Crime $$ help victims

Criminal property seized by the Government of Alberta is being used to fund programs helping people and communities across the province.

  • Aug. 22, 2012 4:00 p.m.

Criminal property seized by the Government of Alberta is being used to fund programs helping people and communities across the province.

Twelve projects focused on supporting victims and preventing crime have received $1.61 million in funding through the Alberta government’s Civil Forfeiture Fund.

Local projects include the Maskwacis Health Centre, Rapid Response Post Trauma Team: This team would be available on a 24-hour basis to provide wrap-around services during the critical hours when other support services are unavailable and make appropriate referrals. A Maskwacis Victim Services Society, aboriginal outreach specialist: This project will involve hiring a dedicated staff person to provide culturally sensitive outreach services to victims of crime in the four aboriginal communities of Samson Cree Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe and Montana First Nation.

“This grant supports victims of crime and vulnerable Albertans, and helps stop the often cyclical nature of crime,” said Jonathan Denis, minister of justice and solicitor general. “We are putting the proceeds of crime back into local communities where it can actually help people through victim support and crime prevention.”

The projects vary from cultural day camp programs, to helping at-risk youth develop communication and life skills and increase their employability options.

The Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act was introduced in 2008 under the Safe Communities initiative as an innovative and longterm way to address crime and support victims of illegal activity. Through the Civil Forfeiture Office, property gained through criminal acts is seized and if the court action is successful, forfeiture is ordered.