The D.C. Criminal Justice Coordinating Board has approved nearly $500,000 in grants to five city agencies, a board spokesman said last week.
Funds were awarded to the D.C. Department of Human Resources for continuation of its Mental Health Outreach Program, the D.C. Court of Appeals for creation of an automated information system, the Office of the Corporation Counsel for continuation of its child abuse and neglect program, the D.C. Superior Court for compilation of a court procedures manual and the Metropolitan Police Department for completion of its computer dispatch system.
Betsy Reveal, acting director of the city Office of Criminial Justice Plans and Analysis, said the board will act later this month on applications for the remainder of the city's $1.2 million grant from the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Most of the remaining funds, she said, will go to community groups with programs designed to improve the safety of neighborhoods.
Among the groups that have already received funding, the Metropolitan Police Department got the largest grant of $180,000. The department will use the money to complete its computer dispatch system, started three years ago. Reveal said the computer system has enabled police to speed up response time on distress calls.
The Office of the Corporation Counsel received $52,500 to continue its child abuse and neglect program, which is designed to increase identification and reporting of child abuse and to insure prompt medical legal and social assistance for such victims. Under this program, Reveal said, the number of reported child abuse cases in the District each year has risen from 178 in 1973 to more than 650 in 1977.
The D.C. Superior Court was given $40,000 to prepare a guide book on the operation procedures for each unit within the court. This will enable judges, who usually rotate from unit to unit, to quickly familiarize themselves with the special features of any new assignment.
The D.C. Court of Appeals received $47,000 to create a computer docketing system so that its clerk can find out a case's status at the touch of a button. Such a system would also make it much easier for the clerk to keep track of the court's case backlog, Reveal said.
A grant of $95,000 was given to the D.C. Department of Human Resources for continuation of its Mental Health Outreach Program. Reveal described the program as an "innovative approach to helping the hard-core delinquent." Instead of confining juvenile delinquent in detention homes, this program allows them to lead normal lives and provides 24-hour-a-day counseling services.