CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County’s victim witness program may be in trouble, according to a report by Victim-Witness Coordinator Judy Shirey.
At a Clearfield County Commissioners work session on Tuesday, Shirey said that reductions or stays on grant-funding may result in additional changes to her staff. Currently, Shirey said she will not have a secretary in 2007.
The Victims of Juvenile Offenses grant and the Rights and Services Act grant have both been affected in recent years by federal government tax cuts. Shirey said her RASA grant amount is the same as last year, and that the amount does not take into account yearly raises and healthcare costs.
The grant applications cover a two-year term.
Shirey said that the RASA grant is the good news, at least for now. The amount of the grant is for $48,398. It will cover portions of three salaries and benefits. However, in 2008, there will be a deficit of $378 in relation to RASA funded issues.
The VOJO grant will be in the amount of $25,076 each year over the next two years. That amount is a $200 decrease from last year. The deficit in the program in 2007 will be $5,000 and $10,678 in 2008 to the operating budget.
“We have explored every option out there,” said Shirey on trying to fix the problem.
One option the county could look at would be similar to one Jefferson County has, which is to tack an additional $100 fee on to defendant’s bills in criminal court cases.
“We’re seeing the affects of budget cuts at the state and federal levels,” said Mark McCracken, Clearfield County Commissioner chairman.
“When you see that cut on T.V., it does affect us,” said McCracken.
Shirey asked the commissioners for help, though it is unknown what help they may have to offer.