Atlanta, GA – Yesterday First Lady Marty Kemp joined GRACE Commission members, U.S. Department of Justice officials, Attorney General Chris Carr, and U.S. Attorneys BJay Pak and Charles Peeler to announce awards of nearly $153 million to fight human trafficking in Georgia. Approximately $4.3 million will assist law enforcement officials and victim service providers in prosecuting human traffickers and aiding survivors.

"Human trafficking is a pervasive, growing threat plaguing communities across our state and country," said First Lady Marty Kemp. "I applaud our federal, state, and local partners who are committed to holding bad actors accountable, seeking justice for victims, and helping survivors heal. I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice for this new funding that will truly save lives. By working together, we will put an end to this criminal enterprise, once and for all."

“We are appreciative of our federal partners who have made it possible to continue and expand on our anti-trafficking efforts,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “The resources announced today will help ensure more victims in Georgia get the help and support that they need and ensure that law enforcement officials have every tool at their disposal to put buyers and traffickers behind bars where they belong.”

“Human trafficking is a cruel and barbaric practice that calls to mind the darkest moments of our history, and sadly it has left its mark on the communities of Georgia,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray. “Under the direction of Attorney General Barr, the Department of Justice is putting the full weight of its resources behind the brave men and women of the state who are fighting trafficking perpetrators and bringing relief to victims. We commend these courageous and compassionate professionals and are proud to lend them our full support.”

“Human trafficking is an obscene violation of human rights and human dignity, affecting millions of people worldwide, countless victims in this country, and hundreds, if not thousands of men, women, and children right here in Georgia,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine Sullivan. “We are so grateful to the law enforcement officers who pursue these vicious criminals and to the dedicated service providers who work around the clock to get survivors the help they so desperately need and deserve.”

“Human and sex trafficking are not victimless crimes. These grants will go a long way in not just furthering our prosecutorial efforts for these terrible crimes, but also in providing much needed victim-centered services. Our office continues to be fully committed to eradicating human trafficking within the Northern District of Georgia,” said Byung J. “BJay” Pak, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

“In Georgia, the fight against human trafficking is a coordinated effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecuting agencies working together to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who choose to engage in this horrific industry,” said Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “In the Middle District, we aggressively investigate and prosecute cases where offenders prey on vulnerable citizens, taking advantage of their age, their desire for love and affection, their financial status, and their addictions. I am confident that these federal dollars will provide critical support to those who are dedicated to protecting victims and arresting perpetrators, which will lead to the end of human trafficking in our state.”

 

Background

Grant awards will support a range of activities designed to bring sex and labor traffickers to justice and provide critical services to victims. A grant to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will fund a multi-disciplinary task force composed of law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and several victim service organizations. Funds will also support direct victim services provided under the auspices of the Georgia Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking. Other awards will help to ensure that children and minors who are victimized receive counseling, case management, and other critical services. The Georgia Care Connection Office, Inc.; Wellspring Living, Inc.; Tapestri, Inc.; and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy are among the grant recipients.

The remainder of the state’s awards cover a wide range of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and victim service activities. Grants will support school safety initiatives, law enforcement hiring, services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, inmate re-entry services, youth mentoring, and efforts to combat online child exploitation and manage sex offenders. Awards were made by the three grant-making components of the Department of Justice: OJP, COPS, and OVW.

For more information on the OJP awards, click HERE.

For more information on the COPS awards, click HERE.

For more information on the OVW awards, click HERE.

 

About the Office of Justice Programs

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims, and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

 

About the Office on Violence Against Women

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Learn more at www.justice.gov/ovw.

 

About the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and re-deployment of approximately 130,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

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