Northwestern District Attorney’s office receives $300,000 grant to assist with domestic violence prevention
NORTHAMPTON — A $300,000 federal grant will allow the Domestic Violence High Risk Team at the Northwestern district attorney’s office to continue its work.
The team is made up of staff from the DA’s office, police, the sheriff’s department, domestic violence advocates and the state probation and parole boards and the departments of Corrections and Children and Families.
The team reviews cases of domestic violence arrests, determines if they rise to the level of “high risk” and determine if action needs to be taken on them above other cases involving similar charges.
Those actions can include priority prosecution, GPS monitoring, enrollment in an intervention program, denial of parole, more stringent probation conditions and maximum supervision, among others. The team was formed in 2010.
In a statement, Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said, “This is a project that has a substantial impact in the community. With all of these entities working together, we are better able to identify high risk cases, hold offenders accountable and strengthen victim safety.”
The grant funds a full-time coordinator position, a victim/witness advocate and a part-time domestic violence prosecutor to work with prosecutors and police on evidence and risk assessment issues, according to the DA’s office.
Mary Kociela, director of domestic violence projects at the DA’s office, said in a statement, “We are thrilled to have this funding renewed. It allows us to continue to operate the High Risk project for the next two years and really strengthen it with training for police and prosecutors.”