” he told 41NBC.
His other goal is continuing to foster the DOJ’s partnership with local law enforcement.
“We have some things that we’re working on that will be coming into fruition the rest of this year that are really going to make some impact.”
Sessions says this is the biggest single year victim’s services distribution ever granted by the Department of Justice.
Georgia will get about $100 million of that $3.4 billion.
Protestors who stood outside the U.S. Attorney’s Office building on Thursday morning said the Attorney General’s focus should be on helping “the real victims”–families and children who were separated under his office’s orders.